Bold images and incredible drawings from inside one of Rio's mental health institutions
Emygdio de Barros
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Following their diagnosis with schizophrenia, Raphael Domingues (1912-1979) and Emygdio de Barros (1895-1986) frequented the art therapy clinic at Rio's National Psychiatric Centre with extraordinary results. The former's drawings rely mainly on the human form for inspiration, with abstract results occasionally taken to extremes as he appears to follow German artist Paul Klee's concept of 'taking a line for a walk'. A series of three incredibly deft drawings at the front of the room show a keen eye for detail that the rest of his work can barely hint at.
Domingues' art shares the space with that of Emygdio de Barros, who deploys a Van Gogh-esque palette in sporadic bursts of creativity that saw up to four paintings apparently completed in the same week. The IMS also hosts a small photographic biography of Nise da Silveira, the 'rebel' doctor at the clinic (that today bears her name) who introduced the idea of a less severe form of treatment in psychiatric care, using art and music to recuperate patients' self esteem.