Thursday, January 29, 2009

Honesty, Art and Isolation

Good artists tend to be loners, and that is because a degree of social isolation is necessary for truth.

People tend to value honesty in others above other traits, and largely people are honest, and always aim to be honest with other people and to themselves, but there are social constraints that limit honesty. Sometimes it is rude to be too honest, or it is socially inappropriate. Those who always say what they think will be shunned and eventually end up friendless. Even in the most forgiving circumstances, compliments are sometimes necessary that do not reflect the perfectly balanced truth. Even news organisations soon discover that total honesty is not popular, and so end up taking a side. That is because being totally honest is not part of human nature. It seems that the skill to spin is part of being human, and despite ones best intentions to be open and honest with people, deception will inevitably appear.

Yet, good art should be totally honest, true, everlasting and uncompromising. For an artist to produce good art therefore, a certain amount of social rebelliousness is needed, to speak the truth even if it is unpleasant. Such acts will inevitably make enemies of friends. People can't handle the truth. The most powerful insults are truths. Thus the best artists are the ones who insult people the most, the best artists are the ones with the least friends, the most isolated, and the most recalcitrant. The people they encounter may grow to dislike them, yet humanity will appreciate them, and their art will be the best because they speak only the truth.

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