Artists may often be eccentric, but does eccentricity increase the worth of an artist’s work? That’s the question asked by psychologists Wijnand van Tilburg and Eric Igou in a new paper on eccentricity and art. Here’s a summary from BPS Research Digest:
Wijnand van Tilberg and Eric Igou tested these ideas across five studies. In the first, 38 students rated a painting by Van Gogh more positively if they were first told about the ear-cutting incident. In two other studies, dozens more students rated paintings by a fictional Icelandic artist more positively and estimated it to be more valuable if they were told he had an eccentric personality, or if they saw a photograph showing him looking eccentric, unshaven with half-long hair (as opposed to seeing a photo showing him looking conventional, with short hair and neat clothing).