Born Under Saturn

Artists and Eccentricity

WHEN WE TALK OF BOHEMIA, we are referring to a shifting cultural phenomenon that began among the Romantics, came to dissolute bloom in the prosperity of France’s Second Empire and continued, sporadically, through the Twenties and on into the Sixties. From Thomas De Quincey (17-85-1859) to the Beat Generation, thereabouts. But eccentricity has been with us forever. No doubt there were Neanderthals who considered themselves unique and entitled to attentions unearned by their dull, plodding fellows. // // Human history is a kaleidoscope of oddities—but do they belong to the nature of artists? Continue Reading
Born Under Saturn

ARTISTS DO LOVE TO THINK OF THEMSELVES as different from everyone else. They are first on line for the latest article, book, monograph or lecture on the problems of the artist’s personality and the mysterious springs of his creative power. They bathe in popular notions of their own otherness and cater to popular illusion like savvy account execs in ad agencies. It is so satisfying to count oneself a member of an exotic tribe that is, and always has been, temperamental, egocentric, neurotic, defiant, anarchistic, unreliable, licentious (that’s the best part), flamboyant, obsessed and all-around incorrigible. Continue Reading