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SavoirFaire's avatar

Have you ever liked an artist without being familiar with their work (see details)?

Asked by SavoirFaire (20349 points ) January 8th, 2012

Here is the thought that generated this question:

While it might go too far to say that one could be a fan of an artist without both being familiar with and liking their work, it seems possible that one could hear about the kind of work an artist does and think “I’m glad someone out there is doing that kind of thing.” This might lead to a certain amount of respect for the artist despite not knowing quite how their ideas are executed. I suppose this also gives rise to the question of whether or not it is possible to like an artist despite disliking their work.

Have you ever felt this way about an artist? If so, who was the artist and what about their work inspired approval in advance of seeing the execution? Also, do you think it is possible to like an artist despite disliking their work?

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Nope. That would be becoming a fan because of a critic’s statement. I’ve had critic’s pieces lead me to view something, but I don’t let them make up my mind.

I can’t tell if something new “works” unless i have seen it myself.

ddude1116's avatar

I have, if by “like” you mean the concept of their art is intriguing. I usually try to become at least somewhat familiar with an artist’s work, which is fairly simple, thanks to Google, before I can tell if I like them or not. The most honest situation I’ve been in like this is the anticipation before I experience it myself. As for liking an artist despite disliking their works, there are a few artists I like and I recognize them as talented, but I don’t like any of the art they make. And vice-versa, too, Three Kings was a fantastic movie, but David O Russell is a major asshole.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@zenvelo The question separates liking an artist from being a fan, though. I don’t think they are the same thing. Moreover, it could be one of the artist’s own statements that gets you to think the idea is interesting.

@ddude1116 I mean “like” as in appreciating that the artist is doing what they are doing. Finding the concept intriguing might be part of that for some people.

zenvelo's avatar

@SavoirFaire Unless I personally know the artist, “liking” an artist and being “a fan” are just a matter of degree. But that distinction doesn’t change my approach: I can’t like an artist based on a conversation or discussion but must see the work to judge the work on its own terms.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Fair enough. Just wanted to clarify.

fundevogel's avatar

Duchamp! I don’t think there is very much of his work out there to be seen, but he had a lot to say and was an absolutely fascinating person. He practically made art of talking about art.

downtide's avatar

I don’t think I can share an example of your first question but I can with the second; liking an artist without liking their work. In my case that would be Lady Gaga. Her music really isn’t my kind of thing at all, but I like her because I’ve seen and read interviews with her, and I like her attitude.

linguaphile's avatar

I don’t know if this counts but… I met an art photographer and was head-over-heels over him as a person, so naturally went head-over-heels without hesitation over his art when I saw it. Later when I was finally right in the head and right side up, I saw his art again and was still head-over-heels over his art, but not him as a person.

augustlan's avatar

As soon as I heard about this guy on Facebook, I was immediately intrigued by the idea of his works. He “paints” with butterfly wings! The idea was really exciting to me, so I went and looked at his stuff. While it’s not my style, I really admire the ingenuity and skill it requires.

ddude1116's avatar

@SavoirFaire Then yes, I’ve done that, and I do that in the interim of familiar and unfamiliar.

Theremin's avatar

This is exactly how I feel about John Cage. I learned about him first in music history classes and thought all of his ideas sounded really cool. The more I heard about his work, the more I thought “I love this guy, he sounds so cool!” Then I learned about how he crossed over into other arts, how his music, his hobbies, his obsessions, and his religious beliefs all merged together and I just liked him even more. I had a lot of respect for him before I had really heard a lot of his music.

I’ve listened to recordings of most of his compositions now and I think I like a little more than half of them as pieces of music. I love all of the ideas, but sometimes the actual final product is not to my taste. This is true of lots of composers I like, so it doesn’t bother me. But my admiration for Cage as a composer is maybe slightly out of proportion with my love of his work. He was a great composer and a great musician even if some of his works can be a little boring or a little unimpressive.

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