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Playing With / Mad Artist

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Basic Trope: An artist who does or uses morally questionable things for the sake of their craft.

  • Straight: Victor Van Ghoul lives alone in his studio where he paints and sculpts works of art that provokes and disturbs the typical art crowd.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Victor Van Ghou paints a portrait of himself using human remains he purchased from a morgue in order to capture the literal essence of humanity.
    • Victor Van Ghoul is a serial killer that depicts the suffering and death of his victims on canvas, photographs and film before turning their corpses into grotesque sculptures.
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    • Victor Van Ghoul makes a marble sculpture of himself and tries having sex with it and cries... with an audience to watch his performance.
  • Downplayed: Victor Van Ghoul makes serviceable works of art, but is just generally shy and anti-social with a dark sense of humor.
  • Justified:
    • Victor suffers from a mental disorder, thus his mind interprets things differently and thus his art is different than the rest of the world.
    • Victor hates being around people and thus uses his craft as an excuse not to interact with people
    • All artists are weird.
  • Inverted: Victor is the Straight Man of the cast. He just happens to be an artist.
  • Subverted: Victor uses conventional tools and techniques and ends up creating a new art movement in the process.
  • Double Subverted: Victor uses conventional tools and techniques and ends up creating something no one in his generation wants... only to become super popular post-mortem.
  • Parodied:
    • Victor is a super-pretentious splatter artist that does not actually have any formal education, nor does he know any basic terms or can name any famous artists. He still thinks he is some kind of genius anyway.
    • The eccentric artist is actually normal, the “mad” part all being an act to sell sculptures that would otherwise go unnoticed.
  • Zig-Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • All artists and performers in the story are sane.
    • Victor Van Ghoul is a Bunny-Ears Lawyer who does basic work to get his audience to think.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: “Why are artists always so pretentious? Put a pineapple or someone’s glasses on a table and suddenly everyone want to see it.”
  • Invoked: Need your work sold? Commit yourself to a mental hospital and suddenly everybody wants it.
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  • Exploited: The CEO of a big company wants to impress millennials, so he finds the most tasteless, incomprehensible work of art and hires the artist to design his next building.
  • Defied: Art Institutes have psychiatrists on staff to hammer out and medicate any student that exhibits any sort of psychological abnormality.
  • Discussed: “Van Ghoul has been acting out again. He’s talking about sculpting replicas of his own dried turds and claiming that it’s somehow a metaphor for social-democracy. Now if he made replicas of my turds, it might work…”
  • Conversed: "So, there's one realist painter, and two abstract ones. How long will it take before one rapes the other while the third one watches?”
  • Implied: “Hey, did you hear? Vincent Van Ghoul is coming to the family reunion too!" “Seriously? Last time he was here he collaborated with Dr. Drachenstein and we had to have them both bound, gagged and shipped off to the Bedlam House. The designs he drew up for Drachenstein still give me night-terrors and I still can’t get rid of the painting he gave me for Christmas. It frightens everybody off.”
  • Deconstructed:
    • The mad artist has a pure contempt for his fellow man and those that criticize his work, causing him to actively try to offend society at large with his expression
    • Vincent is a crackpot whose work is hailed as art because he is the only artist present in his community, limiting the number of alternatives.

Do you like my page? I sculpted it out of fingernails and armpit hairs.

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