The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Creation Story

Are the art and the artist two separate beings?
Ruby Morris
Both J.K Rowling and Edgar Allen Poe are accomplished authors, but when do we separate the art from the artist?

Many artists who have risen to fame–bearing their best works into the world–represent, unfortunately, little of the beauty that is contained within those works. But do the morals of the artist do not alter the art?. The creator and the creation would appear to be entirely separate, so why is it so difficult to separate the two? 

In many cases, enjoying a work of art is harmless. Many authors in high school, for example, committed mistakes in their lives, ranging from infidelity to incest. Take Edgar Allan Poe, who married his underaged cousin, Virginia. He went as far as to fake his bride’s age on the marriage license in the name of “love.” 

Yet, none of his actions deem his art less than admirable. Though his moral compass was very much skewed, his writing talents continue to dominate many English classes well after his death.

Supporting the art in this case has no effect on Poe himself. His stories continue to be told, but he gains no financial benefit. There is a clear line of separation for many readers. It is likely that Poe fans love his writing, not his lifestyle.

In cases where the creator is alive, though, the argument of separating the art from the artist is tenuous. Many tend to mistake just how faint the line of separation really is, as a majority of creators directly benefit from the support they receive. 

The Harry Potter series illustrates the importance of consuming a work that actively funds the creator, who has not been immune to controversy. J.K. Rowling, the famous author who brought the magical world of the young wizard to life, has made her views on those who identify as transgender clear by making a series of exclusionary tweets

Rowling has faced backlash, even from the lead actor of Harry Potter movies, Daniel Radcliffe. However, Rowling remains enormously successful, with a net worth that distinguishes her as the world’s richest author . Because her works continue to sell well, Rowling’s net worth continues to grow. 

In this sense, the enjoyment of Harry Potter books and movies and Rowling’s own financial prosperity are strongly linked. Rowling still reaps the rewards of her writing, with the popularity of the series extending to theme parks, created by Universal. 

Considering how Harry Potter has won over many children’s hearts, it can be hard to let a beloved series go. But it is also incorrect to claim that enjoying Harry Potter and supporting J.K. Rowling are entirely separate, because they can never truly be separate as she benefits from those who enjoy her work. 

It is tempting to think that we can support the art, but not the artist, if we consume the work via pirating, which, of course, is illegalIt is true that this method does not directly benefit the creator, but it is also easy to overlook the power of words. Even if one chooses to obtain media illegally but actively discusses it with others, the creator still benefits from these words. It is difficult to truly dethrone an immensely popular artist, as word of mouth continues to fuel their established popularity. 

Enjoyment of art can theoretically occur apart from the artist, but in reality, it is quite hard to do so when the artist continues to benefit.

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About the Contributor
Teju Annamaraju
Teju Annamaraju, Staff Writer
Teju is a senior at NASH. Outside of school, she dances and, when she has free time, likes to write and code websites. She is always sleepy and tries hard to pay attention in period 1 Physics.

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