Tag Archives: Art Essays

The vulnerability of love

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Breakfast in Bed, Mary Cassatt, 1897, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation. Courtesy of the Huntington Art Museum, San Marino, California. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. On Thanksgiving Day, I watch my niece Jenn with her seven-month-old daughter Laila playing […]

Traumatic experience and creativity: René Magritte

Mirjana Stojkovic-Ivkovic Belgrade, Serbia   The Lovers. René Magritte, 1928. Fair use. A painter’s creativity often results from artistic inspiration, but it can also be a manifestation of fear, pain, and suffering. René Magritte (1898–1967), a Belgian painter and great figure in modern art, expressed his thoughts and his feelings on the canvas. His unique […]

The wounds of Christ and Prometheus – two of a kind?

Julia van Rosmalen Thomas van Gulik Amsterdam, Netherlands   Fig. 1. Peter Paul Rubens, Prometheus Bound, 1611-1612. The eagle has buried its claws into the face and leg of Prometheus and uses its beak to tear out part of his liver that it has extracted through the right side of his chest. In the lower […]

Depiction of defecation in the works of Pieter Bruegel

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Two behinds out the same window. Detail from Netherlandish Proverbs (The Blue Cloak). Pieter Bruegel the Elder. 1559. Gemäldegalerie. Via Wikimedia. “Civilization rests upon two things – the discovery that fermentation produces alcohol, and the voluntary ability to inhibit defecation.” —Robertson Davies, The Rebel Angels The life of the peasant […]

Arthur Bispo do Rosário: creation in psychosis

Rebecca Grossman-Kahn Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States   Untitled, Arthur Bispo do Rosario. Personal photo August 12, 2018. Museu de Arte Moderna de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Exhibit: A Tale of Two Worlds, July 12, 2018- October 14, 2018 In a sprawling, cavernous art museum in Buenos Aires, I turned a corner and my eye caught on what […]

Ellen Powell Tiberino’s The Operation

Cody Ritz Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   The Operation (1980), Ellen Powell Tiberino. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with the Julius Bloch Memorial Fund created by Benjamin D. Bernstein, 1990, 1990-116-1. Permission obtained through the Tiberino estate. In the graphite drawing by the late Ellen Powell Tiberino titled The Operation (1980), a tangled chaos emanates […]

An essential attitude of the heart

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Andy Warhol, 1970. By Alice Neel. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Timothy Collins. Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art / Licensed by Scala / Art Resource, NY I project an image of the painting, Andy Warhol, on the screen in the medical school classroom. […]

Mark Rothko and the dialogue in his mind

Mildred Wilson Detroit, MI   [Untitled] (Mark Rothko). Consuelo Kanaga. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Wallace B. Putnam from the Estate of Consuelo Kanaga, Photo: Brooklyn Museum. “The mind is what the brain does—and more. The mind has a mind of its own. The main business of the mind is to mind its own business.” Edwin […]

Stitches as mending, stitches as healing

Kelley Swain Oxfordshire, England   “Plague Dress” by Anna Dumitriu, installation view at 6th Guangzhou Triennial at Guangdong Museum of Art. Published with permission. Knitwear designer and disability-access advocate Kate Davies writes of discovering her love of knitting at university: “The movement of your hands helped you to find a different kind of mind space. […]

The Portrait of Doctor Gachet

Nicholas Kang Auckland, New Zealand   Portrait of Doctor Gachet, by Vincent van Gogh. June 1890. Private collection. Via Wikimedia. On a spring evening in New York, a portrait is unveiled before a crowded auction room. It pictures an older man wearing a dark blue coat with luminous green buttons. His elbow rests on a red table beside two […]