The Starving Artist — A Short History

The stereotype of ‘the starving artist’ has been around for a long time.  So long, in fact, that it’s reached the level of archetype. ‘The starving artist’ stereotype had its origin in 17th-Century Flanders, when artists literally were starving. It worked its way through the centuries into the Romantic period of the 19th-Century, where it became entrenched as a cultural norm. Finally, the concept migrated to New York City and took up residence within the Abstract Expressionism movement of the 1950’s, where it was celebrated by the Beat poets. Ironically, it has been adopted by many contemporary artists and often goes hand-in-hand with the life of a…