Can you separate the art from the artist?

Can you separate the art from the artist?


The sexual abuse/harrassment discussion got me thinking about this topic. I think it’s an old topic that has gone round and round for as long as we’ve had artistic endeavours, but can art be separated from its maker?

Kevin Spacey is who I was thinking of. Looks like he might be a predatory paedophile and sexpest’* So, with this knowledge, would that make the films he has starred in in the past suddenly bad/unwatchable flms? Some films where he has starred/ had leading roles include:The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, Glengarry Glen Ross, Se7en, Moon, Babydriver and many more, not to mention things like The House of Cards.

I regard some of these films as among the top films of the last few decades. Are they now suddenly off limits?

I have read a lot of JG Ballard’s work in the past, and regard it as fantastic, inventive literature. When I heard he was going to be interviewed on the radio, I was excited and made a point to tune in (I think when he published Super Canne). Imagine my disapointment to discover he came across ads a curmudgeonly, turgid, reactionary man. Does that make his books less inventive and entertaining?

Will you watch a Kevin Spacey film again? Did you watch and enjoy Babydriver? If Se7en, or the Usual Suspects were on telly, would you sit and watch it?

* Allegedly - nothing is proven yet.


I’m beginning to wonder why spacey agreed to do a film where a fresh faced, vulnerable young man drives people around because an older man has control over him.


I’ve spoken about similar on here before.

Annie Hall is probably my favourite film. But yeah, when I learned about Woody Allen’s behaviour, it made me feel extremely uncomfortable watching and enjoying his work.

Particularly given the theme of some of his films, (Manhattan), where the plot centres around a much older man (played by Allen, naturally) dating a teenager.

Similarly, amongst the wave of women speaking out recently, Alice Glass (formerly of Crystal Castles) has spoken about the abusive relationship with her bandmate. The allegations make for thoroughly depressing and grim reading, and were kind of expected, given her statement when she left the band.

I loved their work, and did see and enjoy them many times. I’m currently not really sure how to feel about this, and whether I can continue to listen to their music.

That all said, I understand that you do have to draw your own lines. There’s probably no artists with a background that is whiter than white. And if you didn’t consume any work by all artists that have done anything wrong, there’s probably be no art out there to consume.

That said, preying on underage teens, sexual assault, domestic violence seem decent enough lines to draw.


On Spacey, it wasn’t completely surprising.

Obviously, there’s a need to be careful with what I say. But I had heard allegations/rumours (I have no idea if they are true, and am not claiming they are 100% truthful) that there was very much a reason why roles usually played by young men in the plays he was involved with at the Old Vic were often cast to be played by women. The reason given was ‘he’d never get anything done, otherwise’.

There was no suggestion of assualt, harrassment or rape. But, perhaps those dots should have been joined.


Personally I don’t give a fuck. One thing has got nothing to do with the other. If Ian Huntley done a good stand up routine I would prob watch it and enjoy it. I just wouldn’t invite him round for dinner after.

I suspect I might be minority though. It would be interest to see what would happen if i.e. MLT got convicted of sexual assault. Would steveweb knock him off the banner?


Someone I know has a very large and expensively assembled art collection by a certain Rolf Harris.

He is somewhat touchy about it if you start taking the piss


What about Eric Gill. He was a sculptor of some renown and we see examples of his work all around us (he created the Gill Sans font used on the underground and in a lot of signage). He was also a nasty pervert – an incestuous paedophile who also committed bestiality.

Some examples of his work:


I think once we’ve sorted the Women out, we need to start looking into the animals. I see how people are with their dogs, particularly how women treat them, and it always makes me feel uncomfortable. They’re all over them! Touching them, rubbing on them, making little erotic noises. I’ve an idea there’s a lot more dogfucking going on than we have any idea of. Think this needs looking into srs.


Is bestiality wrong? It’s nowhere near the league of paedophiles or any kind of sexual abuse. It’s just a bit weird but ultimately no harm done. I shall continue to look at his artwork.


Anyway, to answer seriously, yes I think you can separate the two. Lots of artists are twats of some kind. It’s not just sexual abuse but just being a dick. I still like the who even though there was all sorts going on there. It doesn’t stop the music created being good. If I made a beautiful table but then shit in next doors garden, it wouldn’t mean my table wasn’t beautiful anymore.


Are you serious ?

Fucking a different species?

that is wrong on so many levels.

How does the other object of your attention refuse your amours?

No means No but meow means what?


You’re going to have to explain why it’s wrong on so many levels.


I’m seriously starting to think about changing my ringtone from “Do you want to be in my gang?”.


To answer the thread title, I think I can for workaday actors or artists, but for those where I feel immense respect, I think I would feel a little let down.


Intreresting question @bathsaint and one which I feel a simple “yes I would” is not enough.

Would you still read Mein Kampf knowing who the author is and what he has done? There is so much more nuance and depth to the simple question that I cannot give you an all covering answer.

On a case by case basis maybe…


There is definitely something going on. That’s what what I’m saying. Next time you see a woman with her dog, watch them narrowly. See how they act together. Ask yourself, are they doing it? You will know in your heart what the answer is. Once you’re woke to it, you start to see it everywhere! Red Riding Hood. Beauty and the Beast - exactly what was going on there? A tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme, my dog licks my fanny.

It’s fkn everywhere!


I thought i did


Ah c’mon @bearsy that’s no worse than the covert touching you see on Strictly or Dancing on Ice!!

All I see is a bitch having a good time…


I’d read it because of who the author is and what he did.


You didn’t