Artists of every kind have always been in the public domain, of sorts. If you were a painter in the 1800s the rich people wanted you at their parties as a kind of show-animal. Writers were often invited to ‘salons’ where the hostess would boast of her connection with said writer. The same goes for sculptors and musicians. “You simply must come and meet/play/bark for my friends.”
And artists did it. Why?
So many reasons.
Some really liked the adoration, right? It’s nice to be the in-thing, the one everyone wants to know. At least, it’s nice until it encroaches on your time to actually be an artist. And until people start telling you how to do your art “better”.
And art has never paid terribly well for most artists. So they took on patrons, people who would pay them to create. And that was always tit for tat, right? I pay, you bark. And at the big parties you might come across a new patron or two as well.
There are other reasons, too. But it brings me, in a long winded way, to this: in today’s world, do you deserve access to an artist? They’ve put their paintings/music/writing out there and you liked it. Does that mean you should now be privy to who they are, beyond the name? And if they don’t want to bark for you, do you diminish them by telling everyone how anti social they are?
How dare they not give you access to them as people? How dare they not open the curtains and let you see into their inner workings? You like their work—surely you have a right to know the person behind the creation, right?
(I hope you’re reading the deeply felt sarcasm here.)
I think today’s instant accesses world of social media has made that social domain of the artist much, much harder. Now it isn’t enough to simply enjoy the work. And, to be fair, you have some artists using those platforms to shout about their ugly beliefs. And that sucks.
And so maybe access is a two way thing. If an artist is going to be loud and shouty and a twatwaffle in public, then they’re opening the curtain for you.
But if an artist is just creating, and you like it, and they don’t have a public persona, maybe you can allow that curtain to stay closed without demanding it be open? Maybe, just maybe, you can simply appreciate what they’ve put out there. No, they may not get a lot of reach or patrons, but maybe they’re okay with that.
Maybe you can be too.