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The Student News Site of Coral Springs Charter School

Paw Print

The Student News Site of Coral Springs Charter School

Paw Print

Separating the art from the artist

Sophia Kaklias
Justin Humphrey holding Kanye’s new album

When is it too far to say that you separate the art from the artist? This phrase refers to enjoying a creator’s work without influence from their personal opinions or actions, usually referring to music today. This is a debate that has been ongoing throughout every form of creativity, such as visual art, literature, and such. I believe it’s possible to appreciate an artist’s work without impact from their belief- yet the question is, how far is too far? What is the limit of where an artist’s personal behavior, morals, or beliefs should impact our perception of their work?

An argument is that the value of a piece of art is in its qualities, emotional or intellectual impact, or craftsmanship. An artist’s personal life should not overshadow the artistic value of the work itself. Others argue that the artist’s life choices and beliefs are necessary to enjoy the work. Artist’s works are often reflective of themselves, their experience, and their values. This would make it difficult to separate work from the creator. This separation majorly lies on how public the artist’s actions are or how morally objectionable they acted. It can be difficult to separate actions from the creator, depending on severity.

What are your general thoughts on the concept of separating art from the artist?
“I think that it’s okay to separate art from the artist; I don’t have an opinion on it, the concept is fine.”- Kayla Kreisler, Grade 12

How do you think public perception and media coverage impact our ability to separate art from the artist?
“I’d say that the media is twisting your mind… that might not be true about an artist, for the perception of the most popular audience. People are too quick to look up their own opinion on an artist because they see others saying the same.” -Justin Humphrey, Grade 11

When does an artist’s wrongdoing become “part of their past,” rather than a reason to dislike them?
“When it has a direct and lasting impact on the future, it will stay. If it doesn’t, people will forget.” -Paul Dzialowski, Grade 12

Have you personally experienced challenges or conflicts when trying to separate art from the artist? Can you share an example?
“I stopped listening to Tory Lanez after he shot Megan Thee Stallion in the foot, because I just could not listen to his music the same.” -Brianna Gilluly, Grade 11

Are there artists where you find it difficult to separate the art from the artist?
“Yes, like Kanye West. His music is very influential, and I feel like the concepts he talks about in real life he puts into his music. He is antisemitic in real life but mentions Jews in his work.” Natalia Gallo, Grade 11

Natalia’s mention of Kanye highlights the overheard conversation about whether it’s okay to like Kanye’s new album. Kanye released a new album on February 9th, and even critics are having trouble deciding if it’s okay to separate his work from his actions. People argue that it’s okay to enjoy his music if you separate the artist from the art, but it is troubling when there is mention of Jewish women in his song after his antisemitic comments. Societal perspectives on separating art from the artist have evolved over time. A strong example would be Michael Jackson; when he was accused of being weird with children, it wasn’t a concern to people but more rather a joke.

The decision to separate work from the creator is subjective and shaped by the viewer. Individual beliefs, values, and personal thresholds are for each to their own, and it comes down to how much you are willing to defend, dismiss, or condemn your favorite creator.

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About the Contributor
Sophia Kaklias
Sophia Kaklias, Business & Marketing Manager
Sophia Kaklias is a senior. She has been an active member of Paw Print since her freshman year. She is a DECA executive and a member of multiple clubs, such as STEM. She hopes to one day use her knowledge of journalism in her dream of becoming a doctor. In her free time, she can be found reading.

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