I think that anything that you know about an artist can add dimension to how you appreciate his work
but that wasn't the question here
it was whether the PERSONALITY of the artist or his reputation (bad or good) would color the way in which you experience his work.
If I found Song of the Answerer in a tin can by the side of the road, it would still be a great piece of poetry. And me knowing that Walt Whitman liked boys does not influence that appreciation. Still the works of Whitman have more dimension for me because i know a bit about his life.