11/11/2021
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art, Masculinity, and Mental Health
Do we need to reevaluate the presentation of male mental health in art? We investigate....

The image of the so-called ‘tortured artist’ is one which has persisted throughout the history of the medium; the brooding, melancholy, and invariably male painter whose genius is marred - or perhaps even inspired - by his own mind. With November marking men’s mental health month, it seems pertinent now to consider this trope and its proliferation despite the harmful stereotypes it perpetuates.

With the recent - and long-overdue - cultural shift in approaches to gender expression, conversations surrounding male mental health have become refreshingly open, even if there is still some way to go. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ represents an early form of this conversation, with a concept which seems, on first glance, to encourage a more open conversation; that artists, through the production of their art, transform their pain and anxieties into something beautiful, with Vincent van Gogh frequently cited as the prime example of this.

Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Where this becomes dangerous, however, is in the ‘tortured artist’ figure becoming something of a caricature, a cultural shorthand which perpetuates the misconception that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are prerequisites to becoming an artist, when in fact the complete opposite is often true. Van Gogh, for instance, wasn’t a great artist because of his mental health issues; he was a great artist despite them.

This is not to say that negative mental states cannot inform great works; Edvard Munch’s Scream and its follow-up Anxiety, for instance, are directly inspired by the artist’s own fears and pain. The problem all-too frequently lies in the cultural response to these works. All too often, depictions of mental health are praised for their rawness and honesty, wonderful qualities in and of themselves, and a step above previous restrictive attitudes towards mental health in ‘traditional’ masculinity. This can, however, lead to something of a vicious cycle, in which the suffering is once again glamourised, and mental health is viewed as the cause of great art, rather than as the subject that the art is addressing and expressing.

LEFT: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 | Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894

So, what is the solution to this? Art, by its very nature, facilitates emotional expression, and can be seen as a predecessor to the currently ongoing cultural conversation surrounding mental health. At what point, however, do we move beyond the emotional expression of art, and towards the root cause of mental health crises? The ever-growing wealth disparity has been shown to negatively affect millions mentally, and the significant role that race plays in mental health in the UK has been at the cultural forefront recently following the abuse aimed at three young black footballers following the Euro 2021 final. The role of art in this situation is to facilitate conversation about mental health, but this does nothing if there is no tangible change in response. We need to do more than simply praise art which tackles mental health; we need to actively listen to it and use its lessons to facilitate real-world change.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/11/2021
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art, Masculinity, and Mental Health
Do we need to reevaluate the presentation of male mental health in art? We investigate....

The image of the so-called ‘tortured artist’ is one which has persisted throughout the history of the medium; the brooding, melancholy, and invariably male painter whose genius is marred - or perhaps even inspired - by his own mind. With November marking men’s mental health month, it seems pertinent now to consider this trope and its proliferation despite the harmful stereotypes it perpetuates.

With the recent - and long-overdue - cultural shift in approaches to gender expression, conversations surrounding male mental health have become refreshingly open, even if there is still some way to go. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ represents an early form of this conversation, with a concept which seems, on first glance, to encourage a more open conversation; that artists, through the production of their art, transform their pain and anxieties into something beautiful, with Vincent van Gogh frequently cited as the prime example of this.

Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Where this becomes dangerous, however, is in the ‘tortured artist’ figure becoming something of a caricature, a cultural shorthand which perpetuates the misconception that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are prerequisites to becoming an artist, when in fact the complete opposite is often true. Van Gogh, for instance, wasn’t a great artist because of his mental health issues; he was a great artist despite them.

This is not to say that negative mental states cannot inform great works; Edvard Munch’s Scream and its follow-up Anxiety, for instance, are directly inspired by the artist’s own fears and pain. The problem all-too frequently lies in the cultural response to these works. All too often, depictions of mental health are praised for their rawness and honesty, wonderful qualities in and of themselves, and a step above previous restrictive attitudes towards mental health in ‘traditional’ masculinity. This can, however, lead to something of a vicious cycle, in which the suffering is once again glamourised, and mental health is viewed as the cause of great art, rather than as the subject that the art is addressing and expressing.

LEFT: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 | Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894

So, what is the solution to this? Art, by its very nature, facilitates emotional expression, and can be seen as a predecessor to the currently ongoing cultural conversation surrounding mental health. At what point, however, do we move beyond the emotional expression of art, and towards the root cause of mental health crises? The ever-growing wealth disparity has been shown to negatively affect millions mentally, and the significant role that race plays in mental health in the UK has been at the cultural forefront recently following the abuse aimed at three young black footballers following the Euro 2021 final. The role of art in this situation is to facilitate conversation about mental health, but this does nothing if there is no tangible change in response. We need to do more than simply praise art which tackles mental health; we need to actively listen to it and use its lessons to facilitate real-world change.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/11/2021
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art, Masculinity, and Mental Health
Do we need to reevaluate the presentation of male mental health in art? We investigate....

The image of the so-called ‘tortured artist’ is one which has persisted throughout the history of the medium; the brooding, melancholy, and invariably male painter whose genius is marred - or perhaps even inspired - by his own mind. With November marking men’s mental health month, it seems pertinent now to consider this trope and its proliferation despite the harmful stereotypes it perpetuates.

With the recent - and long-overdue - cultural shift in approaches to gender expression, conversations surrounding male mental health have become refreshingly open, even if there is still some way to go. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ represents an early form of this conversation, with a concept which seems, on first glance, to encourage a more open conversation; that artists, through the production of their art, transform their pain and anxieties into something beautiful, with Vincent van Gogh frequently cited as the prime example of this.

Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Where this becomes dangerous, however, is in the ‘tortured artist’ figure becoming something of a caricature, a cultural shorthand which perpetuates the misconception that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are prerequisites to becoming an artist, when in fact the complete opposite is often true. Van Gogh, for instance, wasn’t a great artist because of his mental health issues; he was a great artist despite them.

This is not to say that negative mental states cannot inform great works; Edvard Munch’s Scream and its follow-up Anxiety, for instance, are directly inspired by the artist’s own fears and pain. The problem all-too frequently lies in the cultural response to these works. All too often, depictions of mental health are praised for their rawness and honesty, wonderful qualities in and of themselves, and a step above previous restrictive attitudes towards mental health in ‘traditional’ masculinity. This can, however, lead to something of a vicious cycle, in which the suffering is once again glamourised, and mental health is viewed as the cause of great art, rather than as the subject that the art is addressing and expressing.

LEFT: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 | Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894

So, what is the solution to this? Art, by its very nature, facilitates emotional expression, and can be seen as a predecessor to the currently ongoing cultural conversation surrounding mental health. At what point, however, do we move beyond the emotional expression of art, and towards the root cause of mental health crises? The ever-growing wealth disparity has been shown to negatively affect millions mentally, and the significant role that race plays in mental health in the UK has been at the cultural forefront recently following the abuse aimed at three young black footballers following the Euro 2021 final. The role of art in this situation is to facilitate conversation about mental health, but this does nothing if there is no tangible change in response. We need to do more than simply praise art which tackles mental health; we need to actively listen to it and use its lessons to facilitate real-world change.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/11/2021
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art, Masculinity, and Mental Health
Do we need to reevaluate the presentation of male mental health in art? We investigate....

The image of the so-called ‘tortured artist’ is one which has persisted throughout the history of the medium; the brooding, melancholy, and invariably male painter whose genius is marred - or perhaps even inspired - by his own mind. With November marking men’s mental health month, it seems pertinent now to consider this trope and its proliferation despite the harmful stereotypes it perpetuates.

With the recent - and long-overdue - cultural shift in approaches to gender expression, conversations surrounding male mental health have become refreshingly open, even if there is still some way to go. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ represents an early form of this conversation, with a concept which seems, on first glance, to encourage a more open conversation; that artists, through the production of their art, transform their pain and anxieties into something beautiful, with Vincent van Gogh frequently cited as the prime example of this.

Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Where this becomes dangerous, however, is in the ‘tortured artist’ figure becoming something of a caricature, a cultural shorthand which perpetuates the misconception that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are prerequisites to becoming an artist, when in fact the complete opposite is often true. Van Gogh, for instance, wasn’t a great artist because of his mental health issues; he was a great artist despite them.

This is not to say that negative mental states cannot inform great works; Edvard Munch’s Scream and its follow-up Anxiety, for instance, are directly inspired by the artist’s own fears and pain. The problem all-too frequently lies in the cultural response to these works. All too often, depictions of mental health are praised for their rawness and honesty, wonderful qualities in and of themselves, and a step above previous restrictive attitudes towards mental health in ‘traditional’ masculinity. This can, however, lead to something of a vicious cycle, in which the suffering is once again glamourised, and mental health is viewed as the cause of great art, rather than as the subject that the art is addressing and expressing.

LEFT: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 | Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894

So, what is the solution to this? Art, by its very nature, facilitates emotional expression, and can be seen as a predecessor to the currently ongoing cultural conversation surrounding mental health. At what point, however, do we move beyond the emotional expression of art, and towards the root cause of mental health crises? The ever-growing wealth disparity has been shown to negatively affect millions mentally, and the significant role that race plays in mental health in the UK has been at the cultural forefront recently following the abuse aimed at three young black footballers following the Euro 2021 final. The role of art in this situation is to facilitate conversation about mental health, but this does nothing if there is no tangible change in response. We need to do more than simply praise art which tackles mental health; we need to actively listen to it and use its lessons to facilitate real-world change.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/11/2021
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art, Masculinity, and Mental Health
Do we need to reevaluate the presentation of male mental health in art? We investigate....

The image of the so-called ‘tortured artist’ is one which has persisted throughout the history of the medium; the brooding, melancholy, and invariably male painter whose genius is marred - or perhaps even inspired - by his own mind. With November marking men’s mental health month, it seems pertinent now to consider this trope and its proliferation despite the harmful stereotypes it perpetuates.

With the recent - and long-overdue - cultural shift in approaches to gender expression, conversations surrounding male mental health have become refreshingly open, even if there is still some way to go. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ represents an early form of this conversation, with a concept which seems, on first glance, to encourage a more open conversation; that artists, through the production of their art, transform their pain and anxieties into something beautiful, with Vincent van Gogh frequently cited as the prime example of this.

Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Where this becomes dangerous, however, is in the ‘tortured artist’ figure becoming something of a caricature, a cultural shorthand which perpetuates the misconception that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are prerequisites to becoming an artist, when in fact the complete opposite is often true. Van Gogh, for instance, wasn’t a great artist because of his mental health issues; he was a great artist despite them.

This is not to say that negative mental states cannot inform great works; Edvard Munch’s Scream and its follow-up Anxiety, for instance, are directly inspired by the artist’s own fears and pain. The problem all-too frequently lies in the cultural response to these works. All too often, depictions of mental health are praised for their rawness and honesty, wonderful qualities in and of themselves, and a step above previous restrictive attitudes towards mental health in ‘traditional’ masculinity. This can, however, lead to something of a vicious cycle, in which the suffering is once again glamourised, and mental health is viewed as the cause of great art, rather than as the subject that the art is addressing and expressing.

LEFT: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 | Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894

So, what is the solution to this? Art, by its very nature, facilitates emotional expression, and can be seen as a predecessor to the currently ongoing cultural conversation surrounding mental health. At what point, however, do we move beyond the emotional expression of art, and towards the root cause of mental health crises? The ever-growing wealth disparity has been shown to negatively affect millions mentally, and the significant role that race plays in mental health in the UK has been at the cultural forefront recently following the abuse aimed at three young black footballers following the Euro 2021 final. The role of art in this situation is to facilitate conversation about mental health, but this does nothing if there is no tangible change in response. We need to do more than simply praise art which tackles mental health; we need to actively listen to it and use its lessons to facilitate real-world change.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/11/2021
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art, Masculinity, and Mental Health

The image of the so-called ‘tortured artist’ is one which has persisted throughout the history of the medium; the brooding, melancholy, and invariably male painter whose genius is marred - or perhaps even inspired - by his own mind. With November marking men’s mental health month, it seems pertinent now to consider this trope and its proliferation despite the harmful stereotypes it perpetuates.

With the recent - and long-overdue - cultural shift in approaches to gender expression, conversations surrounding male mental health have become refreshingly open, even if there is still some way to go. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ represents an early form of this conversation, with a concept which seems, on first glance, to encourage a more open conversation; that artists, through the production of their art, transform their pain and anxieties into something beautiful, with Vincent van Gogh frequently cited as the prime example of this.

Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Where this becomes dangerous, however, is in the ‘tortured artist’ figure becoming something of a caricature, a cultural shorthand which perpetuates the misconception that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are prerequisites to becoming an artist, when in fact the complete opposite is often true. Van Gogh, for instance, wasn’t a great artist because of his mental health issues; he was a great artist despite them.

This is not to say that negative mental states cannot inform great works; Edvard Munch’s Scream and its follow-up Anxiety, for instance, are directly inspired by the artist’s own fears and pain. The problem all-too frequently lies in the cultural response to these works. All too often, depictions of mental health are praised for their rawness and honesty, wonderful qualities in and of themselves, and a step above previous restrictive attitudes towards mental health in ‘traditional’ masculinity. This can, however, lead to something of a vicious cycle, in which the suffering is once again glamourised, and mental health is viewed as the cause of great art, rather than as the subject that the art is addressing and expressing.

LEFT: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 | Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894

So, what is the solution to this? Art, by its very nature, facilitates emotional expression, and can be seen as a predecessor to the currently ongoing cultural conversation surrounding mental health. At what point, however, do we move beyond the emotional expression of art, and towards the root cause of mental health crises? The ever-growing wealth disparity has been shown to negatively affect millions mentally, and the significant role that race plays in mental health in the UK has been at the cultural forefront recently following the abuse aimed at three young black footballers following the Euro 2021 final. The role of art in this situation is to facilitate conversation about mental health, but this does nothing if there is no tangible change in response. We need to do more than simply praise art which tackles mental health; we need to actively listen to it and use its lessons to facilitate real-world change.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/11/2021
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art, Masculinity, and Mental Health
Do we need to reevaluate the presentation of male mental health in art? We investigate....

The image of the so-called ‘tortured artist’ is one which has persisted throughout the history of the medium; the brooding, melancholy, and invariably male painter whose genius is marred - or perhaps even inspired - by his own mind. With November marking men’s mental health month, it seems pertinent now to consider this trope and its proliferation despite the harmful stereotypes it perpetuates.

With the recent - and long-overdue - cultural shift in approaches to gender expression, conversations surrounding male mental health have become refreshingly open, even if there is still some way to go. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ represents an early form of this conversation, with a concept which seems, on first glance, to encourage a more open conversation; that artists, through the production of their art, transform their pain and anxieties into something beautiful, with Vincent van Gogh frequently cited as the prime example of this.

Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Where this becomes dangerous, however, is in the ‘tortured artist’ figure becoming something of a caricature, a cultural shorthand which perpetuates the misconception that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are prerequisites to becoming an artist, when in fact the complete opposite is often true. Van Gogh, for instance, wasn’t a great artist because of his mental health issues; he was a great artist despite them.

This is not to say that negative mental states cannot inform great works; Edvard Munch’s Scream and its follow-up Anxiety, for instance, are directly inspired by the artist’s own fears and pain. The problem all-too frequently lies in the cultural response to these works. All too often, depictions of mental health are praised for their rawness and honesty, wonderful qualities in and of themselves, and a step above previous restrictive attitudes towards mental health in ‘traditional’ masculinity. This can, however, lead to something of a vicious cycle, in which the suffering is once again glamourised, and mental health is viewed as the cause of great art, rather than as the subject that the art is addressing and expressing.

LEFT: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 | Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894

So, what is the solution to this? Art, by its very nature, facilitates emotional expression, and can be seen as a predecessor to the currently ongoing cultural conversation surrounding mental health. At what point, however, do we move beyond the emotional expression of art, and towards the root cause of mental health crises? The ever-growing wealth disparity has been shown to negatively affect millions mentally, and the significant role that race plays in mental health in the UK has been at the cultural forefront recently following the abuse aimed at three young black footballers following the Euro 2021 final. The role of art in this situation is to facilitate conversation about mental health, but this does nothing if there is no tangible change in response. We need to do more than simply praise art which tackles mental health; we need to actively listen to it and use its lessons to facilitate real-world change.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/11/2021
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art, Masculinity, and Mental Health
Do we need to reevaluate the presentation of male mental health in art? We investigate....

The image of the so-called ‘tortured artist’ is one which has persisted throughout the history of the medium; the brooding, melancholy, and invariably male painter whose genius is marred - or perhaps even inspired - by his own mind. With November marking men’s mental health month, it seems pertinent now to consider this trope and its proliferation despite the harmful stereotypes it perpetuates.

With the recent - and long-overdue - cultural shift in approaches to gender expression, conversations surrounding male mental health have become refreshingly open, even if there is still some way to go. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ represents an early form of this conversation, with a concept which seems, on first glance, to encourage a more open conversation; that artists, through the production of their art, transform their pain and anxieties into something beautiful, with Vincent van Gogh frequently cited as the prime example of this.

Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Where this becomes dangerous, however, is in the ‘tortured artist’ figure becoming something of a caricature, a cultural shorthand which perpetuates the misconception that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are prerequisites to becoming an artist, when in fact the complete opposite is often true. Van Gogh, for instance, wasn’t a great artist because of his mental health issues; he was a great artist despite them.

This is not to say that negative mental states cannot inform great works; Edvard Munch’s Scream and its follow-up Anxiety, for instance, are directly inspired by the artist’s own fears and pain. The problem all-too frequently lies in the cultural response to these works. All too often, depictions of mental health are praised for their rawness and honesty, wonderful qualities in and of themselves, and a step above previous restrictive attitudes towards mental health in ‘traditional’ masculinity. This can, however, lead to something of a vicious cycle, in which the suffering is once again glamourised, and mental health is viewed as the cause of great art, rather than as the subject that the art is addressing and expressing.

LEFT: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 | Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894

So, what is the solution to this? Art, by its very nature, facilitates emotional expression, and can be seen as a predecessor to the currently ongoing cultural conversation surrounding mental health. At what point, however, do we move beyond the emotional expression of art, and towards the root cause of mental health crises? The ever-growing wealth disparity has been shown to negatively affect millions mentally, and the significant role that race plays in mental health in the UK has been at the cultural forefront recently following the abuse aimed at three young black footballers following the Euro 2021 final. The role of art in this situation is to facilitate conversation about mental health, but this does nothing if there is no tangible change in response. We need to do more than simply praise art which tackles mental health; we need to actively listen to it and use its lessons to facilitate real-world change.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/11/2021
Discussions
Adam Wells
Art, Masculinity, and Mental Health
Do we need to reevaluate the presentation of male mental health in art? We investigate....

The image of the so-called ‘tortured artist’ is one which has persisted throughout the history of the medium; the brooding, melancholy, and invariably male painter whose genius is marred - or perhaps even inspired - by his own mind. With November marking men’s mental health month, it seems pertinent now to consider this trope and its proliferation despite the harmful stereotypes it perpetuates.

With the recent - and long-overdue - cultural shift in approaches to gender expression, conversations surrounding male mental health have become refreshingly open, even if there is still some way to go. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ represents an early form of this conversation, with a concept which seems, on first glance, to encourage a more open conversation; that artists, through the production of their art, transform their pain and anxieties into something beautiful, with Vincent van Gogh frequently cited as the prime example of this.

Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Where this becomes dangerous, however, is in the ‘tortured artist’ figure becoming something of a caricature, a cultural shorthand which perpetuates the misconception that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are prerequisites to becoming an artist, when in fact the complete opposite is often true. Van Gogh, for instance, wasn’t a great artist because of his mental health issues; he was a great artist despite them.

This is not to say that negative mental states cannot inform great works; Edvard Munch’s Scream and its follow-up Anxiety, for instance, are directly inspired by the artist’s own fears and pain. The problem all-too frequently lies in the cultural response to these works. All too often, depictions of mental health are praised for their rawness and honesty, wonderful qualities in and of themselves, and a step above previous restrictive attitudes towards mental health in ‘traditional’ masculinity. This can, however, lead to something of a vicious cycle, in which the suffering is once again glamourised, and mental health is viewed as the cause of great art, rather than as the subject that the art is addressing and expressing.

LEFT: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 | Anxiety, Edvard Munch, 1894

So, what is the solution to this? Art, by its very nature, facilitates emotional expression, and can be seen as a predecessor to the currently ongoing cultural conversation surrounding mental health. At what point, however, do we move beyond the emotional expression of art, and towards the root cause of mental health crises? The ever-growing wealth disparity has been shown to negatively affect millions mentally, and the significant role that race plays in mental health in the UK has been at the cultural forefront recently following the abuse aimed at three young black footballers following the Euro 2021 final. The role of art in this situation is to facilitate conversation about mental health, but this does nothing if there is no tangible change in response. We need to do more than simply praise art which tackles mental health; we need to actively listen to it and use its lessons to facilitate real-world change.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
Thanks For Reading
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.