Steven Van Zandt Says Art Must Be Separated From The ‘Fucked Up’ Artists

E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt took his official Twitter account to reflect on the long-standing ‘separating art from the artist’ debate. He chose his side and stated that we should be able to separate the art from the artist.

It is an issue that has been discussed for a long time in almost every artistic field. It actually poses a moral question, and it isn’t easy to come to a final decision. Some claim that we should separate the artist and art in case of wrongdoing, as the artwork should have value in its own right. In contrast, others argue that we should never separate art from its creator since art is inseparable from the creator’s character.

Steven Van Zandt is known to like interacting with his followers on Twitter. The discussion on this issue was fuelled by a user’s comment on Neil Young, who harshly criticized Spotify for spreading misinformation about COVID-19. The user said that he is a music lover, and he can’t stand seeing his favorite musicians being ‘destructed’ by misinformation and propaganda.

Later on, Van Zandt, who was tagged in the comment, responded by saying that art should be separated from the artist because art is what matters most. Van Zandt implied that the history of art is filled with numerous artists who have been involved in wrongdoings so there is no escape from that. Then, another user asked whether he referred to also Neil Young in his statements. Zandt said that he didn’t target Young as he thinks he is a great musician.

The user’s comment:

“It’s depressing. I have been a music lover since old enough to pay attention. And to see the destruction (by disinformation and propaganda) of artists long listened to (Young, Clapton, Tritt, Meat Loaf, etc.) I can’t ‘unlisten,’ I can refuse to buy and change channels.”

Zandt’s reply:

“We must learn to separate the art from the artist. Art is too important. And artists are often very f*cked up. It goes with the territory.”

Another user’s question to Zandt:

“Are you including Neil in that group? I genuinely hope not.”

Zandt responded:

“Absolutely not. Neil Young is one of our greatest artists and a genuine hero.”

You can check out the tweets below.