Question Everything Offensive Art Katt Williams
AP; Photo Illustration by Mia Tramz for TIME

Art Is All About Intent

Sep 11, 2015

It’s a difficult question because it puts forth the idea that there’s some committee that can decide what’s objectionable and what’s not. Then you’re having a conversation about censorship. As a comedian, if I use foul language, am I participating in objectionable art? Comedians are taught that nothing is off-limits and censorship is the ultimate evil.

But not everything qualifies as art. My intent is to do the conversation a service, and that’s the difference between art and dressed-up propaganda. Nazis don’t get to have beautiful paintings that degrade Jewish people. It won’t manifest right because the intent is wrong. The racist art that depicted black people as subhuman was really the advertisement to make that happen. It is about intent. Art enhances a society, and that is how it gets to be art.

Williams is a comedian and rapper

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