The Fragile Artist
The role of the artist in society is such a complicated one. It’s hard on all involved. To the point where sometimes it breaks society when the artist is an advocate for change. And sometimes the artist gets broken when they can’t handle the pressure of their role.
What is the difference between someone who seeks money and fame and an artist? Who can only succeed due to technology rather than talent. Their audience looks for talent, and a larger attachment. To their gods, country and community. To their own journey and family. In a way that allows others to feel empathy &/or identify with the artists’ work.
Artists need to find a way to express their self and culture, without being fake, falsely positive or an apologist for it’s ills. To be an honest critic. To advocate for positive change. To avoid being a negative influence. And to be a safe place for people to feel what the art evokes. For the art to be a distraction from real life and a social and moral model. While being an escape from reality.
It’s hard to be an artist now when your life is on display, with either the media, paparazzi &/or social media. It’s difficult to find the sweet spot where you are allowing your audience to connect with you. Without being a cult of personality, or opening your gut for them to feed on you. Or working to a place of depletion and destruction. Where not only does your art no longer matter, but neither does your life. So many works of art are lost when the artists achieves this state of being.
And then you worry if something you’ve done offends your audience or backers. And you lose your investment in your image. That could come from something in your history, or how you live the artistic ‘lifestyle’.
In all the genres and styles of art in each type, looking for the novel in loops of sameness is a pretty hard thing to do. And very few survive the struggle with honour and dignity.
Which leaves us questioning if we can still love our idol when they’ve fallen off the pedestal. The ones who stand the test of time tend to be ones people don’t actually know much about. They just show us their genius.