Oh, I think I might have phrased that wrong.
As someone who creates artwork, I’ve always been taught two things: a) separate art from the artist, and b) what the audience gets from your work is not necessarily going to be what you put into it. And it’s not our job to go out there and tell people ‘this is the experience you should be having from my work’ or ‘this is how you should feel about it’. Artists create art. And since art is subjective, people will have their own interpretations regardless of what the artist originally intended, and that’s not wrong.
And the other point about sensitive subjects, I don’t believe in limiting artist creativity unless it’s harming people. And I don’t mean that the person is offended by it or just doesn’t like what it stands for. I mean really harming them. Art takes so many forms and can be expressed in so many ways. If an artist is distasteful in handling a sensitive subject, sure, we can have the opinion that the artwork sucks, but that artist doesn’t owe the world anything. Like for example, it’s not a writer’s responsibility to create work which teaches people about what’s right and wrong. That’s the job of a parent. The author just writes stories, and the person reading the work interprets it and decides what they think is right or wrong, regardless of the author’s intention. Obviously, social commentary pieces are going to have directed messages in them, so generally people are going to catch onto that, but if someone disagrees or sees something different light, the artist shouldn’t tell them what they’re viewing is wrong.
Having said that, it definitely speaks to an artist’s morality whether they decide or not to handle sensitive subject matter with care. If they’ve got any ounce of human decency they’ll consider their impact, especially if their work is going to a large audience. But again, the artist doesn’t owe the world anything, and if they put something out that’s negative, me and a majority of the world are going to think their work is shit, but still, as artists they should have the creative freedom to create what they want.
**all of this is as long as it’s not harming anyone, btw. Which is another point of debate, because how do you define ‘harm’ obectively