I finally finished reading a book I started reading ages ago. I bought the book because it was on autism (which I’m interested in, for my son is autistic), religion and science (I’m a master in religious studies, so there you go,..) and philosophy.
But I wouldn’t discuss this book if there wasn’t a little bit of art in it. Obviously this little bit of art is related to autism, religion, science and philosophy. Therefore, for some people, it might sound a little bit vague. But hey; that’s me,..
So, the book is about autism. And some of you might know; people with autism can have very special talents. Some of them are amazing in math, some, like my son, is gifted in map-reading / -drawing and some are awesome painters. Why? Well, that’s something the book wants to explore. But before I share this ‘answer’, let me first clarify that the book offers merely a theory. You should not forget, it is a book not only on autism and science, but deals with philosophy and religion as well. And since philosophy and religion both have as many ‘truths’ as Rome has gelato shops, you know just one thing for sure: there always will be someone who will disagree on this theory. But I don’t. And that’s why I want to share it with you.
The biggest part of the book is about autistic people who can’t talk. They can hear, but do not spreak. And not being able to talk makes them, according the theory, better artists. These people can copy everything they see on paper / canvas / board, very, very accurate.
Due to the fact they don’t speak, they think differently. They lack the ability to abstract thinking.
This means that, for example, every horse, they encounter, is a different animal. They don’t ‘see’ the likeness between two different horses, for they only see details. How can a big, slender horse with white, short hair, black spots on the nose and long, white eyelashes, be the same kind of animal as a brown, shaggy little Shetlander? It can’t. At least not if you are not able to think abstract. As soon as people learn to speak, they learn the ability of abstract thinking. And it turned out to be, that highly talented, mute, autistic artists, performed less, as soon as they learned to talk.
So, abstract thinking makes us unnotice details, and lack of abstract thinking makes people notice details way better. Even in such a way that it makes one able to create wonderful works of art. Figurative works of art, of course, for the abstract art will be a bridge (or two) too far,.. So the recipe for becoming a great artist is very simple: husssssshhhh,…