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"Vincent van Gogh
, Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, Easel and Japanese Print
, January 1889. Van Gogh, who struggled with poverty and mental illness for most of his life, is regarded as a famous example of the tortured artist.
The tortured artist is a "stock 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 perceived 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 averse 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 behavior and are generally associated with mental health issues such as "substance abuse, "personality disorders or "depression. Tortured artists are often prone to "self-mutilation and have a high rate of "suicide.
- 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 who are described as probably having suffered from bipolar disorder.
- 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 generally made major contributions to 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 pain and suffering.