Suicide Artist(s) Crazy Kids !!!
“Artists as a profession are peculiar and susceptible to suicide. The solitary nature of their work and the consequent potential for disproportionate self-doubt represent a toxic combination. Oscar Kokoschka even claimed in 1923…. it as an Artistic privilege: My work contains everything that will die with me and nothing that will reach beyond me or outlive me. The only right an artist has in a material age is that when he has no more illusions left – that is, when he is exhausted – he has the freedom to take his own life”
Phillip Hook Breakfast at Sotheby’s Penguin 2018
With creative people usually being more sensitive to the world around them, Artists are often more acutely aware of their emotional states they are both conductors of energy and antennas for the Global consciousness. This has its advantages we are often Ten years ahead of the rest of society, we push the boundaries of both life, science and the material world. We are often seen as revolutionaries that seek to change the world, make people see things differently, use art for activism and make people consider their position in the world.But does being an Artist have it’s down sides?
In a recent article in AN Magazine with the Artist Alistair Gentry he says…..
“ Mental health problems and creativity are popularly seen as having some kind of correlation. Sometimes it’s artists themselves cultivating the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” romanticism of their vocation. The art world and academia often give the impression it’s productive or even necessary for an artist to go crazy; the mental illness that contributed to the untimely deaths of artists like Mark Rothko or Vincent Van Gogh depicted as a prerequisite of their brilliance rather than an invisible, misunderstood and stigmatised disability.”
So our craziness is or may be seen as a prerequisite of our brilliance and our untimely deaths as a booster to both our market and our Myths as Artists or our we just more likely to express ourselves through our practice which exposes our vulnerabilities and with our success our “ untimely deaths” recorded better than your average joe ?
and so what …. we are more likely to have issues than the rest of society thats no bad thing in my eyes and at the end of the day we get to live on in the material world through our art whereby our ideas, objects and actions resonate through generations of Artists, humanity and Philosophers alike.
But which artists cut their life short due to unbearable trauma ? When life existence just got too much for them to bear ?
Arshile Gorky one of the American abstract expressionists had several crises before hanging himself as explained in the text below taken from Wikipedia. The question is when life gets too much how can Artists instead of taking their own lives; put that trauma into more Art? Is it possible one can carry on living and creating and striving rather than popping their clogs at their own hands?
“From 1946, Gorky suffered a series of crises: his studio barn burned down, he underwent a colostomy for cancer, and Mougouch had an affair with Roberto Matta. In 1948, Gorky’s neck was broken and his painting arm temporarily paralyzed in a car accident, and his wife left him, taking their children with her. She was later married to British writer Xan Fielding.
Gorky hanged himself in Sherman, Connecticut in 1948 at the age of 44. He is buried in North Cemetery in Sherman, Connecticut.”
and there is the obvious ones like Vincent Van Gogh and Mark Rothko and more recently Alexander Mc Queen ( Yes i consider him more of an Artist than a fashion designer ) an upcoming article will delve into his life, works and cringe ( untimely death )
So what can be done today to help artist get the help they need when they need it? more structurally as a community of Artists and socially as a whole? Which countries celebrate Artistic expression and support the Arts and which make it more difficult to be a practising Artist today ?
More coming soon ! over and out !