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Why art matters module 8

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Why art matters module 8

  1. 1. Module 8 Art Heals
  2. 2. The capability and desire to create art existed prior to the evolution of Homo Sapiens, the oldest artwork having been made by a Homo Erectus. There must be a reason that humans are drawn towards art. Studies have shown that art heals by engaging both body and mind. Humans have been creating art for a long time. Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects of art on both the body and mind. Therapeutic studies utilizing art began in the 1940s. Many recognize the calming effects that creating art provides, as it often leads to free thinking, new ideas, and self-expression.
  3. 3. Frida Kahlo
  4. 4. Figure. Portrait of Frida Kahlo, by Guillermo Kahlo. Copyright © Sotheby's. At the age of 6, Kahlo contracted the poliomyelitis virus which weakened and deformed her body. Later, when she was 18, she was in a bus accident . The bus collided with a streetcar and metal handrail went straight through her body near her hip resulting in horrendous physical injuries. Her spine and pelvis were shattered. She had to undergo more than 30 surgeries in her lifetime. As a result she had both physical and emotional challenges that would continue into adulthood as she struggled with chronic pain, infertility, and depression.
  5. 5. Frida Kahlo Painting in bed at her easel, via Kimball Art Center, Park City Due to her spinal problems, she wore 28 separate supportive corsets, varying from steel and leather to plaster. She experienced pain in her legs, and the infection on her hand had become chronic. Frida Kahlo taught herself to paint during her recuperation period. Through her art she reflected and transcended her suffering and loss. In her highly personalized style she exposed intimate aspects of herself. Kahlo’s poor health and chronic pain became prominent themes in her artwork.
  6. 6. Kahlo wrote, “I paint self-portraits, because I paint my own reality. I paint what I need to. Painting completed my life. I lost three children and painting substituted for all of this.” She wrote in her diary, “I am not sick, I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.” Instead of hiding her disability and traumas, Kahlo used her pain and tragedy as a source of inspiration. In this portrait she seems she is patiently enduring the pain. Through her many self-portraits she was able to project her pain onto the canvas. This enabled her to relieve herself from the burden of dealing with her agony. Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940. Oil on canvas, 16 x 24 inches.
  7. 7. Firda Kahlo, Without Hope, 1945, Oil on canvas. Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico City, Mexico. This painting represents a moment of Frida’s life when she felt very sick. She became malnourished due to lack of appetite after many surgeries, so she had to follow a strict dietary regime, prescribed by her doctor. Here the artist seems trapped in her bed, weeping, while the wooden easel above her holds a funnel. She stares directly at the viewer as if she is asking for help.
  8. 8. The Wounded Deer by Frida Kahlo, 1946. Mexico City, Mexico In this painting, Kahlo represents herself as a deer wounded by nine arrows. She painted it after a failed spinal surgery that was supposed to lessen her pain, but instead brought even more pain. As well as in many other artworks, the subject is in a desolate, empty landscape, which shows the artist’s sense of isolation and desperation. In the lower left corner of the work, Kahlo scrawled the word “karma,” meaning “fate.”
  9. 9. Frida Kahlo, The Broken Column , 1944, Oil on Canvas. Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico City, Mexico In this painting, Kahlo painted herself wearing a steel brace to hold her body as ordered by her doctors. A large opening runs through her torso to reveal her broken spine. Hundreds of nails are embedded in her body, the one in her heart showing an enormous sadness. We can see tears in her eyes and, behind her, a desolate background. The entire work is a desperate cry of pain.
  10. 10. Frida Kahlo, Henry Ford Hospital, 1932. Oil on canvas. Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico City, Mexico. In the painting, we see Kahlo lying in a hospital bed, covered in blood after she suffered a second miscarriage in 1932, while living in America. This was one of the most traumatic moments of her life. She suffered three miscarriages. The accident and all the surgeries she had compromised her chance of having children. Kahlo channeled her grief into art, drawing while in the hospital, then painting the evocative self portrait Henry Ford Hospital.
  11. 11. Frida Kahlo, The Dream (The Bed, 1940, Nesuhi Ertegun Collection, New York City, NY, USA. For Kahlo death became a reason to live fully, and to experience everything. This painting depicts the artist’s relationship with death. She is sleeping in her bed, enveloped by a plant that symbolizes rebirth. The skeleton which lays above the canopy of her bed, is holding flowers and bombs are attached to it.
  12. 12. Frida Kahlo, What the Water Gave Me, 1938, Collection of Daniel Filipacchi, Paris, France. Frida Kahlo often said: “They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” Frida Kahlo, FridaKahlo.org. She didn’t want to represent her subconscious, but to let her feelings, both good and bad, show. Art was therapy for Kahlo. It was the only way she could depict the pain she experienced, and what gave meaning to her life.
  13. 13. Niki de Saint Phalle
  14. 14. For French-American artist Niki de Saint Phale, and the only woman within the Nouveau Réalisme group including Arman, Christo, Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, and Jacques de la Villeglé, art was a cure. She used assemblage and performative modes of production—such as shooting at her canvases–as well as large- scale sculptures she called Nanas. Niki de Saint Phalle, 1965. Gelatin silver print. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. Gift of Samuel I. Hoffberg, 1981
  15. 15. de Saint Phalle (born Catherine-Marie- Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle, on 29 October 1930, was a French-American sculptor, painter, and filmmaker. She was born in France, grew up in the U.S., and moved to Europe in the 1950s and became an artist. She was the second of five children of a wealthy noble family. New Yorker writer Ariel Levy reported that when she was 11 her father abused her, and in adulthood two of her siblings committed suicide. She had what she called a "mental breakdown“. In the early 1950s she became suicidal, spent six weeks in a French asylum and, with no formal training, started to paint. Self Portrait, 1958, plaster and mixed media on wood. 141 X 141 x10 cm
  16. 16. "I started painting in the madhouse," Saint Phalle once said, "where I learnt how to translate emotions, fear, violence, hope and joy into painting. It was through creation that I discovered the sombre depths of depression, and how to overcome it." She believed art healed her. She said “Painting, calms the chaos that was agitating my soul, it was a way of taming the dragons” Niki De Saint Phalle. Detail of Pink Nude in Landscape, 1956.
  17. 17. Niki de Saint Phalle got famous in the early 1960s for attaching small plastic bags filled with paint onto canvases, covering them with plaster, and then shooting them with a rifle. These artworks are referred to as shooting paintings (tirs). Tir is the French word for "shooting" or "to fire", Niki de Saint Phalle making one of her bas-reliefs, 1963. Photo: Dennis Hopper
  18. 18. Niki de Saint Phalle First Shooting at Impasse Ronsin, Paris. The first shooting session was held on 12 February 1961 in Impasse Ronsin, and was attended by many artists. Other actions-tirs were completed outdoors as part of exhibitions. On 13 July 1961, at the Roseland Abbey, the first Festival of “Nouveau Réalisme” was opened in Nice. Niki de Saint Phalle prepared a relief for the event, which many artists and guests took turns to shoot at. Once the work was complete, it was named Tir à Volonté.
  19. 19. With the help of Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle set up twelve actions- tirs produced between 1961 and 1963. The majority were completed in Impasse Ronsin, Paris. The location, land surrounded by fences and brick walls, offered a safe place to set up a shooting range. Niki de Saint Phale attached various objects to an old door, a wooden or plywood panel, depending on the specific composition. The artwork would begin completely blank, immaculate even, painted and repainted multiple times, if necessary. Niki de Saint Phalle Shooting at Impasse Ronsin, Paris.
  20. 20. Niki de Saint Phalle, Tir neuf trous - Edition MAT, 1964, paint in plastic bags, embedded in plaster on wood © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation Niki de Saint Phalle created the color flows in this artwork by positioning plastic bags filled with paint in the upper part of the board, and coated them in plaster and white paint. The relief would be propped against the wooden fence, ready for the artist, friends, enthusiasts and visitors to use a rifle or revolver to fire at the board.
  21. 21. Shooting Picture is one of a series of works by Saint Phalle titled Tirs, meaning fire or gunshot in French, which were made up until 1970 and involved the artist shooting at the canvas. These shootings were conceived as performances, and as such formed part of the work. At some shootings audience members were invited to participate. Niki de Saint Phalle, Action de Tir, 1961
  22. 22. SomeTirs incorporated found objects into their surfaces, including crosses, statues, plastic objects, dolls and toy guns. Often these compositions focused on a particular experience, such as Tir (Autel) 1970, which resembled an altarpiece and alluded to Saint Phalle’s convent education. Niki de Saint Phalle, Altar Black and White, 1962 Plaster paint and found objects on wood panel 100 X 82 x 35 inches
  23. 23. Niki de Saint Phalle – King Kong, 1964 Moderna Museet de Stockholm In this artwork Niki de Saint Phalle addresses the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which the gigantic monster approaches a bombed city. It associates, among other things, an air attack on the towers of a large city, masks of political leaders, including General de Gaulle, and childbirth - a recurring theme in the work of the artist who had two children.
  24. 24. Niki de Saint Phalle, “Heads of State (Study for King Kong)” (spring 1963) (© BPK, Berlin, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Michael Herling/Benedikt Werner) Saint Phall’s famous Tirs (Shoot) pieces drip like Jackson Pollock’s but she produced by shooting a rifle at balloons of colorful paint mounted on white canvases.
  25. 25. In 1961, Niki de Saint Phalle held an exhibition titled "Fire at Will." Viewers were invited to shoot a rifle at the canvas, causing the paint to run down the textured white surface. The process of creating the artwork became a live performance event done with the public's participation, challenging traditional perceptions of the artist as a solitary figure. Shooting Paintings involved the viewer directly and physically in the creation of work, and left the resulting image to chance. Niki de Saint Phalle. Shooting Picture, Plaster, paint, string, polythene and wire on wood - Tate, London
  26. 26. In 1964, Niki de Saint Phalle introduced the Pop Gun method, a technique known as an Operatic Multiple, involving shots performed by untrained spectators. This was a dramatic experiment which later solidified the her future as not only a pioneer in performance, but an innovator in the genre of conceptual art. In conceptual art the concept or idea involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic, technical, and material concerns. Niki de Saint Phalle, Edgar Nash, takes aim at one of two versions of Untitled Edition, MAT 64
  27. 27. Niki de Saint Phalle, Nana Dawn, 1993 painted stratified polyester 56 by 44 by 25 1/2 in. By the mid-1960s Niki de Saint Phalle began making a new series titled the Nanas, the title of which draws on the slang word for woman in French. These figurative sculptures depict women decorated with bright colors and motifs. As Niki de Saint Phalle became successful her personal demons subsided and her focus shifted towards new and varying forms of sculpture.
  28. 28. Saint Phalle's largest project is located in Tuscany. It is called Tarot Garden. It took her almost 20 years to create the 14-acre sculpture park studded with monumental figures, some of them 40 feet high, made of sprayed concrete paved with mosaics of colorful china, glass and mirror shards, all inspired by tarot cards. The park opened to the public in 1998. It was her triumph over darker angels. Panoramic view of the Tarot Garden, 1999 . © Giulio Petromarchi
  29. 29. Yayoi Kusama
  30. 30. Yayoi Kusama at the age of ten in 1939 Kusama was born in Japan, the youngest of four children to a wealthy family who owned a large seed farm, growing exotic varieties of flowers they sold throughout the country. Yet her childhood was deeply unhappy. Her parents lived in an arranged, loveless marriage. Her father was a serial adulterer and her mother was a bitter and enraged figure of contempt. Kusama discovered early that she wanted to be an artist rather than a Japanese housewife. That enraged her mother, who’s distroy her drawings of flowers.
  31. 31. A flower field in the Nakatsutaya seed nursery owned by Yayoi Kusama’s family in Matsumoto, Japan At the age of 10 Kusama began having terrifying hallucinations, which stayed with her throughout her childhood. She found drawing could normalize her visions and make them seem less threatening, as she explained, “Whenever things like this happened I would hurry back home and draw what I had seen in my sketchbook… recording them helped to ease the shock and fear of the episode.”
  32. 32. During World War II, Kusama who was 13 year old, was sent to work in a Japanese military factory sewing fabric together for parachutes. There she developed sewing skills that would later be translated into her art.
  33. 33. She found the horrors of working in a dark factory building as air raid sirens and army planes blared around her terrifying, a traumatic experience which would stay with her for the rest of her life. After the war, Kusama’s mother allowed her to attend the Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts, on the strict condition that she also attend regular etiquette classes. Kusama had no intention of learning etiquette. Instead she gravitated toward American art and studied Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings.
  34. 34. In 1955 Kusama wrote to Georgia O’Keffe for advice. She moved to New York City in 1958 and became a part of the New York avant-garde scene throughout the 1960s, especially in the pop-art movement. O’Keeffe helped Kusama find galleries to show her work in New York, but she was still living in extreme poverty. Despite the hardships, In New York she found the creative culture she had craved for years.
  35. 35. A breakthrough came when Kusama began making her Infinity Net paintings, made from tiny repetitive loops in intricate designs based on her fantastical childhood experiences, which caught the attention of Minimalist artists and galleries. Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Nets.
  36. 36. Kusama also began her first Infinity Rooms in the 1960s, in which viewers enter a mirror-lined, dimly lit room alone as light refracts around them, creating the illusion of infinite, endless space and reflecting on our insignificance in the face of the vast universe. Dots often appear in these installations on sculptural objects that reflect into limitless fields of color and light, as a symbol of life, planetary forms or miniscule particles, as Kusama writes, “My life is a dot lost among thousands of other dots.” Installation view of Kusama in Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field, at her solo exhibition “Floor Show” at R. Castellane Gallery, New York / 1965
  37. 37. Though her reputation was growing within the art world, Kusama was well aware that her position as a Japanese woman fighting for her place in a patriarchal system was precarious. Her struggles drove her to attempt suicide several times. Kusama’s desire to be heard, pushed her to became increasingly prolific in the later 1960s, spanning a huge range of media including drawing, painting, writing, sculpture, performance, fashion and installation. An extreme workaholic, she was said to have often painted all night, sometimes working for 50 hours straight. View of Yayoi Kusama’s studio
  38. 38. During the 1960’s Kusama became notorious in the press for her organizing naked happenings.” In a series of “Body Festivals” Kusama painted people’s bodies with her trademark dot patterns.
  39. 39. By the early 1970s the media circus surrounding Kusama’s practice had led her to get a notorious reputation in New York. As a result she struggled to be taken seriously, particularly when America’s political climate became more conservative under Nixon’s second term. The hard time and mental exhaustion, coupled with the death of her close friend Joseph Cornell led her to return to Japan in 1973. When her father died several years later her mental health took a major toll and in 1977 she admitted herself into the Sewei Mental Hospital, where she has been living by choice since. Yayoi Kusama and Joseph Cornell photographed in New York in 1970
  40. 40. In Sewei she attended art therapy classes and worked on a series of collages in homage to Cornell, while she spent a huge amount of time assessing her life and art. Biomorphic forms slowly appeared in her art, particularly the pumpkin, which, became a symbol of Kusama’s alter-ego. Yayoi Kusama, Kusama with Pumpkin / 2010 / Installation View, Aichi Triennale / 2010
  41. 41. Though she continued to make art, for over 20 years Kusama was almost completely forgotten by the art world, until the International Centre for Contemporary Arts in New York organized a major retrospective in 1989. Since then, her art has steadily grown in popularity, reaching staggering heights of success in the last two decades that she could only have dreamed of in her youth. In 2017 a five story museum building was dedicated to her life and work in Tokyo. The exhibition was so popular, visitor numbers had to be capped every day. One of the most popular works in the museum was her famous Infinity Room Pumpkins Screaming about Love Beyond Infinity, 2017, a series of dotted, glowing pumpkins. Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkins Screaming about Love Beyond Infinity, 2017. Tokyo, Japan
  42. 42. This installation at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, is titled Gleaming Lights of the Souls. The installation offered visitors an immersive experience. Inside the 108 square feet room, the floor is a reflecting pool; in the middle of the water, there is a marked platform placed specifically for the viewer to stand on. The walls and ceilings are covered with mirrors, and around 100 lamps (which closely resemble ping pong balls) are suspended from the ceiling. The lamps change colours continuously, and seem to go on into infinity. Yayoi Kusama Gleaming Lights of the Souls
  43. 43. Love is Calling is Yayoi Kusama’s largest and most immersive Infinity Mirror Room. The dark, spacious room is illuminated by glowing inflatable forms that emerge from both the floor and the ceiling. Covered in polka dots, these tentacle-like forms gradually change colors. As the visitors walk through the installation, they also heard a sound recording of Yayoi Kusama herself reciting one of her very own love poems in Japanese! Yayoi Kusama, Love is Calling
  44. 44. At 90, Kusama continues to create work in a studio near Sewei Hospital, where she has no plans to stop anytime soon. She wrote, “Even now, there isn’t a single day when I’m not painting.”
  45. 45. Once Kusama said: “I followed the thread of art and somehow discovered a path that would allow me to live.” From paintings of dots to psychedelic body art and rooms of infinite light, Kusama’s art presents a complex world that exists just beyond reality. She has become a worldwide phenomenon in recent decades. But beneath the vivid colors, rivers of pain and suffering run through Kusama’s art.
  46. 46. Since childhood her art has taken on a curing quality, allowing her to silence the inner demons that tormented her. She wrote, “I fight pain, anxiety and fear every day and the only method I have found that relieves my illness is to keep creating art.”
  47. 47. “I Just Kept Trying to Make My Own World” Yayoi Kusama named world's most popular artist in 2014
  48. 48. ART THERAPY is a technique rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being. Art, either creating it or viewing others' art, is used to help people explore emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and work on social skills.
  49. 49. Art therapy uses creative mediums like drawing, painting, coloring, and sculpture. For PTSD recovery, art helps process traumatic events in a new way, by providing an outlet when words fail. With a trained art therapist, every step of the therapy process involves art. Integrating art into therapy addresses a person’s whole experience. This is critical with PTSD. Trauma is not experienced just through words.
  50. 50. Art therapy is most often practiced alongside other forms of therapy and mental health management. To become an art therapist, individuals need to earn a degree from an accredited institution of higher education, and pass the Art Therapy Board Certification Exam (ATBCE). Some are surprised to learn that art therapy is an established discipline in the mental health field. It's often used alongside psychotherapy. Group mural project
  51. 51. Patients can use art to express themselves and work through their feelings. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is a way of utilizing creation to improve emotional, physical, and mental overall wellness. During the process, the patients gain more insight into their minds and feelings. Art therapy also helps individuals develop new or better coping skills. The techniques used in art therapy can encompass any visual art form including sculpture, collage, coloring, painting, and drawing. Patients and their therapists often analyze their creations and how they feel about them as they work.
  52. 52. Interactive digital artwork by OUVA, digital display, 108 x 132 inches. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Photo courtesy of Stanford Children’s Health and Steve Babuljak.
  53. 53. Art therapy is used in a wide variety of different circumstances. It can treat many mental disorders and help patients process sources of psychological distress. Art therapy can be utilized to serve patients of all ages, and it's often especially helpful for people who struggle with expressing themselves and communicating verbally.
  54. 54. Creative therapies like art therapy and music therapy are often introduced for children who have learning disabilities. Adults experiencing serious stress can also benefit from using art therapy to process their stress and vent their emotions. Art therapy has also been successfully used for patients suffering from brain injuries, especially when those brain injuries make self-expression and communication difficult.
  55. 55. All art therapy is slightly different depending on the patient and their needs. All art therapy is ultimately done to help patients achieve more emotional wellness and better coping mechanisms for the stresses of day-to-day life. Art therapy isn't always used just for the treatment of psychological disorders and trauma. Patients with chronic physical illnesses have reported art therapy sessions have helped with day-to-day functioning. The same is true of individuals with cancer and those undergoing hemodialysis. It helps others see what one is going through.
  56. 56. Art therapy works best when paired with other forms of therapy, but on its own, it's often not enough to make a significant impact. For individuals suffering from psychological conditions, art therapy might also be paired with medication. Art therapy can be used to help individuals better understand their thoughts and feelings, and develop coping mechanisms, process trauma, and work through inner emotional conflicts.
  57. 57. Due to the healing qualities of art, it is vital that healthcare organizations incorporate art into their process and setting. The opportunity for creative expression, allows patients to lower stress levels and potentially decrease recovery time. Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects of art on both the body and mind. The art’s impact on the body also affects chemical and hormone levels. Healthcare organizations incorporate art into their practices to allow patients the opportunity for creative expression, to lower stress levels in patients, and potentially decrease recovery time.
  58. 58. The arts matter because they improve the quality of our lives.

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