Monday, July 6, 2020

Moral Dilemmas and Standing Our Ground As Artists - An Open Letter to All Creatives



As some of you know, in the past several months I've taken on the responsibility of the collecting and preservation of art created around the Pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. These two archives were created in order to teach future generations about the struggles we are currently going through in this world. The archives were not created for the now, but for the yet to be. 

Since then I've fought a private battle against those who would seek to tear down the work of so many talented artists. Racists and narrow mindedness surround us at this time in our lives. It our task to not allow the narrow views of the world to destroy the open minded creators who are seeking change by speaking out through their work. 

I would protect their right to speak out with my own life if need be.

When I created the immortartist site it was with one intention. Of telling my creative story so that other creatives could benefit from my journey (and my mistakes). Over the past 5 years, that original goal, while still here, has expanded to embrace all of you. Artists, writers, musicians, poets and a whole host of creatives from different walks of life have come together here to share their own stories, their own art and their own viewpoints. 

I've rarely turned any artist away who could benefit from being a part of this site. Only the narrow minded, the hateful, the ones who would judge others because they do not agree with them, are asked to find other venues to express themselves. I've had only a few rules that govern this site. The first is open mindedness. 

An artist, by their very nature, whether they write, photograph, sing or paint, must remain open minded and explore the world without prejudice. Art by its very nature must be created with an open heart, and open mind. When we prejudice ourselves then our art is prejudiced also. 

With this said, I was recently approached by an artist who took offense at the fact that there is art representing nudity, explicit scenes and homosexuality on this site. While phrased politely, there was an implicit threat in the persons words that I either remove any such art from this site or they would remove their own art and take others with them. 

I really had to consider carefully how to respond to this request. As a human, the desire to get angry was my first instinct. My second was to respond as an artist and turn this into a teaching moment. Because all of you who are a part of this site may face this kind of a hate during your lifetime as a creative. No matter what, your work may offend someone else.

Does that mean that you should not create that work? If I believed that then every one of the dozens of bigots who have come to me complaining about the Black Lives Matter archive I would consent to and remove the works they were complaining about. 

Having an issue with nudity, sex or homosexuality is (in my eyes) absolutely no different than having an issue with a a black artist who is speaking out about the injustices of the police. It is no different than an artist protesting the way some of our governments are refusing to see that the Pandemic is a real problem that outweighs opening your local bar back up.

Those who complain show an inherent need to have your world conform to theirs. My world has never conformed to anyone else. I proudly create the art that I feel I am meant to create. I proudly represent the art of others who feel the same way. 

Suggesting that I remove art that I've created because it offends someone, is no different than telling me to only create art that conforms to their view of what the universe should be. To do so or ask any of you to do so would be to kill the spark of ingenuity that makes each one of us unique and allows our art to have the impact to change opinions and lives. 

I end this open letter with this statement. 

If you who have placed your art, ideas, words and emotions on this site, wish to have them removed because you disagree with any other piece of content on this site, then I will gladly remove your work. In blunt terms, I don't want you here. 

If you wish to express your art in an open and respectful way then your art is always welcome here, as long as it does not represent hate, racism or narrow mindedness. 

We must all support each other and learn from each other. By removing even one piece of content from this site because someone chooses to take offense at it, totally destroys the message this site was created for. 

Creatively,

~Grey~


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