Question: Inspired by a fault?

Django Reinhardt was born 100 years ago yesterday. He lost the use of the third and fourth finger on his left hand when the family caravan caught fire, and as a result developed his own unique style of guitar playing.

Seriously inspirational, that is. Can you remember any other artists in any genre who became who they were because of some physical or mental disability? I can think of two artists who were visually impaired, and created iconic works of art as a consequence: Alberto Giacometti, with his strange and lovely “drippy” sculptures, and the great El Greco, the Spanish Renaissance painter whose paintings appear modern because of the way he stretches his figures. (PS: See corrective note in the comments!) Can you add any of your own?

a fault:

  1. the fact of being responsible for a bad or unpleasant situation
    It’s not my fault!
    (Schuld)
  2. a feature of something that makes it less good
    There’s a fault in the system.
    (Defekt)

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

5 thoughts on “Question: Inspired by a fault?”

  1. I’m sure many will mention Beethoven who was deaf and still played the piano. However, one of the most inspirational for me was not famous at all. He was 12 years-old and had 2 fingers but was the greatest player on my cousins baseball team. He was the short stop and was being recruited at the time and was so fast and amazing. He would catch the ball then throw with the same hand and had the fastest throw. At the time my cousin’s team was going all state and the kids were being recruited to attend a pro camp by I think the Red Sox. That baseball player was so amazing I wonder if he is still playing.

  2. I remember discussing artists’ eyesight at school in art class, and that’s where my preconceptions came from. Now I can’t find any reference online that Giacometti was visually impaired. He said his sculptures were not people and animals, but their shadows. His vision seems to come from seeing people at a distance against the light, making them appear elongated and skinny. El Greco was indeed long thought to have had astigmatism, but art historians seem to think that his distortions are a matter of insight, not of eyesight.

    All of these years I’ve been wrong! Sorry to have blogged first and researched afterwards.

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