Here is a reasoned call to artistic (and, I would argue, intellectual) authenticity from the blog of Kalliope Amorphous: Imitation Vs. Inspiration: On Creativity And Visual Plagiarism. The copying of a visual artwork, complete with a largely cut and pasted artist’s statement, described in this post would be called plagiarism in the academic world and viewed with disappointment, distrust and disgust. It is a breach of trust at an individual and community level.
Referencing and developing fresh ideas around other people’s ideas is how the world of ideas maintains momentum and it should be encouraged. However, referencing is the key word. We need to be honest and courageous enough to acknowledge credit where it is due.
With this in mind, go forth and create.