The other day I stumbled upon a question that continues to stick with me: Do you judge an artist’s work regardless from his private life?
I was brought to this somewhat fundamental and controversial topic through the recent harrassment scandal concerning Hollywood-Star Kevin Spacey. Or former star I should probably say, for his carreer is buried either way.
Now, make no mistake about it: Needless to say, I judge the guy as much as anyone for what he did. However, in my opinion this does NOT turn him into a bad actor. Cruel as this sounds, but that molesting monster is one heck of an actor!
Back to the question: I wouldn’t mind if he finished the last episodes of „House of Cards“ starring as the somewhat greedy and ruthless bloke that he probably is to a good bit. I am not saying that it would be best to have rapist being played by rapists or some bullshit like that. Of course, anyone who does that belongs behind bars. We don’t really need to discuss that do we?!
So before I get cabbage thrown at me, let me draw the line here: For I have come to the point of seeing an artist like a house with different parts. And wile these different rooms do intertwine a bit, I ultimately like to see them as seperate entities of a bigger thing. Art is one of those rooms, private life another. And we all got stuff in our bedroom or bath we don’t want people to see. Or do you show a random visitor every room on the first tour?
Does that mean you can be an asshole and still one hell of a musician? Yeah, it does! I’ve experienced this first hand through my former lead guitarist. It’s not pretty of course, but maybe some art even lives from dirty secrets in your basement…
So ultimately, I’ve come to terms that I can call a guy an asshole and still admit that he has an incredible talent or skill. One hell of a kitchen, but a bath too dirty for a shit. So art is to be judged somewhat exclusively to me. Everybody loved Spacey when all the scandals were still underneath the surface. Why? Because he is an amazing actor with one Rockstar-Kitchen in his house.
Surely, there needs to be a line in the stand and artists can’t fuck around as much as they want. Not my point. And naturally, art can be ruined by their creators behaviour outside of it. I guess, I just have a higher tolerance when it comes to that.
The Karaoke moderator in the Pub I used to work in always refused to play R. Kelly songs. When I asked him one day why that was, he said because of the scandals and belly-peeing and that stuff. And all I am thinking is: Cracking tracks though… I mean, how many songs would we have to miss out on if you took that measure consequently? And how many guys out there perform superbly with their vices neatly tucked away underneath the staircase? In past and presence?
I guess in that specific case it’s the kitchen I am fascinated in again. Because peeing in the bedroom?! Dude, come on…