Google “macular degeneration” and images come up whose points of focus are obscured by fuzzy gray and black blobs. In fact, no two people with macular degeneration see the same way. The artists we work with have variously said, for instance, that they feel they are looking at the world through soaped-up windows, an obscuring fog, thickly falling snow.
Through interviews, profiles, films, and an art exhibit my collaborator Brian Schumacher and I have curated for the University of Cincinnati, The Vision and Art Project underscores the large number of artists who have been affected by macular degeneration over the centuries, and how powerful an influence the disease has had on art. The radical improvisations of Titian and Degas’s late work, for instance, which deeply influenced subsequent generations of artists, were likely created under the influence of macular degeneration.