R.A.H. (againstathorn) wrote,

Lately I've been thinking about artists whose finished product might not have been as effective or successful without the contribution of other players working in the background.

With the technology available today, I've often heard artists claim they're now able to create their work with little interaction from others and then simply release it on the Internet for public consumption. Some would say this narrows the gap between artist and audience, cutting out the middlemen to allow the purity of their vision to hold strong through the artistic process, whereas others might point out that such middlemen and contributors provide a necessary function which refines and ultimately benefits the finished piece.

I'm sure there are a number of artists who produced some of their best works, from to start to finish, in solitude, but consider, if you will, all the writers whose best novel might've been just mediocre if not for a strict editor or publisher, all the film directors whose most memorable scenes relied upon the skill of a certain cinematographer and editor, all the musicians whose breakthrough album would've been drastically different in the hands of an alternate producer or sound engineer, all the comic book pencilers whose work was granted impact by the inker, all the photographers whose most celebrated work was actually printed by hired guns in the darkroom, ect.

And while we're at it, even paintings require that they be presented in a formal setting, which would be the task of the gallery curator, someone to objectively organize the chaos into a coherent experience for the viewer and/or customer. I'm sure there have been many exceptional artists whose work remained in obscurity because of their unwillingness to operate within such confines or view their work from an outsider's perspective.

I'm not saying anyone is denying the contributions of these folks in the background, but I think we tend to romanticize art as the product of a single individual, and I believe that has often not been the case.

Anyway, I know this is a very general statement and there are probably a lot of exceptions, and if I've stated something wrong then please feel free to correct me, but I'd be interested in what my readers have to say about this matter, or if they can provide me with an example from their own areas of interest.
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