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« WTC Plans Redux | Main | Holiday Hiatus »

December 23, 2002

Artistic Temperaments

Michael—

Sorry about being missing in action for the last little bit. I’m afraid real life—in the form of my daughter’s birthday, my wedding anniversary and shopping for a new car—intervened. (Having a real life is a terrible obstacle to ‘blog production.)

Anyway, I’m back to continue my noodlings about Myers-Briggs personality types and artists. To simplify, the 16 Myers Briggs categories are often combined into 4 main temperaments. (The descriptions that follow are from the “Temperament: Different Drums, Different Drummers” website which you can see here.) Just to start thinking about how these personality categories might function in terms of the arts I had a go at putting a few prominent artists into each of the four main groupings:

RATIONAL NTs [are] ABSTRACT in communicating and UTILITARIAN in implementing goals…Thus their most practiced and developed intelligent operations tend to be marshalling and planning (NTJ organizing), or inventing and configuring (NTP engineering)…They are proud of themselves in the degree they are competent in action, respect themselves in the degree they are autonomous, and feel confident of themselves in the degree they are strong willed...[T]his is the "Knowledge Seeking Personality" -- trusting in reason and hungering for achievement. They are usually pragmatic about the present, skeptical about the future, solipsistic about the past, and their preferred time and place are the interval and the intersection.

Rationals: Picasso, Degas, Da Vinci, Delacroix
IDEALIST NFs [are] ABSTRACT in communicating and COOPERATIVE in implementing goals…Thus their most practiced and developed intelligent operations are usually teaching and counseling…or conferring and tutoring…The Idealist temperament have an instinct for interpersonal integration, learn ethics with ever increasing zeal, sometimes become diplomatic leaders, and often speak interpretively and metaphorically of the abstract world of their imagination. They are proud of themselves in the degree they are empathic in action, respect themselves in the degree they are benevolent, and feel confident of themselves in the degree they are authentic. Idealist types search for their unique identity, hunger for deep and meaningful relationships, wish for a little romance each day, trust their intuitive feelings implicitly, aspire for profundity. This is the "Identity Seeking Personality" -- credulous about the future, mystical about the past, and their preferred time and place are the future and the pathway.
Idealists: Kandinsky, Mondrian, Friedrich, David
ARTISAN SPs [are] CONCRETE in communicating and UTILITARIAN in implementing goals…Thus their most practiced and developed intelligent operations are usually promoting and operating…or displaying and composing…Artisans are proud of themselves in the degree they are graceful in action, respect themselves in the degree they are daring, and feel confident of themselves in the degree they are adaptable. This is the "Sensation Seeking Personality" -- trusting in spontaniety and hungering for impact on others. They are usually hedonic about the present, optimistic about the future, cynical about the past, and their preferred time and place is the here and now…
Artisans: Pollock, Rubens, Raphael, Renoir
GUARDIAN SJs [are] CONCRETE in communicating and COOPERATIVE in implementing goals…Thus their most practiced and developed intelligent operations are often supervising and inspecting…or supplying and protecting ….They are proud of themselves in the degree they are reliable in action, respect themselves in the degree they do good deeds, and feel confident of themselves in the degree they are respectable. [This is] the "Security Seeking Personality" -- trusting in legitimacy and hungering for membership. They are usually stoical about the present, pessimistic about the future, fatalistic about the past, and their preferred time and place is the past and the gateway.
Guardians:Leighton, Ingres

(It ain't easy coming up with "guardian" personalities who are also artists, while it is trivial with "artisans.") Scientifically, of course, this is nonsense as the Myers-Briggs test can't be administered to any of these people, but I thought it would be amusing to see if you agreed with me or not.

Cheers,

Friedrich

posted by Friedrich at December 23, 2002




Comments

I find that placing people into catergories, labels or traits has no value, as well as non-helpful. There isn't any information to gain from doing so.

Posted by: Camille on December 23, 2002 7:01 PM



Hi Camille. Really? I'm envious you can even do that -- sounds very Zen. I'm a compulsive taxonomist myself -- the brain's forever classifying and reclassifying whatever I encounter. Odd thing is that it isn't anything I put any conscious effort into. The brain just seems to be busy sifting and sorting 24/7.

Friedrich --

A provocative effort! But now I want to hear your reasons for placing the artists into the columns you've placed them into. Biggest puzzler for me: Picasso a rationalist?

And time for one of your art-history lectures too, this time on Leighton, whose paintings I love but who I know next to nothing about.

Hmm, eager to see into which column you'd put some other artists too ... How would you classify Bonnard? Vuillard? Hockney?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 24, 2002 7:37 PM



"Hi Camille. Really? I'm envious you can even do that -- sounds very Zen. I'm a compulsive taxonomist myself -- the brain's forever classifying and reclassifying whatever I encounter. Odd thing is that it isn't anything I put any conscious effort into. The brain just seems to be busy sifting and sorting 24/7."

LOL. Me, Zenlike. Funny. :)

However, people whose minds enjoy sorting and sifting 24/7 are not limited to just that. My mind automatically turns things into numbers and how they work out. However, my mind has grown and I continue learning. There are bits and pieces from each that I could take and use, autonatically. It's not Zenlike, or Zenish it's growing and expanding. Learning.

Posted by: Camille on December 26, 2002 12:42 PM






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