I know some of you jumped in here to yell at me that there is no such thing, but here’s my example:
Alice Cooper is by all accounts these day an actual Christian. He’s also releasing albums about serial killers who want to collect limbs. He’s touring with his usual coterie of shock-gags. (I think) He says it all illustrates a horrible personality who needs to be killed off, and of course he’s the title character who gets “killed” in an unusually on-stage realistically depicted way.
So, he says there’s a morality tale in his work (and has even had a feud with Marilyn Manson for being so pointedly anti-Christian in his shows and statements), but I can’t help feeling that almost none of his fans get his point. Now that in itself is pretty common to art, but if he’s transmitting the opposite idea of what he’s intended, and seemingly one he would pointedly rather not, does that make him a self serving greedy doofus, an ignorant windbag, an incompetent artist, or a genius whose fans are not worthy of his work?
I’m willing to be corrected on the specifics of Cooper and his work, but also please give thoughts on the overall idea of “artistic responsibility.”