If we denounce an artist for bad behaviour, what becomes of the work that remains? The #MeToo movement is overturning a cliché that has forgiven bad behaviour for years: to be creative is to be prone to eccentricity, madness, addiction and excess.
No longer can artists be excused from the standards of conduct that apply to us all.
Ashleigh Wilson is the arts editor of The Australian. He won a Walkley Award for his series on unethical behaviour in the Aboriginal art industry, which led to a Senate inquiry. Brett Whiteley: Art, Life and the Other Thing (2016) was published by Text Publishing, and won the 2017 Nib People’s Choice.
Stephen Romei is the literary editor at The Australian.
On Artists is Published by Melbourne University Press