WordPress Daily Prompt: Art Appreciation
Do you need to agree with an artist’s lifestyle or politics to appreciate their art? To spend money on it?
In order to truly love art do you need to know where it comes from, and what emotional baggage brought it to life?
If I blindly look at works of art without knowing anything about the artist… Then yes, I can appreciate the art for the art. But say I DO know something about the artist: what if he raped a child – can I still love what he does?
Could I watch a Polanski movie and love it? Or is his past just an excuse to not like his overly confusing flics? Come to think of it, have I ever even watched a Polanski movie from start to end? Am I simply relieved that I think he needs to be behind bars, and almost happy that I can just be uppity about the whole thing and claim he’s below my standards because I don’t have the intellectual capacity to fully understand his work?
Oh the pain of admitting such a personal defect.
Can I still appreciate Mel Gibson’s work knowing he is a man riddled with hatred and anger? This makes me struggle. The last time I watched Apocolypto I sat there with so many emotions. I love that movie – yet when I think of its creator I remind myself of his recorded messages maniacally left out-of-breathedly on his ex’s answering machine. And I think of his racism and anti-Semitism. And then I will usually say it out loud: why does he have to be such an asshat? How can such beauty come from a creep?
On the opposite end of the spectrum – does knowing certain aspects of an artist’s life influence my love for his work? When I look at a Van Gogh am I more touched by his work because his was a tormented soul? Yes. I think so. Or does his work speak to me, one tormented soul to another?
This question leads to another: why the hell do we need to know so much personal details about these people? Their art/work is public, shouldn’t their lives be private?
What are your thoughts?
This is my submission for today’s daily prompt. Submit yours now and let me know when or if you do so I can come over and read it then tell you how wrong you are… 😉