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"let's steal some art"

- arynlei, Jan 27, 2021


TikTok is a platform that encourages and thrives on appropriation, remixing, and ethical (or consensual) theft. Engaging in this space as a creative led me to launch a series of videos about ethical versus unethical theft, but specifically contextualized to artistic practices. I began the series with the words "Let's Steal Some Art," and in that inaugural video shared the MET’s open access collection of public domain works as well as my process “stealing” and re-illustrating a pair of 1800s playing cards from the collection.


This series of videos has had millions of viewers, but what’s really exciting to me is that the series has led to dozens of artists sharing derivative pieces of content in which they are also “stealing” and appropriating works from the public domain within their own practices.


Finally, as challenge to those TikTok critics who didn’t view my re-illustrated playing cards as transformative enough to be considered original work, I chose to animate them and mint them as NFTs to fully pull them into the 21st century and the present moment.

project artifacts

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