absolutely. I think this is actually the more interesting question, because it implicates everyone rather than singling out those who are clearly in the wrong, which in a way lets everyone else off the hook. IMO the answer is no, we can’t separate the art from the artist, not just for kenye west, not just for female and “ethnic” artists, but for all artists, including white men, and I think that this does have significant repercussions with regards to how we make and think about art.
Morton talks about “rugged masculinity” as that which uses the facade of the natural to hide that the performance of non-performance is actually still a performance that obfuscates potentially problematic implicit normative subscriptions.
I would put Weinstein and Crosby at the extreme, ugly end of that performance spectrum, and I would almost guarantee that their justifications, even just to themselves, would eventually rely on some sort of bio-truth-y axiom regarding attraction, sexual reproduction, etc.
I’m not so sure that this is a coincidence. if we think about art functionally in terms of how it is transacting implicit normative (ie. prescriptive) conceptual content, we might sort of view it as a technique that allows others to become complicit in the artist’s normative subscriptions without that complicity being fully examined.
a work of art asks to be interpreted, and if it is good art, there is something in it that resists the completeness of any interpretation, and so it remains like a font of conceptual content, until eventually it stops being relevant, at which point it stops giving. this to me is kind of the same thing as coming to understand something of the artist’s crazy, inasmuch as their crazy is something about them that also resists interpretation (maybe it is too ugly / problematic? maybe there is no vocabulary for it yet? etc.)
hmm there is heaps more to say about this but I have to go for the moment. bbl