"Quel che aboriscon vivo, aman dipinto"--Why?

Salvatore Rosa, in a satirical poem about painting, says, "What they abhor in life, they love in painting."
Sal was, I understand, talking about his patrons who paid heavy money for pictures of beggars, the malformed, and other unclubbable people. Why do we like this kind of art in paint, film, et al? Maybe it's related to laughing at slapstick; we're reassured that bad luck could happen, but hasn't. It went elsewhere, as if there's conservation of bad luck and the other guy got all that was available at the moment.

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