Tortured Artists: From Picasso and Monroe to Warhol and Winehouse, the Twisted Secrets of the World's Most Creative Minds
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Great art comes from great pain.
Or that's the impression left by these haunting profiles. Pieced together, they form a revealing mosaic of the creative mind. It's like viewing an exhibit from the therapist's couch as each entry delves into the mental anguish that afflicts the artist and affects their art.
The scope of the artists covered is as varied as their afflictions. Inside, you will find not just the creators of the darkest of dark literature, music, and art. While it does reveal what everyday problem kept Poe's pen to paper and the childhood catastrophe that kept Picasso on edge, it also uncovers surprising secrets of more unexpectedly tormented artists. From Charles Schultz's unrequited love to J.K. Rowling's fear of death, it's amazing the deep-seeded troubles that lie just beneath the surface of our favorite art.
As much an appreciation of artistic genius as an accessible study of the creative psyche, Tortured Artists illustrates the fact that inner turmoil fuels the finest work.
No pressure there, then. Her mother also died eleven days after giving birth to her, and when her father remarried, the ensuing years of young Mary’s life played out like an episode of Degrassi Junior High without the bad dialogue and Canadian accents. Mary despised her new stepmother, and she rebelled with all of the you’re-not-the-boss-of-me vitriol one would expect from a child of unwelcome blended surroundings. At the age of sixteen, she began an affair with Percy Bysshe Shelley, a friend of
theater, leaving Marlon in the care of his very affectionate nurse, Ermeline—a stunning Dane who at the time was his whole world. Not only did the two of them sleep together in the nude, but Ermeline even occasionally let the five-year-old Marlon fondle her breasts. It was all well and good until Ermeline left to get married. The young Marlon felt betrayed and abandoned, and soon his energetic antics progressed to blatant rancor. By the time Marlon reached adolescence, his energy had festered
bursts of euphoric energy followed by crippling depression. However, the aim of this chapter is not to make the case that these artists shared the same mental condition, nor is it to dispel the many myths and misunderstandings that surround their lives. The aim is to show how the archetype of the tortured artist played out in the lives of these four troubled souls, each of whom took the gamble of choosing art over safety. Marilyn left behind a perfectly safe marriage to seek out Hollywood.
endearing trademarks. A few years later, however, in what might be described as a bit of cartoon karma, Betty suffered the same fate as Clara, failing to transition successfully into color cartoons. Johnny Cash (1932–2003) Abstract: Black on the inside Birth name: J. R. Cash Birthplace: Kingsland, Arkansas, USA Masterworks: “I Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire” Demons: Guilt “There’s no way around grief and loss. You can dodge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through
New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2009. SYLVIA PLATH Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Plath, Sylvia. The Journals of Sylvia Plath. New York: Ballantine Books, 1987. Stevenson, Anne. Bitter Fame: A Life of Sylvia Plath. New York: Mariner Books, 1998. KURT COBAIN Azerrad, Michael. Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana. New York: Broadway Books, 1993. Cameron, Keith. “Nirvana.” Sounds, October 1990. Cross, Charles R. Heavier Than Heaven. New