Psychoanalysis and Artistic Process


  • Valerie Sinason Clinic for Dissociative Studies



Grayson Perry, art, psychoanalysis, truth


In an edited transcript of her talk, Sinason emphasises truth and transparency as a link between psychoanalysis and art and suggests that this is one of the reasons why Grayson Perry is admired as a person as well as an artist. Additionally, his sense of humour illustrates Freud’s understanding of the origins of humour in which negative emotions are liberated in a socially acceptable way. Freud’s ambivalence about his own art and writing is described as being projected into his comments about writers, artists and even children’s play and daydreams. She shows the transformation made in the consulting room with a woman with profound multiple disabilities that for her was art, as well as an example of the way art can allow personal narcissistic injuries to be hidden and healed in one of her poems. She looked at the Winnicottian way that we are who we see looking at us and the additional meaning of visual art but warned against the attempt to reduce great art by trying to psychoanalyse the artist or the beauty of the art in a colonial way. The best contribution of psychoanalysis to art is therefore gratititude and not envy.




How to Cite

Sinason, V. (2014). Psychoanalysis and Artistic Process. Free Associations, (65), 73–78.