I often wonder if people that have mental illness are also some of the most artistically gifted and creative people. Celebrities, authors, musicians, and artists have come out and admitted that they face challenges with their mental health. I began thinking about the correlation between mental illness and creativity this morning after having one very vivid nightmare in segments last night. The nightmare, while certainly unpleasant, will make for a gripping and entertaining story.
Is it the brain’s altered chemistry as a result of mental illness that gives us a heightened artistic ability and sense? I really and truly wonder what causes this. Anyhow, you are probably curious what the nature of the nightmare was and I am still piecing it together but the crux of it was a story about a a man that recently lost his job and was facing homelessness. In his search for housing and work, he gets sucked up into the crazy, topsy-turvy world of a cult and tries to escape. The madness of the dream is what makes for its very entertainment.
Dave Matthews, Seinfeld, and other artists and celebrities have publicly admitted to dealing with severe depression. Dave Matthews, by all accounts, is an extremely gifted and talented musician. His lyrics evoke powerful emotions and convey a story of turmoil and sadness. Songs like Jimi Thing are a glimpse into a life learning to manage depression and not be ruled by it. This is something I definitely battle and identify with first hand. It makes the music and artistry that much the richer.
I often wonder if Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali might reasonably have been considered Bipolar because their art reflects the turmoil of their lives; their struggle to find balance and the way that their lives sometime feel like a trip down the rabbit hole where up is down and right is left. In fact, both Picasso and Dali are roundly credited with the Magic Realism movement in art, more commonly known as Realismo Magico. The key element of Magic Realism is the surreal and ethereal which are reflected in both Picasso and Dali’s works.