Migraine art? You might look at Van Gogh's Starry Night a little differently when you learn that the artist
suffered greatly from severe migraine or "sick headaches." Migraines at that time were perceived as
mild insanity. Treatment of his migraine was both ineffective and debilitating, and, in fact, worsened
his condition. Van Gogh's famous painting, "Starry Night," was actually painted at the St. Remy Asylum
in France in 1889, where he was being treated for his "Migraine personality."
Geoge Seurat, the French impressionist who developed the pointalistic technique in the late 1880's,
was also believed to suffer from migraines. Some medical researchers even refer to scotomata, or
scintillating visual changes that often precede the headache of migraine, as the Seurat Effect.
Art competitions and shows have been dedicated to art depicting the pain and visual changes that
often accompany migraine. For some reason, we migraine sufferers ("migraineurs") seem overly
compelled to express our sufferings both visually and verbally. An internet search with the terms
"migraine art" will reveal an entire world of material you never dreamed existed.
In spite of the plethora of material already out there - most of it depressing as hell - I still have felt
compelled to create my own expression of the unique experience that is the recurrent, relentless and
often life-altering battle with migraine.
I am interested in your expression as well. If you suffer from migraine, or any other medical condition,
and have expressed your experience in art, email me a JPEG file of the work as well as a brief
description, for consideration for inclusion in an upcoming "Medical Art" guest page.
Email your submissions to
Acrylic on Canvas
24" x 24"