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Visceral Drawings From Antonin Artaud’s Final Years

I had a conversation with Gray Miller, a writer and visual practitioner here in Madison. He mixes writing and art to convey a message at conferences and public forums. But one of the ways he described his method to me was by calling it "visceral drawing".

I had no idea what that was so I looked it up. In a figurative sense, something "visceral" is felt "deep down." It is a "gut feeling."

The gut feeling part of the visceral drawing explanation brought up some very raw results.

Visceral Drawings From Antonin Artaud’s Final Years

page of pencil sketches of different heads
via - https://hyperallergic.com/visceral-drawings-from-antonin-artauds-final-years/

Like these last collected works by French dramatist Antonin Artaud. He sometimes produced deliberately crude works, testing the strength of the expression by submitting it to the brutal blows of an unhinged craft.

He founded the Theatre of Cruelty which is described as a break from traditional Western theatre and a means by which artists assault the senses of the audience. Which sounds pretty visceral to me.

The last nine years of his life were spent in asylums, undergoing electroshock treatments. He began drawing and often taking anger out on the page.

His longtime friend and editor Paule Thévenin and the philosopher Jacques Derrida were with him his last few years to document his life in the book "Antonin Artaud: Drawings and Portraits" which is available from Amazon and other online retailers.
notebook page with smudged text and burn holes
sketch book page with crudely drawn people drawn all over it

You can hear the conversation with Gray Miller that started all this on my American Bandito art podcast.

Listen To The Podcast

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