Over the years I’ve observed first-hand how great art often comes from the most tormented people. Musicians, movie stars, writers, entrepreneurs.
As I’ve written before, to become an icon (if not achieve worldwide greatness), you have to sacrifice just about everything else in life, which often makes said person a one-dimential, incredibly driven, and often sociopathic.
Is it possible, however, for happy, well-balanced, and/or multi-dimensional people to create great art? Joseph Berger, an artist from New York, sure thinks so.
“The perpetuation of the long suffering mythology of art is a thing which makes me unhappy,” he writes. “It is promulgated by people who have either never suffered enough to really know what suffering is, or otherwise by happy idiots who have never done a worthwhile thing in their lives, and by people who watch way to much TV or its equivalent, and buy the shopworn notion of art and artists, which predicates itself on a cultural aesthetic that is arcane at best, and insulting to the very fabric of the quality of mind that art does require. Art has nothing to do with any single emotional state of being. Art is thing that people do, just the same as feelings of all sorts are things that we each experience. And I am far more concerned about the state of mind of the person driving a car on a highway in vicinity of mine, and how their emotional state affects their driving in the moment than I am about how it affects their art.”
As a self-prescribed multi-dimentional, well-balanced, and happy artist, I sure hope so.