Here’s another question, vaguely related to the one asked by paulonleave.
To what extent do you feel that a work of art can be divorced from the personality, reputation, and actions of its creator? If an artist creates something that as art is highly affecting and effective, and then he turns out to be involved in some scandal that changes the public’s perception of him, how much should that scandal inform the reading of the artist’s previous artworks? Or should it at all?
(I’m thinking of Michael Jackson, here, personally. You may know of other parallels.)
Similarly from lespaceplie
How about the inverse scenario – appreciating the art of a person you dislike or don’t approve of?
I do think good art can be made by bad people. And there are people that I dislike who make work that I find compelling. I don’t think that one can quantify how much a scandal “should” effect people’s reaction to work. Each person has the right to accept or reject the production of any artist simply as they see fit.
In the case of MJ I think that the work has been bad for a long time – mainly because of hin suffering from Howard Hughes syndrome: he has so much money and power that there is no practical obstruction to him executing any idea that he might have, and no one around him who can tell him that something might not be a good idea. I don’t have any guilt listening to “Thriller” these days, but neither do I have any interest in buying any of his recent work. My objections to it however, are aesthetic not moral.
To go back to the original question, a work of art is itself one of the actions of its creator and so can’t be divorced from them. It may ameliorate my feelings about those other actions or conversely be tainted by them, but I don’t believe that there is a way that it stands apart from them.
Questions answered in the order they’re asked, for the most part.