Adele Dredges Up The Age-Old Question: Can An Artist Be Separated From His Work?

Regardless of the utter lack of any need to promote her third album, 25, Adele has been doing her fair share of media interviews in the U.S.–one of the most recent being her TIME cover story, in which she discusses the nature of being an artist.

When responding to the question of “branding,” a beloved term in the twenty-first century music industry, Adele frankly noted, “…there’s personality in an artist, and if you’re expecting people to let you in and give themselves to you, you have to be a whole package. I feel like some artists—and this isn’t shading any artist, just me trying to come up with my own explanation—the bigger they get, the more horrible they get, and the more unlikable. And I don’t care if you make an amazing album—if I don’t like you, I ain’t getting your record. I don’t want you being played in my house if I think you’re a bastard.”

This candid statement traces back to the very beginning of artistic creation: everyone wants to critique someone’s work based on who he is as a human being and what his personal life reveals. Even from the earliest known art–which varies in origin and content depending on who you ask–people have felt the desire to know more about the how and the why of the artists behind the creation. While many have tried to argue that the artist should always be separated from the work (especially in the cases of men like Roman Polanski, Woody Allen and R. Kelly), Adele points out that audiences invariably can’t absorb another’s art–whether music or otherwise–without thinking about the person that put it out into the void that is humanity.

Although some may try to maintain that it’s easy to disunite a musician like, say, Kanye West, from the assholery of his antics, most can’t deny that what a person does in life informs his public’s decision about how he is treated with regard to the reception of his work. That being said, how did Donald Trump ever make it this far? Maybe the jury is still out on being able to take in someone’s contribution to the world without judging him on his inherent personality.