It Is Impossible to Separate the Artist from Their Art

Face the uneasy fact that you cannot separate the art from the artist, and your support for their work provides validation of the artists actions and ideologies.

Here is the key to this entire argument, right up front.

Everybody is an artist, and they themselves are a product of their own creativity.

(or lack thereof)

From the idealist perspective, there could be no more apparent truth. The self arises as a manifestation of the individuals concept of their own self. We are our own ‘ontological primitives’, as a friend of mine would say. We are the great masters that make the grass green, which includes the apparent form that is utilized in our own experiences of self. Each of us appears as the objective image of our own internal narrative of who we are.

However even from a normative realist/materialist perspective, psychology and other scientific disciplines tell us pretty much the same thing. The self is a self construct. While it takes clues from the historical and circumstantial narratives of its environment, we are the ultimate curator of who we are. Whether you color inside the lines or disregard them entirely, who you are depends on what you put into being you.

Those with a lack of abundance in creativity will simply absorb the most normative narratives and scripts of those around them. Though I admit it appears quite condescending, these are the folks I sometimes call non-player characters, low stakes rollers on the wheel of free will.

Those who have demonstrated a capacity for creative achievement are therefore seemingly more self-responsible for their character flaws and ethical deficiencies. In the case of the artist, the ultimate work being their own self, their personal issues are also their art.

Their other works of art then arise from the same source as their shortcomings, and are therefore also a reflection of them. Their art is a product of the same maligned inspiration and motives of their ideas and actions. The art and the artist are inseparable.

When you support art, you support the artist’s character flaws. When you promote art, you promote the artists personality defects. When you advocate for art, you advocate for the artists maligned motivations. The consumption of art in a capitalist system of centralized celebrity provides rewards to the artist, whether it be fame, fortune or simple credibility. The art and the artist are inseparable.

It is convenient, opportunistic and intellectually lazy to attempt to escape this logic, but that does not change the outcomes. Artists with a fan base thrive, even if they are complete and utter bigots, blowhards and/or hypocrites. And they set the tone for what kind of art and artists receive support from the system and its dependent audience. In effect, you also become one with the artist and their art, and share equal responsibility in the perpetuation of depravity they represent.

There is no inconsequential support of an art or artist. As a creator myself I value each and every show of support, promotion and advocacy greatly. Regardless of whether the person giving them means only to reward my work, I regard each of these as an act of personal encouragement. And when I am derided or ignored, that feels personal, too. And when someone donates because they appreciate what I am doing, that helps me be able to do more of it. Ahem….I said, when someone donates…

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“I agree that nonsense makes perfect sense and that I am the Dungherder. I can put my foot right in the pile and get my slice-o-the pie.”

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