View Full Version : How autistic artists see the world


Birdjaguar
Mar 01, 2010, 09:09 PM
I could not find a way to post the paintings on this site, maybe someone else can.

They are by autistic or similarly afflicted people. They are quite stunning. Since CFC has its share of Aspergers, I thought a discussion might be interesting.

http://discovermagazine.com/photos/15-how-autistic-artists-see-the-world

Do any of relate to these images?

Do you paint or draw?

How would you "draw" your life if you were to try?

Fifty
Mar 01, 2010, 09:29 PM
You could always paste a screenshot, like:

http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/2651/drawing.jpg

Somewhat small, though.

TheAlamo
Mar 01, 2010, 09:34 PM
No offense, but at least two of those "paintings" simply look like generic childrens' art that's on the front of millions of American fridges. Hardly stunning.

Plotinus
Mar 02, 2010, 02:38 AM
I think almost all of them are rather brilliant. I especially like the first and fourth.

I am not sure how I would depict my experience of the world - the problem is that since it's the only way one has experienced of experiencing the world, it is hard to know what is distinctive about it. I do know that I'm mildly synaesthetic but I can't think of a way to depict that that wouldn't be too jejune. Also, one of the key things about my own brand of psychiatric disorder is that you bottle it all up, making the notion of painting it rather inconsistent.

Mirc
Mar 02, 2010, 06:16 AM
The one with the blue faceless people and the one with the forest were absolutely great!! :eek: Especially the one with the forest!

Fifty
Mar 02, 2010, 06:21 AM
I am not sure how I would depict my experience of the world

Is there any evidence (I didn't read any of the accompanying text of the link so I really don't know) that the paintings represent "how they see the world" in any special sense?

~Fifty

Plotinus
Mar 02, 2010, 07:16 AM
Well, most of the accompanying text explains the pictures as depicting particular features of the way autistic people experience the world, so yes. The one you posted, for example, portrays the world as embodying complicated colour-coded patterns which the artist worked out in alarming detail in her head.

Kyriakos
Mar 02, 2010, 09:56 AM
Very interesting BJ, thank you for that :)

Fifty
Mar 02, 2010, 04:13 PM
Well, most of the accompanying text explains the pictures as depicting particular features of the way autistic people experience the world, so yes. The one you posted, for example, portrays the world as embodying complicated colour-coded patterns which the artist worked out in alarming detail in her head.

I guess I'm not convinced we've established that they "see the world" as (for instance) hyper complicated color patterns so much as they enjoy hyper complicated pattern type things so they like to paint them. I mean "see the world" carries this implication that their vision qualia (or whatever) is something like the picture. Maybe I'm just reading too much into the phrase "see the world".

~Fifty

Birdjaguar
Mar 02, 2010, 09:07 PM
I guess I'm not convinced we've established that they "see the world" as (for instance) hyper complicated color patterns so much as they enjoy hyper complicated pattern type things so they like to paint them. I mean "see the world" carries this implication that their vision qualia (or whatever) is something like the picture. Maybe I'm just reading too much into the phrase "see the world".

~Fifty

Fifty, I think you are trying to hard. The paintings illustrate how they think about the world and how their brains deal with their interactions. They are trying to capture their experience of what we probably experience differently.


Captions from pictures 1, 2, 4, 8.

1. You may not have noticed them all, but autistic artist Jessica Park reports that this painting uses seven shades of black, nine shades of green, and five shades of violet, among other colors; the shades are applied according to "a diagram that she holds in her mind from the beginning."

Some of the artworks relate to the frustration the artists experience in trying to interact with others, as many people with autism have difficulty reading other people's facial and emotional cues.

2. Donna Williams, who created this painting called "The Outsider," says: "A lot of my work is faceless people, which I guess expresses my world as a face-blind person. They lack distinct backgrounds, more like, they have atmospheres not backgrounds, and that's probably because I'm context-blind."

4. Esther Brokaw describes herself as a savant—someone with an usual talent that contrasts with her overall limitations. Her masterful paintings make it obvious that she sees the world differently, as her landscapes seem to capture every leaf in the forest and every beam of light.

Says Brokaw: "My reasons for going public with my savant diagnosis is to increase awareness of the talent that exists in many on the autistic spectrum and to encourage the world to utilize these talents."

8. Lost in a Conversational Maze
Another artist with Asperger's, Rachel Marks, was inspired to make this collage by the difficulty she has navigating daily life. Her literal understanding of language has often left her baffled by metaphors and figures of speech like "you're a square peg in a round hole."

Says Marks: "Figurative language enriches and supports the neurotypical experience. With autism, these purported props and supports to understanding become barriers and frustrations."

JEELEN
Mar 02, 2010, 11:48 PM
Personally I find it interesting to see that many of these works are undistinguishable from other modern art - save for the fact of knowing they were made by autists.

Mise
Mar 03, 2010, 02:26 AM
"Autist" is a pretty good name for an autistic artist.

P.S. I liked 2 and 4, same reaction as Mirc.

Chukchi Husky
Mar 03, 2010, 05:00 AM
I never thought there was anything strange or different about those pictures.

Fifty
Mar 03, 2010, 05:35 AM
Fifty, I think you are trying to hard. The paintings illustrate how they think about the world and how their brains deal with their interactions. They are trying to capture their experience of what we probably experience differently.

So why not "How Autistic Artists Think About The World", or "Stuff Autistic People Like to Paint", or "Aspects of Autistic Experience Symbolized in Painting". All I'm saying is that the title is somewhat misleading, making the paintings seem more interesting than they are. It makes it seem like the lens through which they see the world filters things to look like the paintings.

~Fifty

classical_hero
Mar 03, 2010, 07:15 AM
The one with the blue faceless people and the one with the forest were absolutely great!! :eek: Especially the one with the forest!

The forest one looks almost like an Impressionistic painting. Some look like works from Picasso, so what does it say about those styles and those who drew them?

Bill3000
Mar 03, 2010, 10:31 AM
So why not "How Autistic Artists Think About The World", or "Stuff Autistic People Like to Paint", or "Aspects of Autistic Experience Symbolized in Painting". All I'm saying is that the title is somewhat misleading, making the paintings seem more interesting than they are. It makes it seem like the lens through which they see the world filters things to look like the paintings.

~Fifty

I thought that it was pretty obvious that it was meant to be taken figuratively, Fiftyson, considering that anyone who had interest in reading this thread would know that it is not a visual disability. The irony that most autistics would find it misleading as they would take it literally is not lost on me.

- Bill Trihus

Fifty
Mar 03, 2010, 04:21 PM
I thought that it was pretty obvious that it was meant to be taken figuratively, Fiftyson, considering that anyone who had interest in reading this thread would know that it is not a visual disability. The irony that most autistics would find it misleading as they would take it literally is not lost on me.

- Bill Trihus


I agree its meant to be taken figuratively, but I think the figuration serves at least partially to make it seem like more of a big deal than it is.

~L

Valka D'Ur
Mar 03, 2010, 11:35 PM
http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/2651/drawing.jpg

This one would make a gorgeous needlepoint or cross stitch project.

Yared
Mar 04, 2010, 03:24 AM
The one with the blue faceless people and the one with the forest were absolutely great!! :eek: Especially the one with the forest!

"Autist" is a pretty good name for an autistic artist.

P.S. I liked 2 and 4, same reaction as Mirc.

Yeah...

Kyriakos
Mar 04, 2010, 03:45 AM
These autisticoi artists are quite good. This one is my favourite:

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/6651/autisticoi.png

azzaman333
Mar 04, 2010, 05:43 AM
The 5th one is terrible. Even I can draw better art than that.

Newbunkle
Mar 13, 2010, 08:54 AM
I couldn't let this thread go by without posting this example of art by a famous internet autistic:

http://cogsdev.110mb.com/cwcipedia/images/thumb/6/6c/Issue_0_Cover.jpg/400px-Issue_0_Cover.jpg (http://cogsdev.110mb.com/cwcipedia/index.php/Issue_0/Page_2)
(Click to read the comic)

Its excrutiatingly painful to read. Luckily a nice group have converted the comics into audiobooks for your listening pleasure. This is the most recent one:

_DEden35E5M

Enjoy. :)

useless
Mar 14, 2010, 10:35 AM
Can i just state, as a person with aspergers, not everyone with aspergers is like Chris Chan nor are these pictures and the way they present autism and how people with see the world in no way does it represent my or everyone elses experience.

taillesskangaru
Mar 18, 2010, 04:51 AM
These autisticoi artists are quite good. This one is my favourite:

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/6651/autisticoi.png

I like this one as well, for personal reasons.