Everyone loves passionate artists, particularly those who are not afraid to take on risks for the sake of art. When it comes to taking risks, artists may not be in the same league as soldiers; however, there are many times when individuals will risk illness, injury and ridicule just to make a point across. Some artists take risks for the benefit of spectators while others do so because they believe that danger is part of life and therefore part of the artistic experience.
With the above in mind, here are five risky situations that artists sometimes go through when they ply their chosen craft:
This is the most common example of artists placing themselves at risk. Graffiti writers and other artists for whom the world is their canvas are constantly at risk of being arrested by police or attacked by people who do not agree with their controversial artistic values. There is also the risk of massive injury for graffiti writers who climb high structures such as bridges and buildings. In the 21st century, street artists such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Invader have become more mainstream, but they still face major risks.
In the 1980s, American punk bands often interacted with fans by means of jumping into the mosh pit and crowd surfing. It goes without saying that the risk of injury is very high in these cases, but the musicians who do it believe that reaching out and touching fans should be part of the live experience.
Some actors insist on doing their own stunts for the purpose of making scenes appear as realistic as possible. Jackie Chan is legendary in this regard, and he was inspired by the physical comedy of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Angelina Jolie does as many of her own stunts as possible, and the same goes for Harrison Ford.
One of the most misunderstood and provocative forms of art specifically seeks to put the artists at risk for shock value. Marina Abramovic puts herself on display and tests the limits of her own body because she cares about her audience and does not fear suffering an injury in the process.
Some artists will push the limits of self expression by publishing works of questionable morality. American rap group the 2 Live Crew tested these limits with an album that went on trial all the way up to the Supreme Court in the early 1990s.
In the end, artists will likely never stop taking risks for the sake of art even though we would like them not to.