[EN] The Old Masters of Art in Paris: From Struggles to Inspiration

Blog post: written by Mckenna

Every brushstroke, every note, and every word matters, as artists aim to evoke emotions and challenge perspectives.

    Paris, a city steeped in artistic history, has witnessed the rise of numerous renowned artists who have left an indelible mark on the world. While it is true that many artists in Paris have experienced suffering, it is essential to question and challenge the notion that suffering is a prerequisite for artistic brilliance.

    Art has the unique ability to transcend barriers, evoke emotions, and challenge societal norms. It is a medium through which artists can express their thoughts, emotions, and perspectives, making a profound impact on individuals and communities alike. It is necessary to recognize that artistic brilliance can coexist with a fulfilling and balanced life, and artists can create meaningful works without enduring pain or deprivation.

    Yes, some artists in Paris, like
Vincent Van Gogh, have faced significant personal struggles and their experiences shape their art and provide insight into the human condition. However, it is crucial not to romanticize or glorify their suffering, but rather to appreciate their artistic contributions while recognizing the need for better support systems and resources for artists.

    In most art museums, for example, I can find several art pieces that have representations of hell, the devil, or one’s depression. This is often depicted by fire, the use of red or black, screaming people or figures, or extreme distortion. Art with attributes like this should be appreciated, but more importantly they should evoke empathy for these artists.

It is okay to not be okay!

    Mental health has long been a stigmatized topic- no one wants to talk about it nor accept their imperfectness. Everyone’s mental health looks different, functions differently, and should be dealt with differently. When I find myself wrestling the world, I choose to paint, dance, write poems, or surround myself with positive friends. Although these are all productive outlets to deal with one’s poor mental health, battles cannot be the source of all art.

    A larger issue that many current artists deal with, which stems from a lack of respect for one’s own mental health is
substance abuse. Although many substances have shown to improve struggles with anxiety and draw people towards the beauty of nature, art should not be dependent upon the use of drugs.

    Many artists who are praised today, rely on the visuals of hallucinogenic experiences to create their art. Which in my opinion is simply depressing! Despite the fact that many of these works are extremely intriguing and intricate, to encourage the use of substance for the purpose of art is to encourage one’s eternal downfall.

    The artistic community in Paris should strive to create an environment that promotes mental health and well-being among artists. By destigmatizing mental health challenges, providing access to resources, and fostering a supportive community, artists can be encouraged to create from a place of balance and fulfillment rather than from a position of distress. 

    Artists in Paris, and indeed worldwide, should feel empowered to express themselves authentically without conforming to preconceived notions of sacrificing their well-being. Remember: you are not alone! 

   With its storied history and vibrant artistic community, Paris offers a nuanced perspective on the role of art in our lives. By debunking the myth of the suffering artist and embracing the pursuit of balance and well-being, we can appreciate and create art for its intrinsic value. Let us celebrate the legacy of old masters, learn from their experiences, and recognize the profound impact art can have on our collective understanding of the world. 

Here are some mental health resources : 
(U.S.) https://mhanational.org/
(France) https://soshelpline.org/mental-health-resources/