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Separating the artist from the art . . . What do you think?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2009.12  

Asked at 2009.12.18 01:24:58
The following is a post I read while looking something up online this morning (the question follows it):
"It is important to be able to separate the artist from the art. They have nothing to do with on another. If you read some of the Ezra Pound, TS Elliot and John Crowe Ransom essays on literary criticism, their main point is that the only person who is unfit to actually interpret a work of art is the creator of said art, simply because there is no way to separate ones self from your art enough to keep all of the underlying psychological influences from your life from affecting ones own interpretation of a piece.

It is sort of analogous to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in Quantum Mechanics. The observer cannot observe a system without altering the system he is observing. Thus, the artist cannot give an interpretation of his work without obfuscating the true meaning (if there be such a thing) because of a lifetime of psychological factors that cannot be looked at independently without changing the meaning or interpretation of the work in a way that does not reflect the work itself apart from the psychology.

Anyway, the meaning of art is based solely on the observer and not on the artwork or the artist, only on what the work invokes in the observer."
I know this isn't a new topic, but what do you think? Do you agree that the artist should be separate from the art? That the artist and art "have nothing to do with one another"? Do you let your opinion of the artist influence your opinion of their work? Is that a concious choice?

What does that mean for the artist?
answer TSR  Answered at 2009.12.18 01:24:58
No, I don't believe an artist can separate himself from his art. I mean...where is it coming from if not his emotions--even his subconcious?

The Picture of Dorian Gray is my favorite book, and I agree with Basil's view on it--that all artists put a little of themselves into their paintings. However, when he painted the picture of Dorian, it felt like he was exposing his own -soul- and refused to let the public view it.

I feel Eliot was witnessing the hardships and suffering of the people around him, the loneliness and ugliness of the world after the war, and wrote about it for the people that didn't have the ability to voice it themselves. But it was for him, too. "The Waste Land" is actually supposed to be therapeutic, and takes you through the entire grieving process.

However, I do believe that just because the artist puts a little of himself into his work, doesn't mean that it can't and shouldn't be interpreted in different ways by different people. What may mean one thing to me, may mean something else to you, and something completely different to its creator.

***by the way, welcome back, arabesque! How did your exams go?
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