The Job of the Artist is To Express Herself (and Hopefully Please Her Fans)

What ‘critics’ have to say about it is largely irrelevant

Elle Beau ❇︎
Inside of Elle Beau

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Taylor Swift at the 2024 Grammys

Taylor Swift’s most recent album, The Tortured Poets Department, dropped the other day with a bang. According to Spotify, on April 19, 2024, it became the most streamed album ever on a single day, and Swift was the most streamed artist in a single day in Spotify history. To say that it was overwhelmingly well-received by her fans is kind of the understatement of the year.

While it’s true that music (and all art) is highly personal, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the “professional” opinion of people who criticize art for a living is largely irrelevant I think. The supposition that critics somehow have greater discernment is belied by the fact that through the years they have often been notoriously off-base about art or artists that later became acknowledged as ground-breaking or even genius.

The most universally beloved style of art today is the Impressionists, a term that was coined by art critic Louis Leroy to dismissively convey that those didn’t look like finished paintings to him. Vincent van Gogh sold one painting in his lifetime, and critics dismissed his work as amateurish and strange. Today, every single one of his paintings is worth tens of…

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Elle Beau ❇︎
Inside of Elle Beau

Social scientist dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. "Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge." ~ Carl Jung