In the long run an artist is judged strictly on the basis of the work he or she is willing to expose to the world.
Sometimes, in the short run, what's held up to the world as art is judged on politics. I was once told during a debate that were I to take into consideration Andres Serrano's personal background and intent I'd be able better to understand and really appreciate his then famous "Piss Christ." Serrano did "Piss Christ" fairly early in the shock art movement, and both he and it instantly were famous, though perhaps not much appreciated. But fame and whatever residual emotions surrounded them at the time faded quickly, and nowadays neither Serrano nor "Piss Christ" is much remembered in the sane part of the art world -- only in "elephant dung on the Virgin" art circles.
In the long run personal backgrounds and intents fade from human memory along with understanding of the milieu and the politics in which particular artists lived. In the long run a work of art has to stand on its own feet, because in the long run no other feet exist.
So it pays to be very careful about what you show the world. Doesn't matter whether you're a painter, a poet, a musical composer, or a photographer, you'll produce crap, mediocre stuff, fair stuff, pretty good stuff, good stuff, quite good stuff, really good stuff, and the very, very, very rare work upon which you'd be willing to hang your reputation. The only way you can know the difference is to study what's gone before in your own genre and in related genres. Once you've educated your eye to the point where you can distinguish between crap and astonishingly good you then have to decide where on the scale you're going to set your cull point. One always makes mistakes, especially on short-term judgment. In the long run it's the average that counts, but a real blooper means a lot of extra work to get the average back up.