North Texas Daily

Is it possible to disconnect the art from the artist?

Is it possible to disconnect the art from the artist?

Is it possible to disconnect the art from the artist?
February 03
09:30 2020

It has happened more than once and will most likely happen again when a well-known artist is involved in a scandal that more or less goes against our universal values. When it erupts, it becomes a very controversial matter and is seen in news headlines for a couple of weeks before it simmers down and you do not hear about it again. It is argued that their art is just so good that we are able to overlook their mistakes and move on with our lives. After all, we are only human. But where do we draw the line?

In all honesty, at least for me, there is no clear answer to this dilemma. On one end, there are people who agree that a work of art should be separated from the artist and that we should let it speak for itself. On the other end, there are people who agree that by continuing to support an artist, we are excusing their actions.

The first artist that comes to mind when I ask myself this question is Melanie Martinez. Martinez became well known after she was a contestant on the hit TV show, “The Voice.” I was 13 when I discovered her music and instantly felt a connection with her lyrics and the way that she presented her art. Then, in 2017 she was accused of sexually assaulting her best friend at the time. Although they were only allegations and no one ever wants to discredit someone who is considered the victim in this situation, many fans of Melanie Martinez defended her and recently she was able to release a new album that I think does a good job of addressing several social issues that our society is dealing with to this date. 

Melanie Martinez is not the only artist that has been accused of similar things. Several other artists like R.Kelly, Chris Brown, XXXTentacion and Drake have several allegations of misconduct to their name that makes me wonder if it is possible to disconnect the art from the artist because they are still heavy influencers in the music industry. This includes artists from different decades as well, like John Lennon who beat his first wife and David Bowie who interacted with underaged girls. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was also at one point involved in a scandal where he was accused of child molestation. 

We must also realize that events that are controversial do not only happen in the music industry but also happen everywhere in the entertainment industry. A great example of this, would be actress Gina Rodriguez blurting out a racial slur on her Instagram live that did not go unnoticed

Art that has culturally impacted our society and that is used as a reference to good art is also created by considerably bad people. An example would be Wagner, who along with other artists in his time, was very anti-Semitic.

All this to say that there is no clear answer to this question. It is all up to us on what we decide to listen to and where we draw the line. One may consider it just music to the ears and others might consider it immoral.

Featured Illustration: Olivia Varnell

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Maresa Inestroza

Maresa Inestroza

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