Vincent Van Gogh might have suffered from hallucinations and nightmares, but he’s got nothing on the majority of chronic migraine sufferers. Migraine headache symptoms- throbbing head pain, nausea, ultra-sensitivity to bright lights and noise- make life unbearable for the millions of Americans who experience them regularly, not to mention inconvenient. ( “Of course I’m coming to your wedding! Unless I get a migraine…”)
It’s no wonder that yesterday’s starving, tormented artist has morphed into today’s equally tormented, financially strapped migraine patient, depicting her source of grief through modern art, poetry or video montage.
Recently, the Los Angeles Times featured a story about patients with brain disorders who have learned to release their pent up emotions through creative expression. Scientists hope to learn more about the workings of the brain by analyzing their artwork.
Another piece, featuring the work of migraine sufferer and author Dr. Oliver Sacks, was published in 2008 by the New York Times; based on his book “Migraine,” this slideshow, migraine art, illustrates the classic migraine with aura through a series of geometrical images and bold, strategic grafting.
Russian artist Olea Nova is a celebrated artist who uses florid watercolors to interpret the excruciating “lightning bolt” pain described by many who suffer severe migraine headaches. This collection of migraine art delves deep into the disturbing and often macabre experiences commonly felt by victims of migraines.
More information on migraine art can be found at the Migraine Aura Foundation.
Migraine on my Mind, by Deborah Leigh, Flickr
Visual Disturbance, by Stinging Eyes, Flickr
Migraine, by quinn.anya, Flickr