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Hallerman, B. Remen, S.M. Clemmens, E. (1994). Muse: The Psychodynamics of the Artistic Relationship Presenter: Stephen M. Remen M.D. Discussant: Edward Clemmens, M.D. October 28, 1993. Am. J. Psychoanal., 54(2):189-190.

(1994). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 54(2):189-190

Scientific Meetings of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis

Muse: The Psychodynamics of the Artistic Relationship Presenter: Stephen M. Remen M.D. Discussant: Edward Clemmens, M.D. October 28, 1993

Betsy Hallerman, C.S.W., Stephen M. Remen, M.D. and Edward Clemmens, M.D.

While the subject was an exploration of art as imitation of life, the spirited and provocative interchange that followed seemed to suggest life imitating art. Presenter, discussant, and audience were collectively inspired to consider both the nature of creativity and the impact of interpersonal dynamics between artist and muse on the creative process.

Noting that the roots of artistic expression have not been fully examined by psychoanalyis, the presenter Stephen M. Remen posed a series of questions aimed at analytic investigation into the character, function, and process of the artist/muse relationship. His purpose was not so much to find answers as to challenge his listeners to expand analytic inquiry beyond the creative process itself to the person as creator and his sources of inspiration. Remen discussed the relationship between mental status and creativity, questioning whether links exist between the creative process and neurosis, psychosis, or health. He considered the role of the muse as alternatively an organizer or disorganizer of the artist's experience, and suggested that the work of art itself might be viewed as an integrating device. Issues of the artist without a muse, the muse as negative influence and the possibility of the artist's analyst serving as his muse were also raised.

The lecture was enlivened by a slide presentation that illustrated how the artist is influenced by his subject. Remen focused principally on Picasso's work to demonstrate the intimate connection between the evolution of the painter's style and his relationships with the women who inspired him. In this context Remen examined the libidinal aspects of artistic endeavor in light of the traditional view of the artist as male and the muse female, and the role that sexual union plays. As female artists tend to have female muses, the notion of art as representing the female side of personality was considered.


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