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What Your Crush's Favorite Artist Says About Personality
Maybe instead of birth times, we should be sniffing out our crushes' favorite artist.
Art Stuff 26 Nov 2018

Gallery girls listen, Astrology is having a big moment right now, but maybe instead of birth times, we should be sniffing out our crushes’ favorite artist. This seemingly small tidbit of info says so much about a person—possibly everything.
The best part is that this way, you don’t have to spend three hours deciphering planets and houses to get to the crux of their personality. Trust me, gently working in a, “So, who’s your favorite artist?” sounds way more suave on a first date than, “So, where and when were you born? Actually, I meant, like, the hour and minute. You don’t know? Your mom probably does. Can you text her real quick? I’ll wait.”
Or, God forbid, the Myers-Briggs conversation. Unless you want to sound like you’re interviewing your date for a prestigious consulting firm, best to avoid this one. In fact, research shows that it’s impossible to sound sexy while talking about your “cognitive stack.” Honestly, if one more person subjects me to a 20-minute discussion of how they got ENFP when they took the test three years ago, but then they retook it and got INFP, but really they feel like they’re both, it just depends on the day… well, expect to be hit with this face.
keep-going-im-kmrq9m (1)
But don’t take my word for it. Even the dudes in the white coats (a fun new term for “scientists,” look it up) have confirmed that you can extrapolate lots of likely personality traits from a person’s favorite artist, from hobbies and political beliefs to the food they like and even their pets.
According to giant consumer database YouGov, the typical Dalí fan is a middle-aged, well-off creative who likes Radiohead, has a cat and is a vegetarian. If you like Frida Kahlo, chances are you’re a super left-leaning young woman (not surprising) who’s into fashion and works in a creative field (also not surprising)… and likes to cook Mexican food (wait, what?). Diane Arbus fans practice yoga in their free time and are super broke.
Wouldn’t it be useful to know if the girl from the opening with the rad tattoo sleeve is just trendy or a closet anarchist? Easy: just ask her who her favorite artist is. And preferably, do it before you bring her home to meet your fam this holiday season, unless your idea of a nice evening involves a shouting match with your conservative uncle when your date calls him a fascist.
The study covers most of the biggies—Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Diane Arbus, Claude Monet, Banksy, Rembrandt, Shepard Fairey, Georgia O’Keeffe and Marcel Duchamp—but it still leaves a lot of gaps. So we took the liberty of filling them in with out own, not-so-scientific personality analysis.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Agnes Martin

Stars (1963)
You definitely read The New Yorker religiously and carry around the tote bag with you when you shop for beets at your friendly neighborhood co-op. Your love Daily Shouts and even secretly enjoy good-naturedly bitching when the site can’t find and link your subscription for the twelfth time this month. Art Gossip? You’re in the know.
Your religion.
As Martin once said, “Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings,” and your feelings are very subtle, thank you very much. Your idea of flirting is making meaningful eye contact for .73 seconds across the nonfiction section of your local library. Needless to say, you are an introvert, but you heavily resent the stigma associated with the label (a lingering effect of being voted “most quiet” in middle school).
You’re definitely a vegan, have sheltered multiple cats, and you probably drink a lot of tea.
Your favorite fabric is a tossup between silk and cashmere; it varies with the seasons, obviously. You’re definitely up to date on artist collaborations and collaborative art projects (who knows the difference anyway?). You got really into Alan Watts in high school. In your college yearbook, you might have been voted most likely to sell off your possessions, buy a Jeep and drive away in the direction of the sea, never to be seen again. Maybe you did exactly just that when you graduated, if only to prove a point.
You’ve probably dabbled in Tarot but stopped when you got spooked by how accurate your readings were. You might have an Etsy shop selling alpaca sweaters and homemade tapestries.
About once a month, you whip up a Great British Bakeoff-worthy lemon tart, but you regularly forget meals. You reply to two emails a week, tops. You really like Father John Misty.

Cindy Sherman

Untitled Film Still #6 (1977)
You keep your childhood dolls lined up on a shelf facing your bed, thoroughly creeping out the hookups you bring home.

Jeff Koons

Balloon Dog.
If your favorite artist is Jeff Koons, you’re probably the art bro who I dated freshman year who made me a playlist inexplicably filled with EDM and kept me up all night watching YouTube videos of Jordan Peterson lectures when I had an exam the next day.
You save up all year for Electric Daisy Carnival—just kidding, your daddy pays for it (or your corporate finance job). You truly don’t understand what all the ruckus about capitalism is… socialism would never work, you guys… it’s called human nature, look it up!
You got your grandfather’s Swiss watch for your eighteenth birthday, and although you’d never admit it, especially to yourself, you derive a significant portion of your self-respect from the price tags on your suits. You probably drive an Audi and identified a little too much with Chuck Bass’ character in Gossip Girl.
Tbh, you’re not actually a bad person, just like Koons isn’t really a bad artist. But your smug attitude and the way everything in life seems to glide easily into your hands with zero effort on your behalf makes everyone hate you just a little bit.
Or, you’re a Kardashian.

Petra Collins

You have more than 1k Insta followers and sometimes you still wear your childhood days of the week undies and put it up on your story, but, like, ironically. You own Gucci loafers.
gucci loafers

Nan Goldin

goldin philip and suzanne
Philippe H. and Suzanne Kissing at Euthanasia, NYC (1981)
If you love Nan Goldin, you’re either an anarchist punk or a suburban Tumblr kid. Maybe you had a turbulent young-adulthood and got into art as a way to cope, in which case, props to you. Or maybe you’re actually a pretty run-of-the-mill, middle-class young adult who had a stable childhood and a loving family, but you compensate for your perceived lack of “interestingness” by living vicariously through all things alternative.
Either way, you definitely watched Skins UK growing up and heavily identified with Effy’s character. On a typical afternoon, you could be found loitering at your local mall’s Hot Topic (or whatever your town’s goth hot spot was), drooling over the latest Nightmare Before Christmas merch.
Now, you probably go out a little more than is good for you, hit the underground warehouse scene regularly but balk when someone offers you Ketamine. You used to chain-smoke at parties when you were in your early 20s but tapered off when you woke up one day with a very concerning and gross cough.
Self-Portrait in Blue Bathroom, London (1980)
You have way too many dirty mugs in your sink right now, and there’s a high chance your mattress is on the floor even if you can afford proper furniture. Most days you’re more likely to be awake at 4am than 4pm—in fact, that’s when you write your best Tumblr poetry (you still log onto your high school account from time to time, not that you would admit it to anyone now). You listen to a ton of Interpol and Joy Division, or maybe Lil Pump. Maybe both. Deep down, you’re actually a total sweetheart and a great friend.

Van Gogh

Irises (1889)
You’re that friend that orders gin shots at the bar and doesn’t get why that’s borderline sociopathic.

René Magritte

The false mirror (1928)
I’m no psychic, but I’ll bet my Balenciaga speed sneakers that you studied philosophy in college. You probably wrote a thesis titled something like “The intelligible creator-god and the intelligent soul of the cosmos in Plato’s theology and metaphysics.”
After scouring the darkest depths of your soul by meditation for hours with your biggest crystal, you decided to trade the Academy life for the art world. The way you see it, being a pre-verbal medium, art offers a more direct avenue into the psyche and thereby holds greater promise for the rapid evolution of social consciousness. At least that’s how you explained it to your totally confused great Aunt when she asked you about your plans after graduation.
These days, you’ve mostly put your mystic/intellectual phase behind you. Your collection of the full works of Carl Jung is tucked away on the bottom shelf of your bookcase, hidden behind some tasteful lilies and a TASCHEN book. But you’re on first-name basis with the guy from your neighborhood indie record store, and he knows to text you whenever he gets a new Pink Floyd record.
Golconda (1953)
On a typical weeknight in, you can be found perusing your very worn copy of Kafka stories, taking occasional hits from your artful glass pipe and listening to a playlist called “Into the void.” Or maybe you’re re-watching a low-brown/high-brown stoner classic like The Excellent Adventures of Bill and Ted or The Big Lebowski while aimlessly finger painting.
You love Maison Margiela and would die for their 2009 hair jacket.

Tracey Emin

You were a rebel child turned diehard party girl in your youth before briefly getting really into Kundalini yoga after a life-changing acid trip. Now, you’re living in a big city like Los Angeles, Berlin or Hong Kong, working in the art world.
You’ve more or less renounced your youthful delinquent ways, but every once in a while, you have a night out that makes you question how far you’ve actually come from being sixteen and drinking warm beers in the back of your older brother’s tattoo artist’s pickup truck.
You’re probably really wrapped up in yourself (lots of Leo in your chart, perhaps?) but pass off it off as creative sensitivity. You once paid $600 for a custom neon sign of your name, then decided it was tacky and never hung it up. You drink red wine most weeknights and then post moody, slightly hungover selfies from your desk at work, only to delete them immediately. Somehow, despite your moderately destructive habits and deeply troubled personality, you’re killing at work and people love you.
I dream of kissing you over again (2013)
You dated multiple musicians before deciding that musicians were all incurable narcissists (not to mention unstable, and they tend to ruin your life overnight) and switched to more mainstream creative fields, like graphic designers and producers. Sometimes you think your poetry suffered, though. Tbh, it did a little bit, but your mental health is way better now.
There’s someone out there with a tattoo of your name on their butt cheek.

Pablo Picasso

Portrait of Dora Maar (1937)
You took an art history class in college and pretty much stopped there. Your favorite cereal is honey nut Cheerios, your favorite perfume is Chanel No. 5 and your favorite musician is Rihanna. Your work bag is a navy blue Longchamp. You exclusively use Apple products.
That’s not to say that these things aren’t worthy of being favorites—they’re popular for a reason—but you don’t exactly have to spend hours on niche Reddit threads to discover them. Which is fine. You were probably moderately to very popular as a teen, so you spent more time socializing than exploring esoteric Internet subcultures alone in your room on a Friday night. All in all, you’re a very well-adjusted human.

Plastic Jesus

You almost got arrested once when you were 17 for spray painting the wall behind the local supermarket. In your head, it was a brave act of political rebellion (you had just read 1984), but unfortunately, the local police didn’t see it that way.
Sometimes, you hate-watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians, live-tweeting biting social commentary. Your lifestyle is actually probably really tame compared to your political beliefs; maybe you went to law school with big dreams of reforming the criminal justice system, but now you work in corporate litigation. Or maybe you are actually fighting to reform the criminal justice system—kudos!

Edouard Manet

You are Blair Waldorf in Season 4 of Gossip Girl.

Yayoi Kusama

You either know everything there is to know about the woman, dress up as her every Halloween (one year you even got a bob and dyed your hair red to make it more authentic) and celebrate her birthday as seriously as your own, or you wandered into one of her infinity rooms once when your arty friend dragged you to the museum, got a really good Insta and never bothered to look up any more of her work. There is no in-between.
So, did we nail it or are we totally off? Miss any of your favs? Either way, drop us a note!

Text by Katya Lopatko
Photos via Make A Meme, WikiArt, @sighswoon, Dukyana, @petrafcollins, Gucci, MoMA, Dan’s Papers, Tumblr, @plasticjesus.

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