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Artists with physical shortcomings that led to their signature work
I’m fascinated by the idea that a physical shortcoming or faulty biology is yet another constraint that can lead artists to produce better work. A few examples:
- Art Spiegelman has amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” which flattens depth perception. He says he suspects it’s one of the reasons he’s a cartoonist—because the world looks flat to him
- The guitarist Django Reinhardt lost the use of 2 of his fretting fingers, and played all of his solos with two fingers
- Tommy Iommi, guitar player for Black Sabbath, after he lost fingertips in an industrial accident, was inspired by Django, and formed homemade prosthetics, and detuned his guitars down to C#, so there was less tension on the strings. This detuning is part of what makes Sabbath’s guitars sound so heavy, and thus we have heavy metal…
- Henri Matisse’s failing eyesight and health led him to make his “cut-out” paper collages
Can you think of other artists whose physical shortcomings or disabilities led to their signature work?
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- shabazmataz answered:The Drummer for Def Leppard!
- electricpencils answered:The guy who is producing our album was born with a thumb and nubs for fingers on his left hand, so he learned to play guitar upside down.
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- jim answered:Chuck Close is in a wheel chair, El Greco has astygmatism, Ray and Stevey are blind
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- alivewithlove said:It’s not physical, but it is great.
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- Ian Glass answered:Chuck Close creates his large-scale portraits as a way of remembering people’s faces: guernicamag.com/intervi…
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- Austin Kleon answered:@kirstymhall on twitter suggested Monet, who painted his water lilies when suffering from cataracts: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wa…
- Kirsty Hall answered:Monet’s Waterlily paintings were the result of his failing eyesight.
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