Art vs Artist: Should We Judge a Person’s Work Through the Lens of Their Character Flaws and Bad Behavior?

Art vs Artist: Should We Judge a Person’s Work Through the Lens of Their Character Flaws and Bad Behavior?

This month I’ve invited my first Guest Blogger, advertising veteran Jim Morris aka Tagline Jim (whose brilliant tagline for his own business is “long story, short”) to share his POV on a difficult subject. Jim is a radical thought leader in his industry, per his bio below. As an engaging and opinionated author, speaker, teacher and blogger, he often branches out into topics with ramifications for us all. His recent white paper on “Art Versus Artist” caught my eye as a subject that’s been around as long as Hitler and Wagner, and is as blazingly current as the behavior of Woody’s Allen’s actors. It’s a tough issue. Please read and weigh in, even if the answer remains “It depends.”

The question of whether we can separate the art from the artist has been much discussed for centuries. This current sexual harassment brouhaha that seems to preoccupy our news media compels us to visit, (or, for some of you, revisit) this question. Of course, character flaws and bad behavior extend far beyond sexual predation. They include, among other things, bigotry, various addictions and compulsions, non-sexual violent behavior like assault, mental torment and murder, as well as a host of other bad acts from embezzlement and thievery to bribery, plagiarism and combinations of deplorable behavior of which, one could argue, Hemingway and Picasso are prime examples.

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