David A. Feingold and The Bipolar Impaired Self

Listen to this post: 

I want to introduce to you an artist and thinker whom I met through the International Guild of Disabled Artists and Performers. His name is David Feingold. Before I give you his website link, here’s a trigger warning: David’s artwork and his unashamed way of discussing his life and impairments may make some people uncomfortable.  The artworks are tremendously in-depth, vibrant and honest. By honest, I mean there are many images depicting pain, frustration and confusion. If you’re up for it, you will be forever rewarded with the experience of seeing his unique ways of playing with mixed media, collage, and exploring shape, size and perspective. Plus, you can read his entire doctoral dissertation containing even more art while you’re there. Visit www.feinart.me to immerse yourself in wonder. Another warning:  for individuals using a screen reader, I’m not certain this website is accessible.

In a nutshell: David was hit by a hit-and-run driver when he was a child and sustained a significant traumatic brain injury. As is so common, the injury led to further difficulties such as temporal lobe epilepsy and cognitive impairments. School was hard before this injury and got much harder afterward. David turned to art, something he had always had a passion for. He has continued to create spectacularly intricate, dynamic art as this early brain trauma eventually led him to a lived experience of Bipolar disorder on top of everything else.

Very often, clinicians and providers tell us what our diagnosis means for how our life will play out, as if there really is a way for anyone to fully know that. How often have any of you with a diagnosis had the chance to tell your provider what it means to you, to your identity, to your life? David uses visual art and video, research, and reflection all over this site to tell us what his disabilities are to him. And he gives this as the reason for doing it: “We have nothing to lose except stigma, prejudice, and misinformation and all to gain through pursuing acceptance, knowledge and advocacy in its place.”

You can also find some of David’s work on display at www.bipolarartists.com.