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Can We Separate The Art From The Artist?: This Man Just Bonked Someone On The Head With The Beautiful Painting He Made

It’s an age-old debate—can we appreciate incredible art even if its creator has committed despicable acts? This recent story brings that moral quandary into stark relief: This man just bonked someone on the head with the beautiful painting he made.

Wow. We must say, it’s difficult to extricate the visionary who created such an incredible work of art with the lunatic who used it to bean someone.

You would not be alone in admiring the deft brushstrokes and pleasing color balance displayed in the floral still life recently completed by Providence, Rhode Island-based artist Paul Morgan, but any enjoyment you might find in his work is complicated by the fact that as soon as he finished it, Paul rushed out of his studio and onto the street with its canvas in hand and used it to smack an unsuspecting bystander across the head. It’s tough to square the fact that the same man who dreamed up this arresting bouquet of flowers also screamed “Nighty-night, asshole” as he lifted the painting above a stranger’s head and then brought it down with all his might, but that is simply the case here. And so the question presents itself: Can we even call this painting beautiful knowing that its creator used it as an instrument of bonking?

His art is incredible, but his behavior is unconscionable. Can you blame us for not knowing what to do here?

It would be easy to sit back and feast our eyes on Paul Morgan’s lovely impressionist work, but to do so without acknowledging his bonking-based violence would erase this terrible act, not to mention the experience of his victim, who ran around clutching his head in a daze for several minutes after the attack. Frankly, we are at a loss. What do you think? Can we enjoy this painting, knowing that its artist socked someone with it? Let us know your opinion in the comments!