Nick Cave has spoken out on whether it is possible to “separate the art from the artist”.
The musician addressed the topic as part of his latest post on his Red Hand Files website, where he answers questions sent in by his fans.
Cave was asked “should we separate the artist from the art?” by Shelly from Amsterdam, with Cave responding: “I don’t think we can separate the art from the artist, nor should we need to.”
The artist continued: “I think we can look at a piece of art as the transformed or redeemed aspect of an artist, and marvel at the miraculous journey that the work of art has taken to arrive at the better part of the artist’s nature.
“Perhaps beauty can be measured by the distance it has travelled to come into being.”
Cave was also asked by Carlos from Recife, Brazil for his “definition of hope”, and he combined his answer to that question with the discussion about “separating the art from the artist”.
“That bad people make good art is a cause for hope,” he said. “To be human is to transgress, of that we can be sure, yet we all have the opportunity for redemption, to rise above the more lamentable parts of our nature, to do good in spite of ourselves, to make beauty from the unbeautiful, and to have the courage to present our better selves to the world.”
Cave then elaborated further on the topic of hope, saying that it can “reside in a gesture of kindness from one broken individual to another or, indeed, we can find it in a work of art that comes from the hand of a wrongdoer”.
“These expressions of transcendence, of betterment, remind us that there is good in most things, rarely only evil,” he wrote. “Once we awaken to this fact, we begin to see goodness everywhere, and this can go some way in setting right the current narrative that humans are shit and the world is fucked.”
Earlier this week Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds announced nine new European festival dates for 2022.