Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/11572-Art-vs-Artist.html
Drama: September 21, 2022 Issue [#11572]

 This week: Art vs. Artist
  Edited by: Kittiara
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

Have you ever loved a piece of art created by someone you dislike? If so, how did this make you feel?

This week's Drama Newsletter is all about whether or not it's possible to separate the art from the artist.


Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

Can you separate the art from the artist? It is something I have struggled with over the years, and I know that I am not alone.

There are those who believe it to be possible in all cases. The argument goes that it does not matter what an artist gets up to in their day-to-day lives, nor does it matter what views and beliefs they hold, as the art stands on its own. It should be judged on its own merit – as something separate to its creator.

I can understand this argument. There is plenty to be said for it – I often see a piece of art, or watch a TV series, or a movie, without knowing anything about the people involved in its creation. I am not someone who tends to read celebrity news. That means that I do tend to judge what I watch (or read, or listen to) as I find it. And yet…

I have been a Guns N’ Roses fan since I first saw the video of Paradise City on MTV, way back in the 80s. I was a young teenager, living in the Netherlands, and like any teenager I had their posters on my wall. Back then, I did read some celebrity news, in the form of those pop magazines whose interviews consisted of nothing deeper than questions about a musician’s favourite food or colour. I knew that GN’R were a rock band, obviously, and that they sometimes caused some damage to hotel rooms, but that was part of the scene back then. I was blissfully oblivious to anything else. There was just their music, and with English not being my native language I was ignorant, too, to the deeper meaning of some of their songs. I had no idea, for example, that Nightrain wasn’t about a party train, nor that Mr. Brownstone wasn’t about some creepy old man. Having loved Duran Duran for a while before I encountered GN’R, I was used to odd lyrics.

It wasn’t until later, much later, that I found out about their problematic history. When I did, I hoped that it was, indeed, in the past, and that they’d become better people. It is possible to change, after all. I figured that many of them are in a serious relationship, and they have kids, and that requires a certain level of maturity. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. Axl wears t-shirts with women dumped in trash cans. And one of their most recent songs contains lyrics that I cannot possibly replicate in this newsletter, but they’re really rather gross. I cannot deny that the information gained, and the lack of change, have affected my love of the band. I also cannot deny, however, that it’s difficult to step away from them completely – I still love the songs that were a part of my youth.

That there is a line that ought not be crossed by an artist – at least, for me – is evident in the case of the Lostprophets. If you are unfamiliar with what happened I do not recommend looking it up. Their singer committed some sickening crimes, and I am not alone in never wanting to hear his voice ever again. That is an extreme case, though, and the fact of the matter is (sadly) that there are so many movies, and shows, and songs that are (or could be) affected by the actions of those involved in their creation.

I used to love Glee, but there’s Mark Salling. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my best-loved series ever, but I’ve since learned that there were bad things going on behind the scenes. Aerosmith? Problematic. Faith No More? Problematic. And so it continues.

Ignorance can be bliss. Sad but true. Once you know, though, what do you do? Do you step away from what you once loved, or attempt to overlook the knowledge that you now live with? It will vary from person to person, I suppose, and from case to case. Everyone will draw a different line in the sand – if they draw one at all.

We form a bond with the art that we love. This can go beyond the artist. If we love a novel, for example – and especially a novel series – the characters come to mean something to us, and the world that we explore alongside them becomes a part of us. We can choose not to return to that world, but the memories we created when there can never be erased. That is why, when calls go out on social media to ‘cancel’ this artist, ot that artist’s work, it’s not as straightforward as it seems. It’s all well and good to attempt to shame people for what they love, but a love once created is not that easy to let go of.

I know this all too well. GN’R’s music is a part of me, and it probably always will be. I may no longer look at them with the rose-tinted glasses of my youth, and I may no longer feel enchanted with their musical direction, but those albums of the 80s and the 90s are tightly interwoven with my memories of those days, and I can’t seem to let go.

We should, then, not be swift to judge others for their choice of novels/shows/movies/etc. We can only decide for ourselves what to keep, and what we can get ourselves to discard.


Editor's Picks

Some contests to inspire you:

Shadows and Light Poetry Contest  (E)
Do you love the challenge and creativity of free verse poetry? This contest is for you.
#1935693 by Choconut

Kit's Quick, Simple, Silly Activities  (13+)
Just some W.Com fun! Quick and simple to enter. Birthday edition!
#2072872 by Kittiara

The Bard's Hall Contest  (13+)
#981150 by StephBee & Warm Apple Pie

Poetry Topic of the Month Contest  (13+)
Win Exclusive MBs. It ends at midnight at the end of each month. Suggest the topic.
#2216416 by Sharmelles ExpressionsinPoetry

What Have You Learned On Writing.Com?  (13+)
A contest to show off your new skills. For Writing.Com's Birthday Week.
#2093196 by Kittiara

The LGBT Writing Contest  (18+)
Short story contest (with great prizes) for LGBT characters.
#1980539 by Osirantinous

The Dialogue 500  (18+)
Dialogues of 500 words or less.
#941862 by W.D.Wilcox

Kit'z Higher Ratings Contest  (18+)
A contest for items with a higher content rating.
#887621 by Kittiara

Spirits at Lighthouses Contest  (E)
Do you have what it takes to write about a Haunting?
#2128856 by Beacon - Pumpkin 8 Yrs

And don't forget:

Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest  (ASR)
Use the quote provided to write a story and win big prizes!
#1207944 by Writing.Com Support

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Ask & Answer

The Drama Newsletter Team welcomes any and all questions, suggestions, thoughts and feedback, so please don't hesitate to write in! *Smile*

Wishing you a week filled with inspiration,

The Drama Newsletter Team

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