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But what makes artists so seductive, despite their tendency to be, ya know, selfish egomaniacs who suffer from mental illness and addiction?
And often, to be quite honest, not terribly good looking?
It was in my early 20s when I first experienced the very particular dynamic of being romantically linked to a creator, as I began dating the singer in an indie band.
It felt special to know that I was the first person to hear the new songs he was writing and to read over his lyrics.
One minute the artist appears so amazing and confident that you can't help but open your legs, and the next minute they suddenly plummet and become vulnerable and insecure, and need you to open your arms to comfort them.
In my experience, despite the fact that artists think they want to be with someone smart and critical, who challenges them — deep down most really just want to be babied. Art, at its best, aims to be a transcendent experience. And maybe this is naive to say, given that art is now largely a business, but I’ve always found it attractive to think that artists might be more in touch with generating transcendence than the average person, and therefore must be better in bed.
So this pervasive “muse complex” isn’t the only reason why artists are attractive to us.
Last winter, Bret Easton Ellis had Kanye West as a guest on his podcast, and part of their conversation centered around the reality of being someone who creates things.
Well, creativity is hot; art openings are glamorous and have free drinks; artists represent freedom, and are rebellious, sensitive, and “psychotic in a good way,” as an art groupie friend of mine once put it.
But this is an idealized, and perhaps glamorized, portrait of the artist, but it’s not the whole story.
And stereotypically, sex and drugs have been sedatives for that intensity.