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Migraine Art

The Migraine Experience from Within

Written by Klaus Podoll M.D.Author Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Klaus Podoll M.D. and Derek RobinsonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Derek Robinson
Foreword by Oliver SacksAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Oliver Sacks

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Migraine Art includes more than 300 powerful illustrations and paintings created by migraine sufferers from around the world. It provides a thoroughly unique window into the subjective world of the migraine sufferer. The idea of collecting migraine art started with a number of public competitions in the 1980s, which encouraged artists, both amateur and professional, to illustrate the pain, the visual disturbances, and the effect migraines had on their lives. The book includes hundreds of these submissions as well as detailed descriptions of different types of migraine visual phenomena.

Covering such topics as migraine signs, triggers, and treatments, as well as types of visual hallucinations and somatic sensations and experiences, the book offers a comprehensive view of the migraine experience. Each category of visual disturbance is accompanied by related artwork. A description of migraine visual experiences of famous historical figures, such as Blaise Pascal and Lewis Carroll, provide historical background on the topic. The book also includes a history of four Migraine Art competitions and information about the Migraine Art collection.


“It has taken more than a decade and a half, but Migraine Art: The Migraine Experience from Within has been well worth the wait for all of us with an interest in visual phenomena and the brain…. [It] stands as the definitive work of its kind—an incomparable collection of material on the visual and other phenomena of migraine, and, by implication, on the brain processes which underlie these.”
—Foreword by Oliver Sacks

"One of the most fascinating under-the-radar art books of recent times is North Atlantic’s Migraine Art, a book based on a contest held in Germany which asked people to illustrate what a migraine felt like. The results of the contest were incredible: crazy nightscapes, lightening bolts through the eyes, parts of heads missing…"

“First, Migraine Art is, literally, a beautiful book, filled with both fascinating and gorgeous illustrations by migraine artists—adults and children, celebrated and obscure. Klaus Podoll and Derek Robinson provide a comprehensive overview of their subject, the symptoms and mechanisms of migraine as translated into “outsider” art by migraine sufferers. But they do something else too; something humane and profound: they show us in remarkable detail how people respond to pain with creativity, and tell us much, too, about the unexplored bonds between science and the humanities, between the hard facts of our bodies, and the labor of our imaginations.”
—Andrew Levy, author of A Brain Wider Than the Sky: A Migraine Diary

“This magnum opus from Klaus Podoll and Derek Robinson is a key to migraine research that has been a long time coming. If you want to understand your own symptoms better, and those of others, there are few books that will offer more insight.”
Migraine and Headache News

  • Migraine Art by Klaus Podoll and Derek Robinson
  • February 24, 2009
  • Art - Folk Art
  • North Atlantic Books
  • $35.00
  • 9781556436727

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