Goldfish and The KKK: An Argument Against Immoral Art

Vincent Valdez paints ‘The Beginning is Near, Part I: The City’, 2015–2016.

So while art can prompt feelings of immense awe or intense disgust, what is really at the core is art’s ability to tap into and reflect back to us our moral and ethical values.

‘Helena’ by artist Marco Evaristti
Vincent Valdez paints ‘The Beginning is Near, Part I: The City’, 2015–2016.

1. The commission and depiction of the KKK work is immoral;

2. Therefore, the artwork invites us to participate in the morally defective commissioning of the work. In other words, we are invited to contribute to the spotlight and allow a stage for the artwork to exist without any moral or social ramifications. By implication, we are participants in the glorification that the artwork is attempting to highlight;

3. An artwork that invites us to share the stage of a morally defective position, is itself, morally defective;

4. Therefore, the art is morally defective.

1. The intention and or perspective of the work in question is immoral;

2. This immorality undermines the possibility of engagement with the work;

3. Therefore, any work which undermines its own intention is aesthetically defective.

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Laura E Fox

LLB (Hons) and BA (Gender Studies and Philosophy) student. A collection of academic essays.