What is an artist?

“What is an artist? An artist is a tortured being who, when he opens his mouth to scream, only beautiful sounds emerge.” (Or something like that.)…

Do I believe this at all?  It was John Cage who first exposed us to this gorgeous phrase.  In 1945?  Cage the Romantic?

Ned Rorem (2000) Lies: A Diary 1986-1999.  Cambridge: MA: Da Capo Press, p.99.