GOOD

From a Rare Neurological Condition Comes Gloriously Vibrant Art

Painter Melissa McCracken’s synesthesia transforms music into colors, inspiring her newest series Song Portraits.

Inspired by Callow, Airhead, via Visual News

Synesthesia, a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sense can trigger an involuntary sensory experience in another—for example “hearing” color, or “tasting” a sound—is an unusual muse for creatives ranging from musicians to perfumers. While an average human’s sense mechanisms operate autonomously, synesthetes often fuse one or more senses, or cognitive pathways, simultaneously. The trait is a quirk of evolution that affects roughly 2-4 percent of the population, and has 60 known forms. Missouri painter Melissa McCracken has synesthesia and when she hears a song it instantly transforms into a pastiche of color and vibrant life. The artist’s recent “song portraits,” a series based on her synesthetic experiences, are centered on these visions. She uses oil and acrylic paint as her medium, so that the canvas becomes a backdrop for the the sensory neurons firing in her brain. Below, take a trip through the mind of McCracken, in glorious detail:

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Crowdsourced Self-Portraits: What Does the GOOD Community Look Like?

A roundup of self portraits done by the GOOD community

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about ex-Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush's new foray into painting. Specifically we mentioned his self portraits, which were largely celebrated in the art world—even by staunch liberals. That got us to thinking, if George Bush can excel at the self portrait, so can we. So we asked you—the GOOD community—to send us your best #goodselfie via Twitter. The results prove that our former prez has competition in the creative realm. Here they are, your best submissions, in no particular order.

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