Monday, February 18, 2013

Artwork By People Diagnosed With Autism

The book, Drawing Autism, is a collection of drawings and paintings by people diagnosed with autism.

The site 50 Watts, Drawing Autism posted a small selection of images from the book. The images sometimes include a brief statement from the artist. I've posted three; you can visit 50 Watts for more.

Below by Jessica Park: The Mark Twain House with the Diamond Eclipse and Venus, 1999.

Below by Felix at age 12: Imaginary City Map.
What was the inspiration for this piece? "Generally I start drawing one street on different spots on the edge of my paper. I make the streets grow toward one another."

Who are some artists that you like? "None. I study road maps and atlases in detail and generally I scroll the full track of our trips on Google Earth."

Below by David Barth at age 10: Vogels ("Birds" in Dutch), 2008.
From an email from David's mother to Jill Mullen: "His drawings often represent his current obsessions. In the attachment I send you, it's not hard to guess what's keeping him busy right now. There are almost 400 birds on it and he knows the names and Latin names of most of them."

There's a certain quality to these images. A sense of intense focus or devotion to a topic, and the repetition of the object of focus. But they are also quite distinct from one another. Just fascinating.

The CDC says:
  • About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  • ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
  • ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than among girls (1 in 252).

1 in 88 ... for a disorder that was relatively rare in my childhood. There's something going on.


caulfieldkid said...

I'd imagine there's a lot of different things going, but I really don't know.

However, I found this encouraging:

This is the world we find ourselves in. What do we do now?


Angela and Melinda said...

These are really quite wonderful--I admire the "horror vacui"--it works well in these pieces.

Bix said...

That's an interesting point about jobs.

What if someone falls somewhere along the spectrum that doesn't make their condition obvious? Do they disclose it in an interview?

Bix said...

"This is the world we find ourselves in. What do we do now?"

I actually find this sentiment quite compassionate.