The Art vs The Artist

Music is pretty much like religion. If you force it on to someone, it leaves a very peculiar taste in mouth. And so goes with any other kind of art form as well but you can’t close your ears to the music around.

Mostly people don’t distinguish between the two. If an artist has created something genius, the artist is considered to be a genius as well. Fandom of theirs starts considering them Godlike. All their moves, gestures, antics and styles are imitated. And then a certain point comes when even if the artist creates lowest grade of work by their own and general standard, no fan can ought to take it like a good loser. Although it is perfectly okay to be a non-genius sometimes but who will tell this to the fan!

There are certain songs which are easy to listen. Listen to it once, you will like or dislike it. Like ‘Get Lucky’ of Daft Punk. Listen to it once, and automatically your foot starts tapping. Then there are certain songs which take their time to ‘grow’ on you. I remember, it was 1999 when the movie ‘Taal’ was released and it was the first time when Subhash Ghai was collaborating with the genius AR Rahman. Rahman hadn’t won any Oscar then and had composed music for only a handful of Hindi films. Although, his genius was proven already thanks to the still his best work till date ‘Bombay’ and ‘Roja’. When I first heard the CD of Taal, I wasn’t particularly amused by it. It felt like weird experiments of uncommon instruments and usage of sounds of rain which were a rarity in Hindi Music. Though, after repeated listenings, I started liking the songs. Since then, I can relate to someone when they say they’re giving Rahman repeated plays to let the songs grow on them. This has gone a bit far now as there are a number of ‘Rahmaniacs’ who cannot believe that there could be some people who might have not liked the music of ‘Rockstar’, etc.

Eminem’s ‘Stan’ (and now ‘Bad Guy’) tell the story of fans who went berserk over the artist and took their works literally word by word. Well, majority of Eminem’s songs are referring to himself and he insists on telling his fans that love his music but leave him alone. Respect the artwork he has created but let him live the life he wants. Enjoy the songs but let him enjoy a peaceful supper with his family if he goes out in the evening to some restaurant. Usually, as it goes with any ‘star’, if they’re seen in public, people barge in on them and at times, the ‘star’ obliges to give auto & photographs. Though sometimes, given the pressure of looking good, carrying the ego of a public figure and amount of public going gaga over them, they lose their temper and misbehave. That’s why thinking of meeting your favourite artist is like trying to meet the president of some nation.

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter rock. And they just don’t rock like any other rockstar, they rock like no one does. I am talking about the guys behind Daft Punk. ‘Around the World’ hit me a long time ago and then I heard ‘Aerodynamic’, ‘Da Funk’, ‘Crescendolls’, etc and ‘Random Access Memories’ has made me their permanent fan. And this is where they (and Eminem too for a bit) hold me from becoming a fanatic. They don’t appear much on TV, don’t give many interviews, and when they do, they are always in their super brilliant disguise with those amazing Helmets. Their point of view is that they want their music to take the front stage and let their personal details stay hidden underneath those lovely Robotic Helmets (which go by the kind of music they create).

To put it simply, the art will surely outlive the artist. I am going to cherish the art more and worry less about the artist. I am going to give full respect to the artist for creating that art which moved me but I am also going to show my discomfort with the art by the same artist which failed to impress me.