Think for a moment about an artist who is really out there in some way. Maybe a musician comes to mind, somebody like Lady Gaga or a painter like Salvador Dali. New research now asks whether you like such artists because of their art or because they conform to a mental stereotype of how artists are supposed to behave.
But this is the first time I’ve seen empirical evidence that shows that being eccentric has a measurable effect on our judgments of art and artists. I spoke with Eric Igou. He’s at the University of Limerick in Ireland and along with his co-author Wijnand Van Tilburg, he examined the effect that being eccentric has on our perceptions of art. In one experiment they asked volunteers to evaluate a famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh – there’s a painting of sunflowers – and some volunteers were reminded that Van Gogh was an artist who cut off his own ear.
Read the whole story: NPR