Argumentative Essay on Banksy. Main idea arguing; Can you separate Artist from their art.

Love the Art, Hate the Artist

Final Paper


One 8-10-page paper with 8-10 secondary sources on any “controversial” writer or artist (90 points or 45% of your grade). Papers should cover both the artist’s primary source material (i.e., books, music, film, art, etc.) and biographical detail.  Thus, research is necessary.  Follow MLA Handbook style for the Works Cited list.


Papers will be graded based on your ability to meet these criteria:


  1. Strength of your claim. You should clearly state your claim and set up how you will defend it in the opening paragraphs.
  2. You should argue for or against an artist and their work with a risk-taking claim. Risk-taking means that you’re making a claim with which somebody else might disagree.
  3. Use strong evidence from secondary sources to back up your claim. This evidence should be a combination of critical opinion (not just your own) and biographical detail.


II.                 Artist’s History—Evidence and Analysis

  1. Through secondary sources, discuss the artist’s early life and establish criteria for judging them, especially in terms of how they’re controversial.
  2. Based on the above researched evidence, provide insightful analysis as to why the artist may behave in particular ways that could be deemed as controversial.
  3. Conclusion
    1. How does the research about the artist’s life support your claim?
    2. How does the research about the artist’s life challenge your claim?


III.             Artist’s Legacy—Evidence and Analysis

a.       Through secondary sources, introduce the artist and their work. Use secondary sources to explain why their work is acclaimed in their field.

i.      Discuss their early work and recognition.

ii.      Establish the relevant conventions particular to their field. This is where you want to establish how “talent” is defined in their field (think in terms of process, materials, innovation, skill set, etc.).

iii.      Establish the measurements for success in their field (i.e., gallery shows, reviews, number of copies sold, price for work, press, etc.)

  1. Talk about their mid-career and late career.
  1. Through secondary sources, discuss whether critical response to their work changed over time.
  1. Analyze their work in terms of its long-term successes and failures and how this analysis supports your claim. This is your opinion, but based on the evidence.
  2. Conclusion
    1. How does the research support your claim?
    2. How does the research challenge your claim?


  1. Controversial Aspects of Artist’s Life—Evidence and Analysis
    1. Through secondary resources, establish why the artist is controversial.
    2. Analyze whether the controversial behavior has an effect (positive or negative) on perception of the art.
      1. How does this research support your claim?
      2. How does this research challenge your claim?
    3. Conclusion
      1. Restate your claim and whether it’s developed at all from the beginning.
      2. Acknowledge (and dismiss) opinions that might differ from your claim.

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