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September 30, 2022

Should We Separate the Art from the Artist?

It turns out your favorite artist is a monster. Say they committed murder, advocated genocide, or engaged in some other act so outside the scope of a dignified, respectable society that it cannot be redeemed. What now? Must you throw the art out with the artists? It’s a question at the heart of both pop culture and high art critique. For some, a work of art is an entity in itself. It should be appreciated and revered without regard to the life of its creator. If we disregard all great art for the sins of the artists, we risk losing many of the world’s greatest cultural touchstones and masterpieces. But for others, the act of supporting a work of art translates directly affirming its creator’s evil acts. In this timeless debate, we ask: Should we separate the art from the artist?

ABOUT THE DEBATERS
For The Motion
Randy Cohen
Randy Cohen - Writer & Humorist
Randy Cohen is a writer and humorist most widely for "The Ethicist" column in New York Times Magazin... Read bio
Against The Motion
Aruna D'Souza
Aruna D'Souza - Writer & Art Critic 
Aruna D'Souza is a writer and art critic focusing on modern and contemporary art, intersectional fem... Read bio