As I sit down to write this, my son Caleb, who has Autism, is literally running around shrieking, "wheeere aaarrrre the craaaayons???" They are on the table right next to the paper I set out for him. The paper he is already holding....my husband does the same thing. Well, not the shrieking, but the not being able to find something right in front of him. A little autism, a little regular guy stuff.
There is a quote by Hans Asperger (as in "Aspergers Syndrome" which is diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum) that says, "It seems that for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential"
I couldn't agree more.
For art (or science) to keep growing and changing and evolving, a little "outside of the box" thinking is in order. Individuals on the Spectrum are always thinking outside the box, and are usually taught to get in the box now and then (to participate in school, work, etc.)
There is a retrospective diagnosis of Vincent Van Gogh for Autism. Because it's just in retrospect, it can't be said for sure whether he did or didn't. But seeing as current autism is only diagnosed on behaviours and not blood work, etc., Van Gogh's diagnosis could technically be just as accurate as my son's. Although...some people say he was a little strange from inhaling the fumes from his paint....also a valid argument! Either way, most people agree that his art is beautiful.
My Caleb loves art. He loves doing it, and looking at others art. "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh is one of Caleb's favourite paintings. As an interesting encouragement about not feeling like you've got what it takes to paint...Van Gogh painted Starry Night in 1889 while in an Asylum.
One of the reasons I personally feel Van Gogh may have had autism is this particular painting.
Individuals on the Spectrum often hear, feel, taste, and smell things differently (and by differently, I mean louder, stronger, stinkier). Sometimes to gain control of their overload, they might engage in what might normally bother them. For instance, Caleb will cover his ears when being spoken to sometimes (an auditory overload), but he also talks extremely loud! Another child we know who is on the spectrum will shut his eyes tight in the sun, wind, if someone is looking right at him (visual overload), yet he will tip his head back, and sway it from side to side while looking up so that the lights he sees are all a blur....isn't that how Starry Night looks?
Whether or not Van Gogh was on the spectrum, I won't know for sure. But I find his work inspiring, not only for myself and the art I do, but when I see Caleb and watch him working on his art. Often "normal" isn't what is required in art.
Having an open mind is necessary in art, but also in understanding individuals with Autism. In the same way that different people like different art, different people have different Autism. No two pieces are the same, no two people are the same.
Love for the differences is what creates something beautiful.
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
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