Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Re: The art as the artist...

I read a blog a while back by a reader who had discovered a really unpleasant side to one of her favorite authors via the author's blog. She'd found herself less enthusiastic about buying that author's books and felt a little guilty about it. Her husband thought she was wrong and gave her the spiel about the artist being separated from the art. I've gotten that spiel a few times myself, especially from my mother, who is a very talented painter.

In the indominitable words of Nero Wolf, "Phooey!" I don't buy it. If I know that an artist, be they a writer, painter, actor or musician is a person I cannot respect or like (and I'm honest enough to admit my reasons wouldn't be everyone's), I make no bones about not buying or appreciating that person's art. There's just too much good art out there by people I do admire and like...or don't know enough about to feel one way or the other about. :)

Great artists who are mean people should probably keep their mean side under wraps or stay out of the public eye, don't you think? It only makes sense to me, but if they are going to hang out there with some big ugly wart on their chin, then they need to just live with the fact that fans are going to notice. Especially this fan. :)

I have never been able (or wanted) to separate the artist from the art. In my early twenties, I refused to buy a painting by a woman who had left her husband and children (one of whom was my little sister's best friend) to run off with her teenage lover. Everyone touted the painting as phenom investment, including my artist mother. Me, I didn't want to invest in someone's career that could be that callous to her children. Did the painting go up in price? You bet. Do I regret not making the purchase? Her art took off, but her children didn't thrive after her rejection nearly as well. I don't read books by authors who have been unkind to people I care about or who criticize my favorite genre romance either.

Life is too short to waste it on the mean people. So, I don't. How about you? Do you sit firmly in my mom's camp...the art is separate from the artist, or mine...if the artist isn't worth my time, neither is his or her art...or somewhere in between? I won't be offended if you disagree with me. I adore my mom to pieces and she does. :)



lidia said...


Interesting topic. I tend to agree with you. I wouldn't want someone that I don't like -- for whatever reason -- to profit from me. That would include art, books, CDs, movies, etc... I believe that a person's character makes him/her what they are. I don't see how you can totally separate that from their art since in a way that is what makes them an artist in the first place (Did that make any sense?).

I know that many people will disagree with me but for me this also runs into politics. If I cannot respect a person, and don't like things in their character, I don't understand how they can be trusted to "do the right thing."

By the way, I am really enjoying reading the extra scenes about Veronica and Marcus. They provide good background information -- also point to reason why Veronica "betrayed" her boss in the first place. Though I think she could have told him (not Marcus) what was going on. I have no doubt that he would have helped her. But then again, her pride probably wouldn't allow her to do that. Can't wait for their story to be on the shelves.

Karen Kelley said...

I agree with you 100%, Lucy!

Lucy Monroe said...

[I wouldn't want someone that I don't like -- for whatever reason -- to profit from me.]

Lidia...I think that is exactly what makes me feel the way I do. :) As for Veronica's reasons for not going to'll find them in 'Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It'. I promise!


Hugs to you both,

Reese said...

Very interesting topic, Lucy. I tend to agree. If you have a bad experience with an artist (you meet them and they're bitchy, or something like that), the experience can't help but color the way you see the art. That's just life.

We give historical figures a little more leeway, though. They had their follies, but it tends to dissipate into anecdotes after 50 years or so. I think Jackson Pollock was a ornery little dweeb, but I'd buy one of his paintings (if I had about 20 mill. to spare).

Imagine how many people Picasso ticked off in his day! Yikes!


Lucy Monroe said...

LOL I think you may be right, although I still have no interest in going to a museum showing of Picasso despite the fact that I love most cubist art. I do enjoy a Rembrant though even if he wasn't the only person in his family who starved for his art.