Nude Drawing by Hitler
This echoes an age-old conundrum from the world of art. Can you value work produced by someone whose private life and acts you find appalling? Do the proclivities of those responsible for artistic or intellectual works have to be taken into account in their appreciation?
BBC NEWS | Magazine | Can the art of a paedophile be celebrated?:
I don’t know the answer to this, it’s something I’ve pondered at length over the years. This article starts with the debate over whether to ban textbooks written by a paedophile and examine other controversial works by reprehensible artists. this is an eternal question in the arts, part of what we are drawn to is the mystique and danger of these renegade artists, but when is it too much? when does it step beyond mystique to horrifying – and does the art itself change with the knowledge of the depravities that artists or capable of?
it’s been said that one of the marks of genius is unnatural sex drives, I can’t help but think of this when I consider these cases. it isn’t an excuse but I do think it might be a ..symptom, I guess. I think there is something in creative drives that can cause an instability that can easily slip over. for some artists it’s merely a depression or frustration and for others it can lead to horrible acts, violence and even murder. again, this is not an excuse for the acts that many artists have committed over the years (Hirst’s for the love of God not withstanding). Hitler was actually an accomplished artist, and Caravaggio was an accomplished murderer. I try to divorce my feelings about the artist and their lives from the works. It’s very difficult sometimes (especially with Hirst), but I think individual works need to be taken on their own merits and not upon the artist’s. critically anyway, individually I do admit to a very unartistic squeamishness.