"... it is really performing a work of psychological education on the public by breaking down and destroying their previous aesthetic view of what is beautiful in form and meaningful in content. "
— Carl Gustav Jung / The Undiscovered Self / p.77
This is backwards in my opinion.
The public are performing a work of psychological education on the artist, not the other way round. By choosing to focus on specific styles at specific times, and creating patterns through collective agreement, the consumers tell the creators what they hold to be important or relevant.
This 'collective agreement' is usually restricted to cultural boundaries and norms. Truly global agreements are rare, and not usually triggered by art in itself, but accompanied by explicit written messages designed to provoke a response - what we normally call 'advertising'.
All art commentary that originates from groups/individuals trying to interpret for others therefore is 'bullshit wrapped in clingfilm'.
Artists of any genre may like to think that they are wielders of messages, defining meaning for others. All they're doing in reality is creating messages for themselves, and then presenting these personal messages to the public, much like publishing a personal diary.
Sometimes it strikes a chord (and not often for the reasons originally intended), and sometimes it doesn't.
For me this just confirms that the only pure reason to write a piece of music or capture an image is because it means something to me
. As soon as I start trying to undertake artistic projects with the express intent of preaching a message to others, I 'll know I finally disappeared up my own arse