Artist Portrayals in Media: So Horribly Accurate

In comedy, we’ll always find that artists are either portrayed as air-headed “connected to the earth” white people, or pretentious jerks. That’s how they have always been portrayed since the dawn of the 1990’s and 2000’s, and that’s how they will be portrayed until the end of time. At this point, the portrayals are iconic.

The only problem with these portrayals is how horribly accurate they are. No, really, it’s insanely accurate. Need proof? Go to a modern art museum. Not even that. Just open an art history book or biography. Time and time again, you’ll find that artists tend to be extremely arrogant and pretentious, trying to act like they are on some higher tier of existence than the common folk. This isn’t the case for all artists, but it is the case for a majority of them.

This is especially true in the case of most modern artists, who think they can get away with painting a blank canvas white and selling it for a million dollars. Well, they kind of can, given that the culture surrounding art and art critiques inflates an artist’s ego to the point of no return by going insane over said white-painted canvas. The culture only makes the artist’s attitude that much worse, encouraging them to make paintings that can be done in less than five minutes. Not even paintings, but also sculptures (there was a case where an art piece which was literally a pile of trash was accidentally thrown out by a cleaning lady who didn’t know it was part of the exhibit). The culture helps further the monster. But it doesn’t create it.

No, the artist grows into the stereotype in college, and even high school. They make friends with other artists, learn about art and somehow get it in their head that they are more “unique” and “free” because of it. They invest themselves in their craft, and become infected. Then they get mad when people make fun of said infection. They insist that the stereotypes aren’t true at all, then act exactly like their stereotypes (even down to dressing like them, just without the beret and scarf). It’s almost sad.

But, like I’ve already said, this stereotypes doesn’t apply to all artists. There are a few that lie outside of the stereotype, who are actually fairly normal, and even make fun of the stereotypes and the people who act like them. They are, unfortunately, few and far between.

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