Picasso famously said “good artists copy, great artists steal.” An artist known as ‘XVALA’ has taken that concept to its logical conclusion by using stolen images and turning them into ‘art.’ A gallery in Florida is planning an exhibit of stolen nude pictures of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson. ‘XVALA’ uses paparazzi photos and repurposes them into art; his “No Delete” show at the contemporary Cory Allen art gallery, in St. Petersburg, Florida, will include several images from last week’s stolen iCloud photos, printed on canvas life-size and unaltered.
The Los Angeles artist regards ‘privacy’ as a thing of the past in our digital age. “We share our secrets with technology. And when we do, our privacy becomes accessible to others.” That is true. However, it is debatable if taking private photos and displaying them publicly makes them art. Gallery owner Cory Allen says “the commentary behind this show is a reflection of who we are today. We all become ‘users’ and in the end, we become ‘used’.” Perhaps the only people being used here are the patrons willing to see the images. The exhibition begins on October 30th.