PROBLEMATIC VISION AS ARTISTIC ASSET
Many of us complain about our eyesight without realizing that our vision problems may be giving us unique perspectives which make us more original thinkers, wiser workers, better artists, or just more totally available to life... So forget griping about your vision and keep your glasses on to consider the following! Vision problems of painters and poets such as van Gogh (poisoned from paints he ate), Cezanne (myopic, refused to wear glasses!) and John Milton, (who went blind), can be aesthetic plus factors, argues Patrick Trevor-Roper, in his book, "The World Through Blunted Sight." For instance, Trevor-Roper maintains that people whose primary input and output modes are visual, literary and mathematic tend to be myopic and thus exhibit a myopic personality. Because they can only see well in close-up, their work is characterized by imagery that can be viewed only at close range. The mechanism which causes shortsightedness (an elongated eyeball) also influences perception of color: reds look more precisely defined. Cataracts can change the way we see color by blurring and reddening our vision. (The British painter Turner, who had a penchant for painting sunsets of 'fiery elegance, was quite myopic.) After Monet had his cataracts operated on, he found his most recent work ghoulishly colored and lacking in blue. He went on to produce a few blue and blue-green-hued masterpieces. Georgia O'Keefe, who suffered from age-related macular degeneration, gradually lost the center of her field of vision. She continued to paint, however, with what was left of her peripheral vision. Some of the works she made during the years of her waning eyesight are among her most powerful.