The Artist as Public Object


Is it because rather than keeping us almost entirely out of the empty room, as Lee did, Ocean chose to let us in through hints and ephemera? And more broadly, what are we owed by an artist whom we profess to love?

For the Atlantic, Eve L. Ewing examines the careers and output of Harper Lee and Frank Ocean, and the public obsession with getting more out of reclusive artists.

Michelle Vider is a writer based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming in The Toast, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Atlas and Alice, Baldhip Magazine, and others. Find her at or @meanchelled. More from this author →