the art of mortals

It typically bothers me when I see artists or athletes deified. People with extraordinary skills are still just people, right?

In the spirit of snarklessness, I tried recently to change my outlook.

I was lucky enough to spend some time this week with the work of two of my favorite artists. On Tuesday I caught a screening of A Hard Day's Night, and early Thursday was spent walking through Margaret Mitchell's Peachtree St. apartment in midtown Atlanta.

Seeing a young and carefree John Lennon playfully pretend to snort a glass bottle of Coke 51 years ago made me laugh. Hearing that Margaret Mitchell shared the saddest experience with her famous heroine and missed her own mother's death by one day, broke my heart.

At the heart of extraordinary art is an extraordinary person. I've always been a harsh critic of my favorite artists - perhaps I'm overcompensating for unconditional love and excuses afforded them by the general public? Maybe I judge because I'm jealous? I don't know. But seeing John Lennon and Margaret Mitchell in such young, pure form softened me.

Before they were polarizing - they were brilliant. They were people. And I don't have to separate the art from the artist to appreciate and respect either.