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  1. #11
    BradS's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not famous and probably never will be but, I did suffer severe depression for almost two years. I emerged from that a changed person. The character of my photography also changed considerably during and after that period.

  2. #12
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    A good read on artistic response to dis-ease is James Elkins' Pictures of the Body: Pain and Metamorphosis. Not specifically about depression or photography, but certainly interesting and related.

    Joe

  3. #13

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    Depression is a poor choice of terms. Everyone occasionally gets depressed, but the illness "Clinical Depression" is a completely different ballgame. I believe that the original article was referring to the Clinical kind. So far as I know, Edward Weston didn't suffer from it. Obviously, Diane Arbus did.

  4. #14
    cao
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    W.E.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lopez
    What other photographers can you think of who suffered mental health problems; depression in particular?
    While W. Eugene Smith's pictures have an extra helping of amazing, he seems to have had an extra helping of messed up.

  5. #15

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    Actually deep clinical depression is one of the first symptoms of Parkinsons. Charis discusses Weston suffering from it in her biography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    Depression is a poor choice of terms. Everyone occasionally gets depressed, but the illness "Clinical Depression" is a completely different ballgame. I believe that the original article was referring to the Clinical kind. So far as I know, Edward Weston didn't suffer from it. Obviously, Diane Arbus did.
    art is about managing compromise

  6. #16
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    This discussion reminds me of the metaphor I heard some time ago about oysters create a work of beauty - the pearl - from an irritation - a grain of sand or other debris that gets inside their shell and settles on their soft sensitive parts. The idea being that all or most great works of beauty start with an irritation. Very few artists, regardless of the medium or their fame, create from a place of joy. Not that that doesn't happen, it's just more common that the gold won't shine forth and reveal itself until the darkness has descended. After the creation joy holds forth, at least for a little while, then it's back to the dark places to mine more beauty. That's the way it's usually worked for me, as well as all of the "artists" I have ever had direct contact with. Again, it appears to be the norm but not an absolute.

    M. Scott Peck said that depression (a depression not precipitated by chemical imbalances) is most often a sign that one is either going through changes or needs to go through changes. Art and creation is a great way to work through those changes, and the results are there for everyone else to enjoy.

    Joe
    Latent Images Plastic Toy Cameras

    "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive" - Howard Thurman

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    Depression is a poor choice of terms. Everyone occasionally gets depressed, but the illness "Clinical Depression" is a completely different ballgame. I believe that the original article was referring to the Clinical kind. So far as I know, Edward Weston didn't suffer from it. Obviously, Diane Arbus did.
    I used to know quite a few people who had been on medication and getting help from professionals for their symptoms in clinical depression. It's a tough subject to talk about.

    I don't think we can really tell what it is that we humans go through internally from observing the work of art. We can only assume we know it, but that is not the same as really knowing and/or understanding it in a way we like to.

  8. #18
    George Papantoniou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lopez
    What other photographers can you think of who suffered mental health problems; depression in particular? I would like to hear about it.

    Mike
    Francesca Woodman http://www.slack.net/~kiki/woodman.html

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    Depression is a poor choice of terms. Everyone occasionally gets depressed, but the illness "Clinical Depression" is a completely different ballgame. I believe that the original article was referring to the Clinical kind. So far as I know, Edward Weston didn't suffer from it. Obviously, Diane Arbus did.
    It's very possible that Weston was not diagnosed with clinical depression, nor even sought such a diagnosis. He's been gone for almost 50 years, and the times have certainly changed since his days.

  10. #20

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    Times have changed, but psychiatry has changed very little. They are just as full of shit as ever.

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