A commentator once said he could appreciate the brilliance of Picasso as an artist while recognizing also that he was a loathsome individual. He probably didn’t use the word ‘loathsome’ as I’m likely projecting there. The point is that there is the artist and then there is the art – the creation. And they are separate.
Any number of biting criticism has been offered that artists as a group, as a species, we’re all a little to a lot just weird. We don’t socialize well, we’re self-absorbed, our conversations run in never connecting tangents and our language is worse than a sailor’s at low tide. (OK, that last one may be just me). We’re only at our best through our work and our work is best when it is disassociated with any connection to our own personalities or behaviors. True? Not true?
A little true?
I confess I know an artist who does very good if somewhat traditional work, lovely work, that I find myself unable to fully appreciate because he’s also not shy about promoting his political philosophy, which is as ugly as his paintings are beautiful. I wish I didn’t know him at all. I’d rather feel appreciation for his art than feel loathing for his fascism.
Am I any different? How am I different? Less talent but just as dysfunctional?
Can I only appreciate ‘The Ladies of Avignon” because I never knew Picasso?
Can I only listen to ‘I Am The Walrus’ because I never met Lennon?
Can I only watch ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ because I never sat down and had a conversation with John Ford?
Can I only stand to live with myself by being self-aware only of my art?
Have I chosen the wrong phase in life to quit drinkin’?
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.