So, I just saw the video for the new Eminem and it brought up a question about the role and rights of the artist. Yeah, I know what you're thinking... Eminem, an artist, seriously? But it wasn't his work itself that got me thinking. Instead, it was the placement of himself among the atom-bombed wasteland of Detroit as if that is still the life that he leads.
I have to admit that I was inordinately pissed off at the presumption that he retains the slightest inkling of what it is like to no be obscenely rich. Until I starting thinking about the fact that that is what artists do, when they are doing it right.
Yes, anything an artist creates is a reflection of themself, but anyone worth their salt has to start looking outward at some point. As obsessed as I am with fiction, what pulls me in about it is that desire to place myself in another's world, to understand them and their life. All of my favorite authors have made their careers out of placing themselves in the heads of people entirely different from themselves.
To be pushy about it, maybe that is the role of the artist: to show us the lives of others as refracted through themselves and to open up our view of the world.
I think this whole thing was a tad self-indulgent.