These past two weeks, students around the world discussed whether art can be appreciated or enjoyed if it is made by an artist who leads a controversial life based on our #DoNowArtist post. We asked students Can you still appreciate a work of art even if you don’t like the artist as a person? Should we continue to celebrate art by people who do bad things? Can you separate the art from the artist? Should you?
From Picasso, who was thought to be a womanizer, to Woody Allen, who has recently been accused again by his daughter for sexual abuse, artists cannot hide their personal lives from the public. Often, artists draw inspiration to create their artwork from their surroundings and personal lives, making it difficult for artists to separate their souls from their work. Since art is often a reflection of life, people have debated if we can and should judge art separately from the artists.
Students debated back and forth, pointing to different topics that ranged from how artists are also normal people who make mistakes to the idea that recognition of an artist depends on his or her immoral behavior. Most students argued that art should be judged by itself.
Appreciate Artwork by Itself
Many students stated that artists are people too, and that their art should be judged on its own merit.
— Natalie (@18nbaw) February 20, 2014
— Joseph Яoman Empire (@joserro_ge) February 16, 2014
— Jennifer Quigley (@Quigles16) February 20, 2014
Cannot Separate Art from Artist
Some students argued that they cannot support an artist who has a bad character.
— AHA_lilturtle (@AHA_Lisa) February 15, 2014
— Kaitlyn Thomas (@KaitlynWHKE) February 17, 2014
— Teneva jackson (@AhA_teneva95) February 16, 2014
Celebrating Their Bad Behavior
Some students commented on how supporting their work also means supporting their bad decisions.
— Mariah Day (@MariahWHKE) February 17, 2014
— Sophie (@sophie_demiris) February 12, 2014
— Taylor (@18tvie) February 12, 2014
Other students discussed how their support depends on what the artists did in their personal lives.
— Kori Goller (@KoriGoller) February 13, 2014
— Max Karabachian (@MKarabachian) February 12, 2014
Also check out students’ responses from URJC on Storify a graduate program on Bilingual Education in Spain.
Here’s the Storify: