The Tortured Artist

Following the popularity of the recent Ladies Man article I’ve had a number of requests to profile a spectrum of men so that we’re all better equipped to navigate the river of masculinity that is as murky as it is broad.

The Tortured Artist, just like the Ladies Man belongs to the arc of gentleman that can be classified as charming. He’s not suave in a superficial sense but he does exhibit the same self-assurance and twang of egoism that the common Mr Smooth is known for.

Being an artist and loudly proclaiming so requires a significant dose of narcissism. Think about it, (and I don’t exempt myself from this critique) artists hinge their lives around putting their work(s) into the world. They consider their creativity to be so profoundly, magnificent that others should engage with and admire it. They are, God’s gift to art.

Here’s what to expect from the Tortured Artist, because all of them, even the ‘successful’ ones are tortured. Perfect example: the character of Alexsander Petrovsky in Sex & the City, Season 6, the living epitome of ‘I need you, but you cannot need me’. 

  • They need constant support. And by support I mean straddling the line between being obsequious and honest. Notably, you can never be brutally honest. I recommend drafting a number of responses that are more supportive than: ‘It’s a self-indulgent piece of crap covered in glitter glue”, and less flippant than, “Babe, it’s amazing, you’re defs the next Picasso!”
  • Don your soft textures because you’ll become a pillow to the emotional volatility and torment that comes from the struggle of being an artist. And don’t expect to predict the moodiness either; one moment they’re writing poems about you, the next they’re ranting about how the commercial production of art is stupefying consumers and perpetuating a negative cycle of rodent-pop-garbage being held up in lights as art. Insert expletives (and confusion) here!
  • Be prepared to share your wallet – most artists earn slim to nothing and you can expect the requests to buy them pies, tabs of acid and packets of ciggies to become a regular occurrence.
  • A tendency towards melancholy and all of the vices, depressing music and black and white photos associated with it.
  • If you earn a decent salary keep your mouth shut about it. Emasculating a budding artist is a faux pas that they won’t let you forget (mostly when they’re asking you to buy them things)
  • Setting up a date? Have zero expectations that they will refrain from going on a bender the night before.
  • Artists often live in the moment to maximise their ‘experiential living’. This is an amazing quality but after a while can really impinge on (your) expectations of reality. Don’t expect them to respect the fact that you probably have to go to work on a Wednesday morning and can’t spend all night at a gallery opening networking and bludging fee ciders off a sponsor.
  • Truly selfless people need only apply to be with tortured artists for any extended periods of time
  • Yes, artists do think they’re pretty, because their mentality of ‘life as a work of art’ extends to themselves. Even if it’s not conventional attractiveness that blind confidence that they exude actually works. Don’t be surprised when you find them surrounded by a bevvy of admirers.
  • Expect to share your clothes, particularly your skinny leg jeans and Lulu Lemon tights.
  • Get prepared to dust off any qualifications that you may have in psychology. No, I’m not implying that artists are ridiculed with twisted neuroses, but they are. That’s what makes their art, like, so deep.
  • Artists subscribe to not giving a shit about the relics of our societal status quos. They live according to their own boundaries, which mean a general disdain for time, currency, common courtesies, rental agreements or drivers licences, nor will they understand the need for YOU to devote yourself to such trivialities.

In summary, truly selfless people need only apply to be with tortured artists for any extended periods of time. It’s draining, volatile and riddled with passionate highs and desperate lows.

HeArt with care,

JLM xx


N.B – The man profile series are based on stereotypes cultivated via observation and experience.

  • Featured art is by Andy Warhol, the most twisted of them all <3

Posted by    |   November 14th, 2016   |   No Comments

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