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Crazy people making art

Let's talk about schizophrenia.

What I really mean by that is, let's talk about Nick Blinko. You may not know him—most people don't—and, really, I only know him because the first guy I "hung out" with in middle school listened to a British punk band called Rudimentary Peni. Nick Blinko was that band's lead singer, and he made amazingly intricate, schizophrenic drawings for their album covers.

These days, Blinko is billed as a British outsider artist, not a schizo anarcho-punk. His drawings and paintings have been shown in galleries worldwide. He's also been hospitalized in the past, and suffers from delusions when not on medication. But he says that his need to make pictures is stronger than the desire for the psychic "stability" brought by therapeutic drugs—they adversely affect his ability to work.

His images are filled with iconography and constructed of microscopically detailed elements, sometimes consisting of literally hundreds of intricate, interconnecting figures and faces. And what's more, he draws them without the aid of a magnifying glass—literally, just draws them.

Now, I'm not saying I've ever necessarily been inspired by Blinko's work, or any schizophrenic art for that matter. But there's so much about it to be fascinated by. It just goes to show how mysterious the mind is.

A lot of artists notoriously "medicate" to make their art.  But the pictures I've sourced here (and all of Blinko's works) were produced during periods when he was not altering his mind. He couldn't do it any other way.

Alyssa YeagerComment