Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Moans:Tortured Artist piffle

Wikipedia gives a definition of the what a "tortured artist" is
and I would say sure there are some tortured souls who happen to be artists, but what about the tortured doctors, nurses, traffic wardens, dentists, stay at home mums, cops, jailers, teachers, farmers, bankers, politicians, shop assistants, journalists, x ray technicians, etc.
ps. the wiki entry has changed

Hum! Reeeeeeeeeeeeally!

"constant ferment due to frustrations with art and other people."
Just google burn out and job frustrations and see what pops up (clue:it isn't artists). Only fermenting I'm interested in is the one that produces marmite.

"feels alienated and misunderstood due to the perceived ignorance or neglect of others who do not understand him and the things he feels are important."
Yea! yea! yea! I used to hear this ad infinitum on the crisis hotline. The complaints would range from people not understanding their choices, their lifestyle, their political/religious beliefs, their careers, their hobbies, and the list goes on. I tell you Mr. Poop, Mr. Haircut and Diaper Man were very misunderstood.

"He sometimes smokes, experiences sexual frustration and reoccurring heartbreak, and generally appears overwhelmed by his own emotions and inner conflicts."
It Sucks , but it doesn't torture me.
I mean come on all sorts of people have these problems (not me!not me!)

"The tortured artist is often mocked in popular culture for "thinking too much," being quixotic, or coming across as pretentiously adverse to happiness and fun."

And political figures, power elites, liberals, and many others too numerous to list are not mocked. Was it not just recently that east coast intellectual elites were mocked, as in the anti intellectual tirades. As for happiness and fun, Frida Kahlo wasn't adverse to happiness, but it is kind of hard to be happy all the time when one lives in pain after about 30 surgeries and your husband keeps bonking your sister.
ah! key words pretensiously adverse to happiness.
Okay that doesn't fit either.
Never Mind!

"Tortured artists are often self-destructive in behavior, and are often associated with mental health issues such as substance abuse, depression, or bipolar disorder. Tortured artists are often prone to suicide."

Often?No data supports "often prone to suicide" claim. A government study listing depressive episodes by career lists food prep and service industry at the near top. "According to a U.S. government report, more than 19 million adults in the United States suffer from depression".
As for substance abuse just check nation wide trends , likewise for self destructive behaviours, and suicide demographics.

Ps. I notice the wiki entry has been changed a wee bit since I did this blog entry.
Hum! no bibliography/notes references?

Psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison notes in her book “Touched with Fire” that the majority of people suffering from a mood disorder “do not possess extraordinary imagination, and most accomplished artists do not suffer from recurring mood swings.” source: Developing Talent
on the other hand
Here are some tips on how to ACT like a tortured artist from wiki how

Now if you don't mind I have seriously important work to do ALONE in my chaotic studio , I vant to be alone to ferment, drink my tannic acid in my half empty teacup and listen to depressing opera.
Toodle bloody Pip


Art said...

LOL, awesome. I plan on carrying around roses in case I meet my one true love from now on. Hopefully the Victorian funeral director clothes won't be too scary for him

JafaBrit's Art said...

I escaped my studio momentarily just to ask you, a black rose?

Sheree Rensel said...

You know the "tortured artist" is a stereotype. When envisioning who an artist is and what they might be like, some people believe we are all like Kirk Douglas in "Lust For Life". It is so funny because I needed to Google for the name of the movie and look at this description:

Lust for Life (1956)
Directed by Vincente Minnelli. With Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald. The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh.

Notice the reference to "tortured"? LOL LOL LOL I learned a long time ago, that the data to support depressives as being more or less creative is just not there. Shoot! If severely emotionally disturbed individuals were definitely artistic and more creative, my entire school population would qualify for the Venice Biennale! LOL LOL They do not.

Maybe the artists who do suffer from weird, psycho shit (I am one) are just more noticeable because these maladies are expressed via their art?? Who knows. Who cares. All I know is I have a great life as an artist. I laugh my ass off every day!! :-) Tootles to you too Jaf!

JafaBrit's Art said...

The key is what you said Sheree, artists express themselves in their art and therefore are noticed. The problem with noticing is that sometimes people only notice what they want. If they are already subscribing to stereotypes then they will look for anything to support that notion.

Bill Evertson said...

Brilliant post :) The only times I'm really tortured as an artist is when I'm not making art. (or perhaps watching tv... or painting the house) If I do get too far afield my wife the mental health worker can always summon her mobil crisis unit.

Undaunted said...

Lol, I really like your closing words on the subject Jafa!

I thought abstract was produced by tortured artists? - because they can't paint properly after having their thumbs in the thumb screws so long! ;)

David Howard said...

I just wish for one minute I could..........

Anonymous said...

Having gone to art school and been surrounded by people who thought they had to live up to the tortured artist hype, I agree with your assessment of it all being bloody PIP! I used to become greatly amused by them though, so it had its value for me.

Some of the happiest people I know today have their creativity available to them. They also don't need to consume mindless entertainment nearly as much, as they are too busy creating their own entertainment.

JafaBrit's Art said...

I think that is when I feel tormented Bill, when I can't do art, but rest of the time I am tormented by mundane chores.

LOL undaunted, I hadn't thought about the thumb screws.

Me thinks David, like a lot of people, you don't have the time.

physic I remember a dear girl in college loving the idea of being an artist and really played the role. It was fun watching her, even if she couldn't paint for toffee.

deb said...

OMG LOL!! And THANK YOU, I am so tired of explaining that I am a relatively normal suburban mum of three not some crazy tortured woman!!