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How autistic artists see the world

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Birdjaguar, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    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?
     
  2. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    You could always paste a screenshot, like:



    Somewhat small, though.
     
  3. TheAlamo

    TheAlamo Chieftain

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    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.
     
  4. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    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.
     
  5. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

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    The one with the blue faceless people and the one with the forest were absolutely great!! :eek: Especially the one with the forest!
     
  6. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    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
     
  7. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    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.
     
  8. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Very interesting BJ, thank you for that :)
     
  9. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    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
     
  10. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    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."
     
  11. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    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.
     
  12. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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

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

    Chukchi Husky Lone Wolf

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    I never thought there was anything strange or different about those pictures.
     
  14. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    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
     
  15. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    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?
     
  16. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    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
     
  17. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    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
     
  18. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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

    Yared That Guy

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    Yeah...
     
  20. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    These autisticoi artists are quite good. This one is my favourite:

     

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