In the olden days (BI - Before Internet) it was more in keeping with this view. The artist was rarely seen except in a gallery or in the occasional newspaper clipping. It was a lot easier to manage your reputation and steer your publicity in a direction that you wanted. The same does not apply today.
One stupid off hand comment text messaged to a friend after six beers in the downtown bar can devastate your carefully groomed reputation. One upset customer who didn't like the portrait you painted of them can spread a web of evilness across the internet that can plague an artist for years.