bipolar self portrait linkdump


Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1889

Medicuration time, my little cuckoos. For your delight and edification, I have once again trawled the Internet to find contemporary self portraits by people with manic depression. It’s all mixed up (no mixed episode jokes please) and so the known rub shoulders with the unknown and the only common denominator is my subjectively critical eyeballs. I haven’t included any of the great painters with their posthumous diagnoses, except the one on your left. I’m sure you’ll agree that it absolutely could not be left out. There’s a small selection of kids’ art, some videos and, as per usual, so many links that if you joined them up, they’d reach the moon.

Click to view slideshow.

Featured artists:

Luis Pedro de Casto
Psychedelic Weapons
Gabriel Marquez
Bryan Lewis Saunders
April Mansilla
Josephine King
Si Clark
John Poole
Emma Price
Kim Novak
James Pasternak
Jen Douglas
Adi Aguilar
Jaqueline Mak
Katie Chandler
Alex M Smith
Little Miss Bipolar
Ellen Forney
Daniel Johnston
Liz Obert
Alex W

Along the way, I stumbled across some self portraits by children with bipolar disorder and was impressed, depressed and touched by their expression and emotion. Images from Storm in my brain: art by kids with mood disorders.

Click to view slideshow.


Mentally Ill Will – the Ballad of Sweet Willem (watch it, or I’ll cut you… out of my will).

Near Death Experience – Bryan Lewis Saunders (he’s the dude who did 50 self portraits, each under the influence of different drugs/meds/substances, remember?)
Jen Douglas – One of Four
Voices Documentary: The Art of Children, Adolescents and Young Adults Touched by Mental Illness.
Art Therapy for Depression and Bipolar
Daniel Johnston – Story of an Artist

Read all about it:


click to enlarge

Jonah Lehrer meets Stephen Fry: the paradoxes of bipolar and creativity. (this one’s for you, frywhores!) There’s a follow up post – Madness ain’t all it cracked up to be.
Using artwork to understand the experience of mental illness: Mainstream artists and Outsider artists (Terry A. Rustin) (brilliant article, I can’t recommend it highly enough)
Van Gogh and Mental Illness (brainpickings)
Psych Meds Prevent Artistic and Creative Thought (Natasha Tracy) (it’s not as simple as the title implies)
The Selfie: A Social Trend or Mental Illness?
Suffering for art is still suffering (Neurocritic)
Art Therapy in a Patient With Bipolar Disorder: Pictures Speak More Than a Thousand Words. (image on the left)
Missy Douglas – 2:365, 365 days of unmedicated bipolar art. (personally, it does absolutely nothing for me)

I’d really, really, really love to see your self portraits. If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a gallery of us here? When I’ve done one. I’m gonna do one.

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