Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry

(no subject)

I hate it when good artists are crazy.

I mean, I know that this is terrible and wrong and bad and judgemental of me, but there y'are. I was randomly surfing, clicking away at a site that shall remain nameless (nobody I know on LJ, anyhow, and since I am not saying something nice, I will not link, because that would be more than a little rude) and saw a piece of surprisingly competent, fairly interesting art. I was intrigued.

Then I scrolled a little farther, read the associated text and manifesto, and discovered that they were either batshit insane or doing a shockingly good imitation--not the "I'm trying to be edgy and dark!" kind of self-conscious insane, or even the mildly-eccentric I-stay-up-all-night-carving-voluptous-deer-women-with-chainsaws insane, which is fine, I know that guy, he's great, but the "My houseplants talk to me in my sleep and tell me to wear tinfoil underwear for Christ!" kind of insane. (Which is often surprisingly hard to fake, and I'm not doing it justice at all--absurdly crazy is easy, just sing to the eggplants, but getting that faint patina of rationality right, then diving off the deep end--well, you almost gotta BE crazy, or else have a great ear for dialogue.)

Anyway, I sighed, and stared at the ceiling a bit. I know, I know, critique the art, not the artist, who am I to judge, etc, etc. I know. Yes, beauty produced by a mind that's across the sanity horizon and picking up speed is still beautiful, and I'm about as equipped to comment on other people's sanity as a walrus is to hydroponic gardening. I'm not trying to justify this--it's bad of me. I am 100% in the wrong. But still. Somewhere, on some level, a little voice goes "Aw, nuts," and throws its hands in the air. It's sort of like when you learn that an artist you admire is a raging asshole or a raving misogynist or evangelically religious in the bad way. I dunno if it's some complex thing related to the way that people build their mental image of the artist behind the art, or if it's just that inevitable twinge of... something ...disillusionment? I dunno... when you learn that you are admiring things by people that you maybe wouldn't choose to admire. Sort of like I feel reading "Cerebus"--he's a great little aardvark, but man, some of the things Dave Sims says about women outside of the comic make me want to scream "Killer Squid Falls From Above!" and drop off the ceiling with a machete. (Not that this would neccesarily prove anything, but it sounds like it'd be cathartic.)

On some level, I guess we want artists to be paragons, and to think talent is associated with virtue. And hell, if anybody oughta know that we aren't, it's me! (Which is not to say, as so many claim, that all good artists are jerks, either--I have known many who would give you their last drink of water in a desert. They're all individuals, god knows.) But still, there I am, getting that little mental wince. In my defense, it could just be the knee-jerk response to the association of insanity with art, which I really think we gotta get over--out of the garret! Out! But still, that's no excuse. Obviously enlightenment for this particular artist is still quite a long ways off.

  • 1
Unfortunately, this is very common. A recent study noted that many good artists, were missing a certain limiter in their brains that often was also a marker for other mental ilnesses. I can't remember the details, but Pat Kelly posted the link in his LJ I think. it was mkinmd of sad, and made me recognize more than a few behaviors I engage in. :-(

A Friend of mine, is of the opinion that Artists aren't like normal people, in that then need "keppers" to be able to function properly in society and not get duped. She may be right, and it's usually horrific for housework if two artists marry, as I have met only one competant artist who was good and contientious about housework.

No, Artists are not paragons, they are flawed. being able to draw well is a curse, as well as a blessing sometimes. We cannot "un-see" things in our minds eye. We spent time perfecting a craft, instead of getting better at social contests or making millions. Often we beome absorbed in projects, and compelled by our muses to the point of neglecting duties, and sometimes even health.

Artists I think are always a little crazy, it' just depends on how well you can front.


P.S. Look at what one really harsh critique did to a young Adolf Hitler, in 1911...

Depends what you mean by artist. :D Andy is as adept at his craft (writing, game design, and coding) as I am at mine, and he's a neat freak. But yeah, visual artists know how to really trash a place. >.>

I will not be dropping from the ceiling. I am far more likely to simply emerge from a floor grate.

Short, y'know.

You could rise up on a column holding a cleaver like some demented version of Icon Chef!

Like Salieri who couldn't bear the idea that so much talent should be concentrated in one so inane.  Although only in the play by Peter Shaffer, so there you are.  It's largely fictional anyway.

Interestingly, the "I hear voices" type of insane sounds like schizophrenia and I once saw a series of pictures in a book by someone becoming progressively more schizophrenic -- I have vague memories of the colours becoming more vivid and everything being, well, spikier.  Sound familiar?  Just curious ....

after reading your post, i did a little research.
man, that Sims guy has some awfully big chip on his shoulder.
one choice morsel from his list of Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast section of Tangents.
A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.

oh dear.

now being a father who cannot see his son on a regular basis because of my ex's rather strange rationalisation that i'm just a bad person (and is willing to come up with false accusations of abuse to compound this), some of his rhetoric of child support rings true with me, but the thinly-veiled hate behind his words is something i find just deplorable.

I didn't read it all the way through, but it's intriguing that, having condemned anecdotal evidence, his entire corpus of evidence that "women are emotional beings" is anecdotal.  He probably hasn't checked a large enough population or checked that men don't respond in exactly the same way or a related way, for one thing.

Fool.  I discard him and his lack of intellectual rigour, which I have assumed without proof.


[discards self]

Is this person Timecube insane?

Now I'm all morbidly curious and wanting to know who it is

God DAMMIT! I was about to say that exactly!

"Is this person Timecube insane?"

Ever heard the Timecube guy speak? A radio show I usued to listen to had him on...he sounds like a crazy geezer, but he's really quick on his feet, in a jabbery-nostop sorta way. it's impossible to confuse him, he's very internally consistent with his Timecube schtick.

it's very easy and attractive to confuse beauty and truth, or the art with the artist, yep. we want good artists to be good people, because somehow being able to make effective and compelling work is some kind of magic, yes? so these artists must Know Something, or somehow be in touch with some Cosmic Truths, etc. but no, it's just practice and innate hand-eye coordiation, etc. even kooks can pull a straight line. as i recall, didn't Hitler have a knack for painting?

as i recall, didn't Hitler have a knack for painting?

Yup, he even started out training to be an artist, and there's some of his art here. I'd like to think he was a terrible artist, but actually they aren't all that bad.

I was reading the paragraph that starts "Anyway, I sighed, and stared at the ceiling a bit," and I started thinking, "Oh, you mean like Dave Sim." A few sentences later, and there he was. I wonder how Dave Sim feels about being the canonical test for whether you're willing to appreciate art despite its creator being a jerk.

Well, that's the risk you run...

(Deleted comment)
*laugh* No, it was an actual incident...back when I was in high school, I woke to the happy sounds of chainsawing at about 4 AM. When I finally staggered awake, it was to discover that a buddy of my parents, who was staying with us for a coupla days, had converted a tree stump to a deer maiden with an enormous rack.

I said "Cool," and went hunting for coffee. Eccentricity is fine, but not before breakfast.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand

It's bad to be crazy...

...but I think the reason you're conflicted about saying this is that you're not sure whether you mean "bad = unfortunate" or "bad = blameable." I think there's good reason to be unsure.

On the surface, the distinction should be easy to make: lots and lots of crazy people are crazy through no fault of their own. They're born that way, just as some people are born with heart defects or spinal deformities or missing limbs. You can't be blamed for the way you were born. You had no choice in the matter. There is no element of volition, hence no moral aspect to the misfortune. So insanity in this case is unfortunate, not blameable.

But consider: there are plenty of physical ailments that ARE the result of volition. If you smoke and get lung cancer--gee, that's awful, but who put Mr. Marlboro in Mr. Mouth? Now we're all Nice People and Nice People never say "you have no one to blame but yourself,"--at least not when it comes to matters of life and death, right?-- but we cannot resist the urge to roll our eyes even as we sue Big Tobacco or McDonald's (or Seagram's, eventually?). And why do we have that urge? Because we cannot ignore the element of volition involved in this misfortune: there is indeed a blameable element, though the consensus among we Nice People is that there's no point in calling folks on it when it gets to the point of a terminasl diagnosis (what good would it do, anyway?)

Now if one can make one's body unhealthy by the "lifestyle choices" one makes, why should the mind be invulnerable? Some people may not choose to be crazy, per se, just as people may not choose to have heart attacks from eating too much fast food. But if one consistently refuses to deal with the consequences of what one believes, may that not have an effect similar to that which follows from consistently refusing to deal with the consequences of what one eats?

The problem with this theory is it's devilish hard to prove: one can't measure mental cholesterol levels or point to the dimensions of an enlarged ego. But I think there's evidence that hints at it, and it seems logical to extend what we know about the body's other organs to that most delicate one, the brain.

Those who would be, or be thought to be creative, frequently enthuse about trying to "believe six impossible things before breakfast." Could this be just as unhealthy as an Egg McMuffin? In moderation, as with the McMuffin, probably not. As a steady diet, however...

--Fat Boy Slim

In Which Kass Aimlessly Babbles and Jo Walton's Coke Incident Is Brought Up Again

Well, in part, I suspect what you've touched upon has a lot to do with the reason that 'being in love with an author/artist' has 'in love' in it. Because when you really really like a work, be it in fiction or art, you are to a degree 'in love' with them, complete with overlooking faults and stupidities. And when the artist/creator does something buttfuck stupid or freakyass crazy, it jolts you right out of your happy little place, and you start looking at the work of the artist a lot more objectively--which can, in some cases, lead to breakup.

It is, I suppose, another matter of psychosocial maturation, one which gets completely overlooked for some reason--probably because the segment of the population intensely into reading or art isn't considered signifigant enough to attract attention to it. If you're 'old' enough (irregardless of actual years), you can seperate the work from the artist--but there's still always going to be a time when, upon learning something you don't like about the artist/author, you go back and look at what they've done and realize the rose-colored glasses have come off.

I mean, I doubt it's concidence I started disliking Mercedes Lackey's books a lot more right around the time I found out her attitude towards her fandom is... paranoid at best.

You also might want to be a bit wary of that 'attack squid' thing--it could happen.

Ah, I know what you mean. You have this strange...well, I suppose wince is a good way to describe it. That question of whether or not you should judge the art without the artists. At some end of this conflict you get into vague territory, like, to what extent can you forgive things you don't approve of? At the other end you can have someone you completely disagree with, whose views you find offensive, and it feels odd to just ignore that.

I think that part of it is the fact that you want the artist of something you appreciate to be someone you can at least respect, because a person has to come through in their art in some way, and if you interpret the art as 'good' then you might be secretly interpreting the person as 'good', as in, conforming to your own ideas of what makes a good person. Having the artist not be so betrays your own perception of the person. Although, keep in mind that I don't know much about art, so I'm just thinking about this in terms of fiction, and it's probably easier to tell where someone is coming from in terms of they way they think and view the world in a written form than a visual one(at least for me). If you read a book with some message that appeals to you, that you really connect with, and then find out that the author had opinions and views totally unlike your own, you begin to doubt the validity of the message and get frustrated with yourself for mentally associating yourself with someone(or the ideas of someone) you disapprove of. If that makes any sense at all. -_-

  • 1