Thursday, July 16, 2015

Great artists but troubled lives

There are great artists who could produce great pieces of art work but yet could meet obligations of family and the societal norms. They were passionate buy yet responsible.

And there are numerous artists considered genius in their work but led faulty personal lives. They are my subject of interest today.

God when showers with great gifts to an individual he seems to blunt some other sense in him to make up for it. Like Achilles had it in in his heel. Geniuses have a great vision but yet are blind to simple things in life. Steve Jobs when fired from the company he founded, he was a given a reason that he was not sympathetic to his fellow employees. He was a great product designer but a poor people manager. Passion and tolerance do not seem to like each other. They rarely coexist peacefully.

An artist needs to have great emotional skills but at the same time he (or she) should not be sentimental. That lets him renew himself, cut-off from previous work and get ready for the next. Many great artists are versatile; they can get into shoes of various personalities rather easily. They also develop an awareness to come out of it with the same ease too. But the same skills do not go well when applied in their personal lives.

Family, friends, finance or fame, they expect care and sympathy to bond well. If you were there for family or friends when they needed it most, there are higher possibilities that it will be reciprocated. But the artist always lives in his imaginations, even when he is not painting or writing or acting or composing music. So sympathy gives him a miss.

If fortunate, an artist could get paid well for his work too. For him, money is the sixth sense to keep rest of the five senses in good humor. He is not trained to keep and grow the money. He has the least inclinations to learn the tricks of the trade. So it is a matter of time before art or money leaves him. In Indian mythology it is said that when goddess of wealth Lakshmi comes in, Sarasvati, goddess of knowledge and art takes leave.

Even when the artist is in distress, he would use art as his media to express his frustration rather than finding a friend to cry on his shoulder. But a common man does otherwise. A mediocre person visits temples or shrines or spends time in dim lit bars to find solace. Artist’s mind does not work the same way. He can be broken financially but rarely emotionally. So the spouses of great artists, however strong their bond is, cannot hold their partner’s souls to themselves.

Relationships or businesses, they expect discipline and commitment to flourish. Those qualities work against the nature of an artist. His mind wanders continuously. That makes him less dependable. People get attracted to him for his passion or intelligence. But the same is not enough to hold them together. When the material exhausts, artist’s interest dies and he moves on to newer subjects or persons. 

Artist is married to his art first and his artistic creations are the first children he has ever produced. That does not go well with the expectations of the society. So he is seldom an ideal husband or an ideal parent. Society says he is irresponsible. But the artist is deaf to it. Society thinks he had a troubled life but the artist does not agree or care. Now you may not wonder why Salman Rushdie had to marry four times. But look into his works, you would not find a half-hearted author.

Admirers of art adore the artists. But it need not be the same with those closely associated to the artists. The dogma continues.