Zdzislaw Beksinski's Paintings of the "Fantastic Period" as an Expression of Early Childhood Experience

Beata Sokolowska-Smyl
2014 Creativity Theories – Research – Applications  
This article is an attempt to indicate possibilities for the interpretation of Zdzisław Beksiński's work, based on selected examples of paintings from the so-called "fantastic period". A grotesque look at art, which would explain the style of the artist's paintings, so compulsively using the language of deformation, attaining alarming degeneration, is a look from the generally inaccessible, cavernous depths of the subconscious. Thanks to psychoanalysis, art can be read as a representation of
more » ... epresentation of the inner world of the creator, who unknowingly embeds the story of his childhood into his work. The direction of the foregoing, represents the position of Alice Miller, a Swiss psychotherapist, in whose opinion knowledge stored in the subconscious is not pure fantasy, but rather an explanation referring to the reality of early childhood. Theories -Research -Applications violence, egoism to name but a few -indicates the author's personality traits. Freud sees the problem of parricide, appearing in "The Brothers Karamazov", as a subjective expression of the Oedipus complex. One cannot help but notice an undeniable reference to the story of Dostoyevsky's father's life. Alice Miller's conception of interpreting works of art Alice Miller challenges two aspects of Freud's theory: (1) those referring to the infantile sexuality of a child, and (2) those perceiving a work of art as a sublimation of physiological drives. Her psychoanalytical practice confirmed Freud's empirical finding of traumatization, described in 1896 as seduction theory, which he later abandoned to the theory of the Oedipus complex. Miller prefers to call the former 'abuse theory', thus extending its meaning beyond the sexual sphere. This theory, posing a threat to the commonly accepted idealization of parents, had to withstand much stronger criticism than the Oedipal one. According to the latter, a child is not abused by adults, but through denial and repression of its drives, fantasizes about them and perceives them as external to itself. Miller's experiences as a psychoanalyst proved both sexual and narcissistic disorders, as well as the aetiology of destruction, to be of a reactive nature. Hence, creation is potentially possible Beata Sokolowska-Smyl / CREATIVITY 1(1) 2014
doi:10.15290/ctra.2014.01.01.11 fatcat:mooczs5eqjdvbbkv7gdtzsimyi