Portrayal of Artists in Popular Media

Monica Minardi Big Picture Bog Post •Popular Culture •December 1, 2015

Portrayals of successful artists in popular media seem to live an exciting life; some artists seem rather eccentric and intellectually perceptive which could lend a hand in living a vibrant life style and makes the idea of an artist rather appealing to some.

One might say that Karim Rashid lives an exiting life after watching the candid interview Born an Artist. In this interview, Pharrell Williams talks with Rashid about the interesting life he lives and how this helped the development of his own futuristic thinking. Karim Rashid is an industrial artist who creates everything from soap dispensers to subway stations. Having such creative freedom when it comes to art seems vital.


Pharrell Talks Art and Design with Kenny Scharf and Karim Rashid on ARTST TLK (Video) |

In the interview Rashid comes off as an intellectually perceptive individual who seems to not only be living a very stimulating life but was born into one. Rashid explains that his father was a movie set designer/ painter. Because his father was always hard at work Rashid was a “television screen kid of the 1960’s.” Not only was he inspired by what his father created; he was even more inspired by the exciting images that he view on the television. Constantly being around Sparkling images and creativity sounds like a dream environment for a child. Sputnik space age cartoons were the things that drew Rashid’s attentions.


Karim’s modern Komb House Represents a futuristic fun take on a hive

Rashid is quoted saying, “Being a child of the 60’s I was always thinking along with everyone else that by the year 2000 we would be living on a different planet.” He took this as a clear driving force and still to this day has a very modern approach with his design. The thought Rashid had as a young child was, “We can do anything.” He wanted to make the world a more efficient and esthetically pleasing place not only for himself but also for everyone. Rashid designs high end objects as well as affordable objects, that way most people will be able to have a beautifully designed object. Whether a piece of furniture, a utensil or an art piece anyone with a few dollars to spare one could own something fun and special. Being able to live a creative, freethinking and passionate life helps Rashid’s life not only seem seem fun but also meaningful and productive.


Scharf Creating art for everyone

Along with Rashid, Kenny Scharf is one of the founding fathers of “pop surrealism” living the effervescent life of an eccentric artist. In the interview Born an Artist, Scharf talks about the good times he had in the early stages of his career. Along with characters such as Basquiat, Scharf was a fixture on the East Village art scene in the 1980’s. At that time these artists might have been perceived as over the top or seemed to focus more on social partying than on their art. But as the interview Born an Artist continued it seemed clear that without being around other artistic figures and artist might not be able to be as creative. Therefore it seems ok to go out and be stimulated by other eccentric individuals. Without creative outlets their art might have suffered. In the interview Born an Artist, Scharf was asked about what he thought about being a fixture in the media and if he could clarify his inspirations. Just like Rashid, Scharf was inspired from all of the 1960’s television cartoons he watched as a young boy, but in the interview Born an Artist said that even if he didn’t watch so much television he would still be an artist. Scharf is quoted saying in this interview, “Your art is shaped by the time your in and the things you are exposed to, but I believe you are born an artist.”


Andy Warhol, Jacqueline Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel & Kenny Scharf, NY 1984

Without possessing an eccentric nature and fun natured environment, Scharf might not have been drawn to the bright, cartoon images that still paint the walls of today not only making his life more fun but also making our city’s more exciting and colorful.

Media can portray artists living exuberant lives not only in current time but also in different eras. In the film Midnight in Paris, written and directed by Woody Allen, portrayals of different artists vivacious lives are a theme threw out the movie.


This film shows how Gil, a screenwriter and artist himself is struggling with belonging in an everyday setting that seems to be void of meaning and excitement. Gil romanticizes about how he believes artists lived in 1920’s France. This film demonstrates perfectly how one might romanticize about another’s life not only in current time but also in the past. In the movie, Gil is transported back to the 1920’s, an era full of artist he idolizes. Extraordinary artist of the day such as Salvador Dali, Cole Porter, Scott Fitzgerald and Earnest Hemingway all came quickly into Gil’s life. Woody Allen created a perfect portray of an “everyday Joe” getting to see what it would be like to live the life of an artist. Just as media makes an artist’s life seem fun and exciting.


Back in the Good Old Days — Films About Nostalgia

Allen was able to capture his character “Gil” to be portrayed as being motivated by the romantic notion of the past artists life. Whether media portrays the life of an artist in today’s pop cultured world or reflects back into another era, media helps create curiosity about what it would be like to live living in the exciting life of a successful artist.



Born an Artist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFRMYDIARWQ Article Title: Born an Artist: Futurism & Pop Surrealism | EP. 10 Part 1/4 ARTST TLK | Reserve Channel Website Title: YouTube

Midnight in Paris Allen, W. (Director). (2011). Midnight in Paris [Motion picture]. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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Pharrell Talks Art and Design with Kenny Scharf and Karim Rashid on ARTST TLK (Video)
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Learning experiance

Popular Culture has been an interesting coarse for me. I would say that it was a fun experience and also pushed me to open up to ideas about popular media. I never really thought about it to much other than the fact of avoiding it as much as possible. But What I have learned is that even though I have a bias towards it that media can be used in more than just negative ways. I never really thought much about all the things I love and how because of media I was able to learn about them. I think the best bit that I learned from this experience would be learning about how to be a critical thinker. It is interesting to see how everyone has different perspectives, whether it be neutral or strong. When I started to think of a blog topic, I had to rethink about what I get out of media. Instead of looking at it from a negative  perspective, I really had to think about what I get out of it. I always am excited to see an interview or watch a movie that I have connection to. It is so exciting how connected we become to the ideas and creations of the developers of media. Whether they portray food, travel or just reality of the day to day. We all connect to media.