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Why people become artists? What are the reasons of their choice: to leave everything they have and to follow the call of their souls? Answering this question, we have several points of view: either it is money or a steady need for a person to do what he or she wants.
In this case, we can ask one more question: what is the author/artist responsible for? For his/her audience or for his/her work. If we want to give a proper answer, we should take into account the previous questions and answers to them.
If the author writes a poem or a novel for himself, surely that he will be responsible only for writing his work. In this case, having written the work, he gave a part of his soul to this work, moreover he made a general observation of his life, he used an experience from his own life, he put on the paper his thoughts, dreams, aims, or wishes. But the key point is he and himself. As a result, his work will be only for himself as he wanted just to express on the paper things which he is not able to share in verbal speech or through his actions. The same things are with artists. There are a lot of paintings which are hard to understand and sometimes even impossible.
Let’s take Malevich’s “A Black Quadrate”. Who is able to explain the real meaning of this painting? There are no doubts that there will be a huge number of thoughts, but we are talking about the real meaning. The answer is simple: only an artist knows the real meaning of his work. There is also another example: Salvador Dali. His works caused discussions all over the world. No one can say that this author is genius. But why he used this style? What is the meaning of some of his works? Probably, it is only he who know the real answer.
So, we gave one answer to the asked question, moreover we explained why the artists/author is responsible only for his work without paying attention whether the future generation or some connoisseurs of art would understand the real meaning of his works.
Fortunately or not, there is also another point of view: if an author or artist uses his talent only to earn money. In this case, we are coming to another situation, in order to earn money the authors have to know their audience, their needs, desires, what they want to see, listen, read, etc. Moreover, the knowledge of this will give them opportunities to make such kind of work which “consumers will buy”. In this case, author will mostly thing about what he need to do but not what he really wants to do. Moreover, in some cases, the artists/author won’t even think about their wishes if they consider the things what they do only as a job.
As for example, let’s take today’s cartoons which have a lots of series, i.e. “Family Guy” or “SpongeBob SquarePants”. I have huge doubts that people who created and continued to make episodes to these cartoons really thought about what they want to do. These examples of “masterpiece” are nothing more than just commerce, that are aimed to take an attention of young people in order to make them watch the product.
But what if the work of the artist/author is the combination of both positions that we have mentioned above? Or, for example, what if the author/artists started to write or paint his work and when it was finished or almost finished, the creator decided to share with the product of his creation? I mean the situation when one point of view is mixed with another one, when “the call of the soul” became “the call of the mind” and later “the call of money”.
As for an example, we can take under the consideration well-known books of “Harry Potter” written by Joanne Rowling. According to her words, the idea was to write a history about the young boy “who survived”, who has a magic power, awesome friends, ideals, principles and who fight against the dark side and evil in general. Moreover, who can do his best to finish with all evil; and this was in Joanne’s mind for a long time. She started to write this story because she wanted to express herself, to put her thoughts, her ideas, and her imagination on paper and to create something worth being read in the future.
But what has happened later? The story of “Harry Potter” become incredibly popular not only in Great Britain (where the author is from)and even in Europe; furthermore it became popular all over the world and made her seven books about “the boy who survived” great examples of modern literature. In mostly schools on different continents, the books about Harry’s story became a part of the school’s program.
Answering our question, this example shows how one idea (i.e. the idea of self-expression) became an opportunity to gain popularity and to earn money. This example shows that it is possible to express yourself in any possible way, not only which the audience will understand and enjoy.
Previously, we answered the question based on the reason why we have works of art which we don’t understand. However, if to take the same questions but to answer them from another point of view, I mean, let’s not take reasons but just a result. Under word “result” I mean the perception of the work by the audience and the audience in general. What do we really understand under words “the audience”? What is it? Can tree-five people be considered as an audience? My answer is simple: there is no matter how many people like the works of the author/artists but if there are at least several people who admire, enjoy and share these feelings with other, I can consider them as an audience.
In such a situation, the author doesn’t need to pay attention to the things how he creates, which words he uses, what colors he paints with or to some other things which are used during his work. Here, the main point is in what one is doing and his own perception of the work. In this case, if he doesn’t like it, he will not show it to anyone (i.e. the Gogol’s trilogy “Dead Souls”: the second part was destroyed by the author himself). But if the author likes his work, even small audience will be the first people who will be able to enjoy the results of author’s work.
However, this situation is more utopian than real. In real life, the works which are published, the paintings which take part on the exhibition are either really good one and can be accepted by at least big audience, or they are already made by well-known artists/authors. There are situations when the artists/authors just have a lot of money and can pay themselves for the publishing of their work or an exhibition of their sculptures/paintings. Unfortunately, this is a real life situation we live in, in the world where money dominates and even really talented people die as they are invisible in this world.
And the final question which has already been asked but not answered clearly: should the artist/author pay attention on his work only or one has to express and create from the point of view of the audience, making these works understandable for each of us?
Partly, the answers to these questions have been given already. We took into consideration several positions and made observation which gave us different results. So, do we have a concrete answer: “yes” or “no”, “variant one” or “variant two”; what is more important: “self-expression of the artist/author” or “perception of the audience”? I think that each author/artist should give his/her own answer based on what he believes in. It’s not we who can decide instead of others which way they should go, what steps they have to make, what decision is better for them. The same position is to be taken here: we can’t tell the masters what they have to do and in which way they have to create. There is nothing we can do here.
The only thing we can really do is to enjoy the works of those whom we really like, watch those movies or cartoons which make us happy, in some or the other way influence our life in a good way. Moreover, enjoy that masterpieces of art, that paintings which mean something for us or which we just like.
Hope that everyone will understand that only talent and works differ an “artist” from a “simple person”, and only society and our perception of these works make a “celebrity” from a “simple artist”, but only in the minds of all of us.