Tortured artist

Tortured artist

The tortured artist is a character and real-life stereotype who is in constant torment due to frustrations with art and other people.


Tortured artists feel alienated and misunderstood due to the ignorance or neglect of others who do not understand nor support them and the things they feel are important. They sometimes smoke , experience sexual frustration and recurring heartbreak , and generally appear overwhelmed by their own emotions and inner conflicts. They are often mocked in popular culture for “thinking too much”, being quixotic , or coming across as pretentiously down to happiness and fun. Other stereotypical traits vary between extremes-from being narcissistic and extraverted to being self-loathing and introverted. Tortured artists are often self-destructive in their behavior and substance abuse , personality disorders or depression . Tortured artists are often prone to self-mutilation and have a high rate of suicide .

See also

  • Creativity and mental illness
  • Cursed poet
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Starving artist

Further reading

  • Redfield Jamison, Kay (1996). Touched With Fire . New York: Free Press. ISBN  068483183X . – looks at the relationship between bipolar disorder and artistic creativity. It contains a number of case histories of dead people.
  • Zara, Christopher (2012). Tortured Artists . Avon, Mass: Adams Media. ISBN  1440530033 . – shows the universal nature of the tortured artist stereotype and how it applies to all of the creative disciplines, including film, theater, literature, music and visual art. The artists profiled in the book-have made major contributions to Generally Their respective mediums ( Charles M. Schulz , Charlie Parker , Lenny Bruce , Michelangelo , Kurt Cobain , Madonna , Andy Warhol , Amy Winehouse , Ernest Hemingway and dozens of others), but the book shows how, in each case, their art was inspired by bread and suffering.