Do You Vote Yea or Nay to Separate the Art from the Artist?

Do You Vote Yea or Nay to Separate the Art from the Artist? featured by popular lifestyle blogger Design Mom

I’m thinking about the idea that gets tossed around when an artist (usually a man) behaves badly, and we’re told we need to “separate the art from the artist.” I’m sure you’ve heard the same thing. The idea is that if we find out an artist or creator is a real jerk, we can reject their behavior while still enjoying their art. We hear it about movie makers like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. We hear it about comedians like Bill Cosby and Louis CK.

But weirdly, I don’t remember hearing it being said about fine artists, about painters. My guess is that it has been said, but I either didn’t see it, or sub-consciously ignored it.

And then I watched Nanette.

Nanette is a comedy special (Netflix) by Australian comic Hannah Gadsby. It takes place at the Sydney Opera House and it’s part punchline, part deep personal revelations on gender, sexuality and her childhood. Ben Blair and I watched it the other night and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m not the only one — do a search for “nanette netflix,” and you’ll get a whole list of think pieces about it (the Atlantic shared one today). Nanette is really, really good. A true example of vulnerable art. I hope you get to watch it asap.

In the show, Hannah talks about many, many things. And one of those things is the fallacy of “separating the art from the artist” when it comes to men who abuse their power. Hannah’s degree is in art history and she hates Picasso — he was misogynist, abused women, and destroyed the lives of his “muses.” Here’s a short excerpt of a radio interview where she talks more about him.

Do You Separate The Art From The Artist? 

It has me trying to identify the personal allowances I’ve made for crappy men, and how I want to respond differently moving forward. For example, it was easy for me to say I’m no longer going to support Louis CK’s work (by watching it, paying for it, or promoting it), but that’s because his work never appealed to me. It’s easy for me to do the same thing with Woody Allen’s work because I don’t consider it a loss if I never see most of his movies again. But I admit, I find myself trying to justify making Midnight in Paris an exception, because I have so many happy memories of watching it with my family.

Basically, if there’s an actual personal sacrifice involved, I find myself wanting to wimp out. Pretty crappy of me. And what if I apply the same filter (of not supporting the work of awful men whether they are dead or alive) to the art and museum world? A world that I take much joy in? I wonder: What percentage of the collections of the nation’s top museums would still be viewable?

As I was thinking about this, I saw the image above, posted by my friend addyeB, an artist and a woman of color. I LOVE the whole concept. I’m way into the idea that certain artists’ work will be devalued because of their sexism and misogyny. I’ve never heard it predicted before, but now I want it to happen. And I want to support galleries, collections and whole museums that showcase artists who aren’t awful men.

Where do you fall on the idea to separate the art from the artist? Do you feel it can be done? Do you feel it should be done? Or do you feel the whole idea is flawed and problematic? Is there an artist — across any field — whose work you have rejected or abandoned because you found them to be viciously flawed? And which flaws do you consider normal human flaws versus deeply problematic ones? Do you feel differently if an artist is dead? Do you feel differently if the art was made in another era? Have you had the chance to watch Nanette? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

57 thoughts on “Do You Vote Yea or Nay to Separate the Art from the Artist?”

  1. I’ve been struggling with this a lot recently, too, Gabby! Thank you for opening the discussion. Whenever we find out a(nother) male artist has behaved immorally, especially if he’s one whose art I admire or enjoy, I feel a huge sense of disgust and disappointment—in him. How could he do that?! Looking forward to hearing other comments.

    1. I hear you on asking, “How could he do that?”

      I think it has something to do with how power corrupts. We willingly give people power and celebrity, they’re corrupted by the power, and then we make allowances for them to let them remain in power.

      It’s such a bizarre cycle. I hope we’re finally figuring out how to break the cycle.

      1. Do you believe that power corrupts people? Do people have the strength to keep from being corrupted even when they are put into power?

        I ask this as I work to overcome the belief that money corrupts. Money doesn’t corrupt. It’s a person’s choice to start making bad decisions. So reading your “they’re corrupted by power” got me wondering…

  2. I don’t want to excuse abuse/assault/immoral behavior. But at what point do we draw the line? I really struggle with this. I’m sure we could go back through history and find so many artists/writers/world leaders/scientists who made all kinds of terrible choices with their personal behavior-yet have enriched the world with their contributions.

  3. This is such a hard topic, but worthwhile to explore for ourselves. In movies, what about all the other people who worked hard on a movie. Is their work to suffer, too? I hate Allen, but Midnight in Paris is lovely.

    I also think many of us have begun to think about historical figures, too. Many of our founding fathers held slaves. Do we pick which ones we laud? How do we know they weren’t otherwise awful human beings?

    I know I have completely changed my mind about Bill Clinton when seeing him through our lens today.

    I don’t have any answers, but I struggle with this too. It’s hard when we have to sit with truths we can’t reconcile.

    1. Bill Clinton makes me rage-y. He really messed things up for Hillary and put her in a no-win situation. If she left him she’s a b*tch and she loses a decade+ of professional investment. If she stays with him, she’s weak and can’t be trusted.

      I had a lovely daydream leading up to the election, where Hillary won, and then tossed Bill to the curb, and changed her name back to Rodham. : ) I’m sure she loves him, but I feel like she deserves much better.

      I remember Samantha Bee doing a segment with similar wishes and it made me unreasonably happy.

      1. My election dream was that Hilary would get elected and then she’d have an affair with Elizabeth Warren…the scandal would be called Pantsgate (this is all a joke, but also felt like a good revenge situation).

        Also, have you watched Nanette on Netflix? She has a bit about separating the art from the artist and it is THE BEST.

  4. I thought of this the other day when I heard about the Laura Ingalls Wilder award being renamed over racial insensitivity. I think hind sight is 20/20, and it’s hard for me to judge people who lived in a different time period. I will still encourage my children to read her books.

    1. Well, I think there is a pretty big difference between Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was writing about a very specific time in history, with all its problems and prejudices, and people like Picasso or Roman Polanski who either knew what they were doing was wrong and didn’t care, or who thought they were somehow exempt from ordinary morality.

      I wouldn’t read Little House on the Prairie to my 5-year-old, maybe, but I’d read it with an older child who understood that these attitudes are wrong and with whom I could have a discussion. Even leaving aside the fact that LIW is a spectacular writer, I think it’s important that we not forget how people used to think and talk–otherwise it’s too easy to pretend it didn’t really happen or that it wasn’t that bad.

      1. Using her work as informative history AND a teachable moment sounds like the way I’d like to approach it.

        1. Re: Laura Ingalls Wilder, I do agree that reading her work with our kiddos 8-10 or so and discussing is valuable. As we launched into her books at our cabin as a family read aloud, we were surprised by some of the attitudes/racism we found, which led to duscission because we didn’t want our boys to think that by reading ithe words aloud, we condone it. Professionally, I teach 7th grade English (in Minnesota!) and love middle level writing/discussion. Personally, I am not a fan of her writing style–too dry and stilted for me. 😊

      1. How funny! Same here! I’ve been reading Little House with my 6 yo daughter (who happens to be of African-Korean descent while I hail from the likes of the Ingalls family) after years of imagining the day we’d share beloved literature from my childhood. I’ve been disappointed with the re-visit, particularly when my daughter referenced the “bad-guy Indians.”

        I don’t recall feeling any particular way while reading it as a child, but, yikes!, this has been a perfect example of how vulnerable we are– beginning at childhood– to the “us vs. them” mentality. Does it make L.I.W. a dirt-bag? All I know is, 150 years from now, I sure wouldn’t want to have my entire character determined by my own unintentionally limited perspective.

  5. I think having a child born in 1999 has done a lot for me in this area – I remember trying to read her the Little House series and she stopped me and said, “They sound racist – why are we reading these books?” – and we stopped. Recently she watched 16 candles for the first time – stopped it and looked at me and said, “what’s with all the 80’s movie date rape?” – indeed. We don’t watch Woody Allen movies, or Bill Cosby projects (breaks my heart cause we had loved “Little Bill”) and Louis CK isn’t even on her radar – but we don’t support people that assault other people. I don’t care how great an artist – whatever. As to the other people involved – I believe that if we vote with our money and refuse to support these people, those non-criminal people will no longer do projects with them. As long as there is still a paycheck, most people won’t care. We vote with every dollar we spend.

      1. Yes on voting with your dollars. I do the same as I sometimes feel that there is so little else I have control over.

  6. My aha moment about this wasn’t about art, but about Elon Muske’s goal to colonize Mars. After reading about working conditions in his factory (especially for women), I thought “why are spending so much energy, money and attention on this project, if we end up with all the same inequalities on another planet. That’s the opposite of progress.” It really depressed me to imagine life on Mars with all of our same problems, because we will take them with us.

    So as painful as it is, and it is painful, I think we need to value the victim’s pain over the contributions an abusive person brings to a community. Otherwise abuse of power, in all its forms, will always be an epidemic.

  7. I think it’s worth it to try to ditch these artists in favor of ones who were able to make art without abusing others. I’m confident there are plenty of talented people. It is discouraging to feel like everyone is turning out to be awful, though. The toughest one for me to reconcile my feelings on is Sherman Alexie. What do you do with that feeling?

    1. There was a comment on my Instagram post that said, “There is more art, there is more beauty, so much of it being made now, so much of it to come.”

      I really love that.

    2. Sherman Alexie has been the hardest one for me so far. He has dealt with so much pain in his own life that it’s hard to separate the pain he may have caused others.

  8. I think a lot of this debate dances along with the same tune as “what aboutism” – well, this artist created this, but that artist did that. Yes, when viewing art we need to understand the why and the how behind what it is they are trying to teach us, and yes, subject matters, abuse matters.

    And lastly, I remember my gramma, who would remind me that “You can always know the artist by what he creates.” Good advice.

  9. Wow that Guerrilla Girls poster takes me back *a few* years to my student days! And have we come forward at all in those years? Some days it does not seem like we’ve moved an inch.

    For me it definitely depends on the medium and the age of the art. I am absolutely more lenient on long-dead visual artists, but it’s easy to be lenient when a museum owns the work and I’m not directly supporting an individual artist by visiting a museum. Books are different, and while I can’t change my childhood enjoyment of certain “classics” I certainly won’t be encouraging my own daughter to read them (though I also won’t censor her reading), and there are plenty of authors I will never supports. Cinema and TV – I do my best to not to support known abusers and hate-mongers. I can easily live without seeing movie xyz or reading book abc – there are SO MANY others out there! And instead, with books in particular (because that is where my money is spent), I am actively looking to buy/read/talk-up books by marginalized authors.

  10. I think this is an interesting and valid point. Although I do think there is a false equivalency between the work of a visual artist and the work of the other people you named. In the Cosby show, he is playing a wholesome family man. In Louis C K’s work, he often casts himself as a self-aware underdog. Now we know these are far from their true nature, so it is painful to watch. I think visual artists are more complicated because nothing about Picasso’s work suggested he was a really wholesome guy who respected women. There was no misrepresentation. I can look at a work and not think about the artist or his bad behaviour at all- I can’t do that with the other examples. That being said, perhaps it is good if some of the work gets devalued. It might make space for some people who are not old white dudes to become more known/valued.

    1. Totally agree about characters like Cosby or – I’d add – Woody Allen. Largely because their art does in fact consist of a depiction of themselves. Isn’t Woody Allen’s entire oeuvre one long bout of navel gazing? So the fact that he’s a revolting, self-involved pedophile seems to me a good reason to shun his work. (Not that it feels like a loss to me, admittedly…)

  11. This subject hits close to home, as my step father is a very talented and famous artist who gets away with utter crap behaviour constantly, because he is talented and famous. He’s not criminally monstrous like some of the examples you cited (I don’t even dislike him; however many lively debates have ensued), but he certainly takes advantage of his privileged status. My mom and some of her friends have started a tongue-barely-in-cheek Artist’s Wives Support Group where they basically get together and have a ball. I see how hard they work to keep everything in perfect balance at home so their persnickety husbands have the space, support, and freedom to create. It has really impelled me to seek out women’s stories, and support women artists, almost exclusively now. Women, especially WOC, have put aside their own creativity, dreams and drive for so long, in support of badly behaved, talented dudes. I want the stories, images, and ideas of those women to be illuminated.

  12. There are many children’s stories from my childhood I choose not to read to my grandchildren. Their minds are new and impressionable if I’m reading a story I’m agreeing with it and teaching the sentiment behind the story.
    In more resent years I’ve become aware that John Lennon was abusive towards his partner and children I can no longer enjoy his songs. Because he didn’t practise what he preached and knew he was doing wrong. For me the art becomes worthless.
    I love your blog and read it every week.

  13. Michael Jackson is the one I feel so conflicted about. My grade school kids and I love his music. I’ve had great conversations with the oldest kid to explain MJ’s changing appearance and urge to look whiter and whiter, and I think he’s absorbed some useful stuff about being comfortable in your skin and never ever trying drugs- but I just freeze at the thought of someday having to discuss the child abuse allegations, particularly since they all involved young boys :-(

  14. This gives me so much to think about, but also left me wondering why I hadn’t seen more of this sort of conversation about the art world happening….. after considering it, think there’s several reasons we haven’t seen a more of a move to look at the art world through the #MeToo movement lens before though. As someone above mentioned, while all art can be very vulnerable, you *don’t* see the person who made it portrayed in their art in the same way as you might see a writer or moviemaker (making it harder to pick up on “oh, this person’s wasn’t great.”) But I also think we don’t know/hear as much about people who have passed away and a great deal of famous artists are dead. Part of that is a product of the times they lived in; there was just more privacy in addition to certain actions being overlooked or even legal that aren’t today. Look at President Kennedy for example (not an artist but still). Also- the way we tell history is often pretty one-sided. There’s this tendency, to turn all history into giant morality plays where we have heroes and villains. too. I’m not sure we can (or should) avoid learning about problematic people (Picasso still had a pretty big impact on art movements), but we need to work on presenting less idealized versions of famous people, and show them as flawed and complex people. Lastly, there’s been a move in the art world to invest in art like one might invest in a stock or land. Its just a place to keep money (a lot of these paintings then end up in storage, often in warehouses that are technically in the US, allowing the owners to avoid taxes on them. NPR’s Planet Money did a great piece on this.) For the buyer then, the point isn’t the art nor the meaning of the art so much as the current value. Which would make a devaluing of the pieces bought pretty iconic, really….. anyway, none of the above stated reasons are right morally, but I do think they all contribute to the issue.

    At any rate, thank you too for sharing this Guerrilla Girls group with us! Going to go learn more about them….

    1. I totally agree with your point re: history being told as morality play. That is one of the reasons I really enjoy listening to The British History podcast because he attempts to escape the Victorian/Great Man view of history–the Boudica and Judith of Flanders episodes are two great examples. (I’m also reminded of William Faulkner’s take on history in Absolom, Absolom) But, I think we do see the artist being portrayed in their work in the art world, literally in self-portraiture and more figuratively in the subjects they choose to portray. My husband is from Nürnberg and so we are big fans of Albrecht Dürer in our haus. The local art museum, The Crocker, had an interesting Dürer exhibit a couple of years ago and his choice of subjects, esp in the bath houses, was really intriguing.

  15. When I think about the music I loved in my youth – and some that I still love because it’s from that very impressionable age – I know I would tell younger me not to spend my money on the sexist, misogynist, raging babies.

  16. I am an art history instructor. YES, it’s absolutely talked about in my classes. Gauguin had pre (PRE!!) pubescent “lovers,” we view something called “heroic rape” scenes, the Loggia dei Lanzi had all it’s women-oriented sculpture moved out and very anti-woman sculpture moved in, Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Judith Slaying Holofernes” has her rapist’s face as Holofernes…and so on.

    We talk a lot about the artist and their art, they are in separable as who they are informs their work. I leave open how the students feel about these things, but I think they are important and meaningful to know and think about.

  17. It seems to me that to go down this path is to reject art, pretty much. Art is art. Artists are often jerks and always have been – isn’t that, in fact, the classic depiction of the artist, for a reason? It kind of goes with the territory – the absolute devotion to art that greatness requires usually means you’ll be a lousy or at best distant and uninvolved parent, child, friend, etc., because you’re always going to put your art before people.

    We don’t have to approve or excuse artists’ bad behavior, but if you want to go back through the history of the human race and excise everything made by imperfect people, and even people who were decent but typical of their own time and place, there’s not going to be a whole lot of art left. And the art you end up with, given a place on your canon because its makers passed the purity test is likely going to be crappy. That’s what lots of totalitarian societies have tried to do, and there’s a name for that type of “art” – it’s called propaganda.

    1. Wow. I just want to share that I completely disagree with you. Great art does not = crappy human. It just doesn’t. There is amazing art created by amazing people that did not demand a society to look the other way in order to preserve their “artistic license” – “even people who were decent but typical of their own time and place” – doe you mean slave holders? rapists? murderers? Child molesters? I think that these people knew that what they were doing was wrong. They just didn’t care – and neither did the people supporting them.
      I think it’s great to have these discussions – but I think that it completely comes off the rails when great art has to be made by morally repugnant people.

      1. This. Only rapists and pedophiles make great art? HARDLY. It’s such a lie that artist = mentally unstable.

        When I started my art history degree, do you know how many women were in the textbook – in the 2000s? Zero. How many minorities? One. It’s ever so slightly better now. But we REALLY can’t make any room for other artistic voices, we need 100% of these horrifying dudes? Nope. We REALLY think no one but white men have made great art? Nope.

        Linda Nochlin focused on women, but asked a great question that still resonates in her 1971 essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”

        1. And to clarify, in no way does mental illness = someone who does horrifying acts. I included that because it’s this concept that people use to excuse these behaviors, even still.

        2. Well yeah, how about slave holders, say? For instance, the upper classes in ancient Greece mostly owned slaves and married teenagers in arranged marriages. Do you think we should smash all the statues we have from Athens’ golden age, and burn the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Homer?

          1. The suggestion is not to “smash” anything, come on.

            But YES, in my classes we absolutely talk about this. It’s important to understand WHO our patrons and artists were and why the art is the way it is, in context. And we can not celebrate horrible humans, even if they had a talent. In fact, it makes room in our textbooks and courses to celebrate art that’s been ignored.

      2. No, of course not all great artists are bad people, but I think they do perhaps skew that way as compared to the general run of people, at least a bit, because of art’s need for ruthless single-mindedness. Also, a large ego doesn’t hurt, when it comes to clearing obstacles to greatness out of the way.

        Put it this way, generally speaking, the greatest artists have not been the most kindest and most altruistic human beings. Quick: can you think of a first-ranking painter or writer or composer in history that you’d be willing to be married to? I’d have to go with Bach, who was by all accounts a good man and a good husband and father. But there aren’t a whole lot of other names I can think of to put on the list.

        For instance, I don’t believe Mozart was as much of a vulgar, oversexed airhead as he’s often been depicted (e.g. in the movie Amadeus), but even if he was, there is no fact about his life that could come out that would be cause to impoverish the world by throwing away what might be the most beautiful music any human being has ever written. Art isn’t about the artist.

  18. As an artist and once art history student like Hannah Gadsby this is such a difficult one for me. I still remember the first time that I heard Degas was an antisemite, or when I learned what Picasso did to every woman in his life. So when I watched Nanette, I knew what she was saying right away.

    And like Gabby, I don’t want to give up what some of that art means to me. So it got to the point where I wouldn’t want to find out about the artist, basically building a wall around the art itself. Which is…well, no good.

    It’s not an answer but basically I talk about the piece of art, and if I know, for a fact, that the artist was somone who did harm with his fame, and therefore his art, I always mention that footnote. I let it hang on the art like a weight. Becuase while they made the art, they made the harm as well. It needs to be in the balance.

    The art should not be forgotten, but the harm should not be either.

    1. I really agree with this, Holly Beardsley. This is very challenging and it’s hard to know how to balance regard for art with knowledge of an artist’s behavior and the victims in his/her wake.

  19. I can understand both sides of the debate – either rejecting the art as a symbolic rejection of the artist or putting the two in separate compartments to be appreciated or rejected separately – but there is so much room for nuance between the two!
    For me it all comes down to the idea of “do no harm.” Whenever I can help it, I’m not going to enrich someone who has made their money by exploiting or harming others. I also think the “do no harm” standard requires us to learn, recognize and call out abuses when we see them, to speak truth to power and be a force for good. That means talking about the artists who have done harm and viewing/reading/hearing their work through a lens that recognizes both the beauty and the harm.
    Finally, I think we also need to do better, and I think that means actively seeking out and supporting artists who have been marginalized – art by people of color, GLBTQIA artists, impoverished artists, women, etc.
    I guess what I’m saying is art is like rhubarb, and can be simultaneously poisonous and nourishing. Smart consumers should know which parts are which, and act accordingly.
    Can you tell I’m craving some pie? Ha.
    P.S. I had a really interesting conversation a few weeks back with some younger colleagues about which social conventions of modern life will be seen as problematic to future generations? It’s got me thinking about what exploitations or abuses I may be committing on a daily basis, intentionally or not. Would love your thoughts on this!

  20. I’m not sure if this thinking gets us anywhere productive. Since I firmly believe that no one is perfect, that all of us are flawed – based on MY moral standards – whose work would ever stand “perfect” enough to be considered okay? I have read things with my children and grandchildren that required an explanation “This is how people used to think/talk, some still do, but we believe….” It would also mean, that to be integral I would only associate with realtime people who were perfect, or thought like me, acted in ways I considered morally acceptable, and lived my definition of perfect lives. If they kicked their dog, scratch them off the list, if they had an affair, if they cheated on their taxes, if they drove over the speed limit, if they tossed their gum in the bushes — on and on it goes. While living like that may be fine for you/me — do we get to impose that on others?

    When it comes to history — I agree with Anna (above) “We don’t have to approve or excuse artists’ bad behavior, but if you want to go back through the history of the human race and excise everything made by imperfect people, and even people who were decent but typical of their own time and place, there’s not going to be a whole lot of art left.”
    Let’s take off the rose colored glasses and realize that no one in the past was perfect and no one currently is perfect. We cannot change history but we can change the future by looking at the whole picture history provides us and embracing the good, and challenging the evil. Especially in our current culture. So if you choose to not look at art because the artist’s life was not what you think of as acceptable — great for you – stand firm in your convictions, feel free to tell me why you feel that way! But don’t stand in my way as I admire the historical work of great artists. I am just fine with separating the art from the artist when it comes to history. The gorgeous art made by horrible men (cuz it seems only men do awful things and women artists are all above reproach…) just proves that beauty and evil reside in all creatures, some of us may just be better at hiding our imperfections than others.
    Now IRL when it comes to where I shop or what movies I watch, well, if they have chosen to make a political/moral statement as a business, or their owner has displayed what I consider a moral choice (having their name associated with a cause) or their lack of morals or evilness has been brought to the surface— then they force me to make a choice. Do I want my money going there? Do I want to buy their product? I get to make that choice – I don’t require anyone else to agree with me.

  21. I think it’s different for living artists (in whichever medium) and those who are not here anymore and whose work is part of a legacy. I’m not going to stop admiring Picasso’s art or Hemingway’s writing because they were misogynist jerks. I think we should learn about their behavior and understand the environment in which they created their art, which is not divorced from their attitudes. But to ignore them completely is not productive.

    I would rather see an additional celebration of artists who are women and/or people of color than wholesale ignoring a part of our history (however ugly it may be in terms of what the artists did to the people around them using the prevailing attitudes and mores of their time).

  22. The biggest debate in our household right now is over the hip-hop artist xxxTentacion. My 2 oldest (both in their early twenties) love him because he sings about depression and coming back from a dark place; which is a topic we have dealt with in our household.
    I cannot reconcile the art, the artist and his untimely death. I cannot feel good about supporting his music. And I don’t agree with my young adults choices to listen, support and vehemently deny that he was an unpleasant, perhaps tortured, soul. Being a tortured soul does not mean you get to inflict pain on someone else.
    Go ahead and listen to him, but I won’t. Does that make me better than someone else, no. Does that make me judgey, no. But when it comes to this level of violence I have to voice my opinion and take a stand. We all have different boundaries and xxxTentacion crosses mine.
    I have repeatedly asked my daughter if her friend was one of his victims would she advocate for listening to his music and she cannot give me an answer. I pointed out to her that she could not answer the question, because she knows that she would not listen to him. In fact she would actively boycott him. This speaks volumes.
    I think it boils down to this, are the artists actions directly impacting your life? No. Then you might have more grace for them. If you were directly impacted, you likely wouldn’t give the same grace.
    If you don’t know who he is, this article will give you a high level overview.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/xxxtentacion-s-death-funeral-highlight-hip-hop-s-complicated-relationship-ncna886946

  23. If you support artists based solely on their behavior, how do you know which ones make the cut? It’s not like we know everything they do in their private lives. Taking two of the examples in the post, the general public only had wonderful things to say about Bill Cosby not that long ago. Until last year all I really knew about Louis CK is that he played a love interest for Leslie Knope in Parks and Rec, which made him a-ok in my book. And it’s not just awful men. I read an article many years ago by Alice Walker’s daughter, Rachel, that certainly seems to indicate she was neglected at best and emotionally abused at worst as a child. I don’t know the truth of that situation, but judging artists solely on their personal lives feels like an exhausting burden that is impossible to maintain.

    1. I feel like this is a “when you know better, you do better” situation. Or at least, when you know you have the opportunity to decide how you feel about and if you feel it’s worth discussing/buying/consuming.

  24. As a side, I just got around to trying the homemade watercolours you posted about (https://www.designsponge.com/2013/05/small-measures-homemade-watercolors.html) and I offer a HUGE “thank you!” My little Activity Day Girls will love them! I made up a good batch and put them in little upcycled (Dentyne Ice) gum packets, then popped them into an Altoids tin with the recipe so when they’ve used up all the paint they can make more at home for their new little travel paint kit! Hoping this inspires them to find their inner artist and they go into the world to create beautiful amazing things that bring joy.

    Thanks!

  25. “A 17 year old girl is NEVER in her prime. Never, ever, EVER. I AM IN MY PRIME”. Hanna Gadsby
    These powerful words have never rung more true.

    To the bishopric in my ward who supported the child abuser, to all of my friends parents, who knew enough to not allow their children in my house.
    I mean, the children were not the focus, but either enabling the abuser, or choosing to turn away from the abused, as it is beyond inconvenient to insert yourself in an abusive situation, that doesn’t involve you, personally.

    In the same way we speak differently about mental health, we are finally starting to stop excusing hurtful and abusive behavior from the men in our lives.

    I hope the next bishop who encounters a family with abuse issues, chooses the child, not the adult.

  26. glad Picasso was mentioned because that’s the first artist that came to my mind. I’d also put Frida Kahlil on that list, she was a terrible person.

  27. Pingback: Nanette – What The Red Herring

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