Whether you’re an art lover or just appreciate a piece of art that has the power to portray more than just a static picture, there are some interesting works of art that capture the anguish and silent suffering of mental health so much better than what words can explain.
People suffering with mental health issues often find it hard to talk about. They could also find it hard to put into words how they feel. This is why seeing art that explains mental health better than words is so interesting.
Here are some pieces of art that capture some of the feelings and emotions of mental health.
The Scream by Edvard Munch
The Scream is one of the most famous paintings of all time and a very interesting piece from a mental health perspective.
There are various interpretations of the painting and the artists’ own explanation over the years. The artist, Edvard Munch explained the painting in his own words:
“I was walking down the road with two friends when the sunset; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish-black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous infinite scream of nature.”
It’s widely agreed that what Edvard is explaining there is some kind of panic attack or an overwhelming episode of anxiety. The painting does a great job of evoking these emotions when looking at it. No words are necessary. That anguished scream portrayed on his face says it all.
Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear – Vincent van Gogh
From studying his work, life, and the other information we know about Vincent van Gogh, it’s clear that he had some serious mental health issues. Most art historians believe he either suffered from psychosis or bipolar disorder. There’s no way to be sure.
Despite painting some of the most famous pieces of art we have today during his life, the two most common talking points about Van Gogh are why he cut one of his own ears off and his suicide two years later. In between these two dates he painted one of his finest pieces: a self-portrait with a bandage over his missing ear.
As with all good pieces of art, there are various interpretations as to why he chose to do this self-portrait. The blank gaze and expressionless face speak of a deep sadness and internal turmoil that would be hard to explain in words.
For most people, mental illness makes them feel like they’re losing their mind. and it’s hard for other people to understand how this feels for them. There’s often no way of seeing a person’s internal struggle without speaking with them about it.
This painting by Carts captures these feelings perfectly. It illustrates those feelings by showing pieces of the person’s head drifting away as they hold their face in the palm of their hand.
This painting, entitled “Brain Sick,” illustrates what it feels like to be trapped within your own mind. This feeling is common among people struggling with mental health issues. Seeing an adult curled up in a fetal position also evokes emotions of being in a vulnerable state.
It’s an interesting piece that illustrates the struggle someone with mental health issues has within themselves better than words can. It’s a struggle people often don’t (or can’t) speak about openly. It’s a situation that’s hard to understand for someone who hasn’t experienced this pain. Yet, this illustration makes it that much easier to empathize.
To learn more about mental health, read more about healthy lifestyle changes and how to focus on wellness.