Does an artist have to talk about their art?

I’ve written about the responsibilities of the artist before. When I asked what those responsibilities might be, I received a lot of different answers:

  • to “create a pathway to experience.” – dsharpdavis
  • “…to suspend time, even if just for a moment.” – Jacqueline W.
  • “…to evoke, invoke and provoke” – Bartlett Gallery
  • to “…poke into the edges we haven’t gone into or dare not go into.” – Maggie S.

No one answered, “to explain their art.” Or, “to justify their creations.” Not one, “to alleviate the curiosities of those who experience the work.”

However, when discussing a piece of art, the one question that inevitably pops up is, WHAT DOES IT MEAN? But who’s responsibility is it to answer this question?…that is, if it’s anyone’s responsibility at all.

If an artistic piece is to have a purpose and if there is intention behind the artist’s work, does the artist have a responsibility to discuss (and even justify) what they have created?

Does an artist have to talk about their art? Does a writer need to talk about their writing? Does a musician need to talk about their songs?

Or should/can they just put it out there and let people accept/understand it as they will?

Is it a responsibility for the artist to be available to represent and explain their work?