When we make art, are we not inherently that art? What I mean is, all of our experiences have influenced us in some way, making us who we are, so when we go to create something artistic, aren’t we capturing ourselves in that moment of time?
If we were to extend the range of what “art” is and go as far as to say that art is anything that anyone has created, then content on YouTube could be considered art. Under this lens, I would say that art is definitely a part of the artist. Look to vlogging, where those kinds of videos are meant to capture a moment in time in a person’s life, and along with it, their personality. Who they are is reflected, to a large extent, in those vlogs. And I’m not dismissing the fact that many people are different in front of a camera compared to how they are in real life. But the fact that vlogs are meant to depict real life shows that the art of showing life fully encompasses the creator, especially when the content is geared specifically towards him or her.
But what about the other side of the spectrum? What happens when an artist creates content that is not intended to be a part of them? For example, There is an artist called “Banksy,” who shares politically charged messages with the public by anonymously leaving graffiti over different cities. Nobody has ever seen his face. Nobody even knows if Banksy is a man.
At that point, is the politically charged persona that Banksy has made for himself separate from his actual identity? Looking to the intent of his art, to be separate from himself, I would say that the artist does put some distance between himself and his art. I’m not dismissing the idea that in essence, the art, when crafted in such a way – sharing political views, is completely separate from the artist. The artist needs to have an opinion in order to share it. But it does create an interesting dynamic between the art and the artist.
I feel like at the end of the day, we have to look to the intent of the artist. Is the art intended to be attached to the artist? Self Portraits definitely are. I just think that we have to look to the intent of the artist when they share their art, and then and only then, can we determine whether or not the art is separate from the artist.