In the past, disabled people had to become homeless beggars and outcasts, as babies with disabilities were considered a product of evil, with their medical conditions being granted to them personally by the devil. As of today, society’s attitude to incapacitated people has drastically improved, and the world of art is a great example of such a change. Modern art studios offer classes for all types of people despite their personal issues. To shed more light on the subject, let’s get into a time machine and look at the famous examples of disability art.
Disability Art: Famous Artists and Their Medical Conditions
Biographers divide Goya’s art into two periods: before and after his illness. The Spanish painter suffered from syphilis that led to neurological problems, dizziness, visual problems, depression, and weight loss. With the progression of the disease, his art became darker and darker.
Henri Matisse is strongly associated with disability art as cancer confined him to a wheelchair. It didn’t break him, and Matisse adapted his techniques and methods to suit his life. The lack of mobility didn’t stop him from doing what he did best – art.
The German artist was a bearer of a complex and rare illness called scleroderma. Despite skin changes and problems with his internal organs, Klee continued creating art and produced about 90 artworks between 1935-1940, the period when he found out about the illness, lived, and died.
Now, let’s return to the modern days and talk about the exceptional talent of Stephen Wiltshire who creates large-scale landscapes from memory. He is an autistic savant who learned to speak at the age of nine. At the end of ten, he began drawing detailed sketches of London.
One of the most famous living artists of today, Yayoi Kusama, has a long history of neurosis and mental health issues such as compulsive disorder and hallucinations. She was physically abused as a child, but it made her stronger, with her disability art being her personal victory and inspiration for millions of people.
Go No Matter What
Those are recognized and highly famous artists, so can you imagine how many more artists are there fighting for their future? Disability art is a revolutionary form of art that has challenged the past and shaped the present so that art has become accessible to everyone.