Opinion: The eclipse of artistic expression


Sanjana Iyer is a sophomore fashion merchandising major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected].

Sanjana Iyer

We live in a world today where every department store we visit has stacks of tabloid magazines at the checkout counter, and a significant portion of the population derives their daily dosage of entertainment by tuning into a reality TV show.

Is fame and celebrity status beginning to overshadow pure artistic expression?

From a very young age, a majority of us are exposed to the brilliant works of artists who have been revered for generations. We study Shakespeare in schools and universities and admire the works of great painters such as Da Vinci and Van Gogh and every year, we celebrate the accomplishments of the most skilled actors of our generation at the Academy Awards.

There is definitely a certain amount of respect given to artistic expression at its finest; some people are still pioneers of this and hold no bars to unleashing their creative potential in the most exquisite ways.

But ever since the dawn of “celebrity status,” that is, not a by-product of an accomplished artistry, the true recognition that belongs to artistic skill is very slowly but gradually being eclipsed.

What breaks my heart is that majority of today’s youth is being not only entertained but also influenced by these “celebrities.” The decisions they make, the clothes they wear and more importantly, the career goals they pursue are all driven by this unhealthy thirst for fame.

But what is fame, anyway? When it has no real grounding to it, it can completely destroy even the slightest potential for artistic expression. Without a creative backing, fame is nothing but a hollow self-consuming phenomenon.

In some cases, artists handle their fame so well that it accelerates their growth and encourages them to tap even more into their potential. I’d like to highlight the importance of these artists who stay true to their work and use fame as a catalyst to bring out the best in their skills.

These are the people who stay grounded, as an inspiration to all of us who have a creative bone in our body waiting to be expressed in some manner. These are the people who find immortality in lives that are so very mundane and fleeting and find something real to contribute to the society.

These are the people we need to be looking up to.  

 You can never put a price on the value of a pure channeling of creative energy that is undisturbed by today’s standards of morality and culture. Nations are busy fighting each other, and religious groups are busy arguing about whose beliefs are the closest representation of universal truth.

Amidst this, when an artist finds inspiration and motivation enough to express his or her unrestricted potential, it not only moves the audience but also comforts and assures us that creativity can never, and should never be curbed.