04 The Art of Destruction

Despite their once-perfect chemistry, monumental tensions proliferated during the recording of The Civil Wars’ most recent album, ultimately leading to the duo’s painful split. But they aren’t the first artists to produce beauty in a time of ruin…

15_Images-01Silent Screams

Edvard Munch’s famous 1893 painting The Scream captures his lifelong struggle with anxiety, hallucinations and depression—all of which eventually led to a nervous breakdown. Now one of the most widely recognizable works of art, the image has become a symbol of human suffering.


15_Images-02Rumor Has It

In the midst of failing marriages between group members and infidelity in general, Fleetwood Mac released an emotional rollercoaster of an album—1977’s Rumours. However, the group’s toxicity didn’t lead to doom, but rather glory, with Rumours going on to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year and still holding the title for the fourth highest-selling album of all time.


15_Images-03Share Your Secrets

An ongoing art collective created by Frank Warren, PostSecret.com began in 2005 as a website publishing anonymously submitted, homemade postcards, each showcasing a secret the contributor had never before shared. While not all disclosing dark truths, many of the cards depict subjects including self-esteem issues, sexual misconduct or solemn confessions. Updated weekly, the site has fostered a strong community of support and acceptance, as well as inspiring museum exhibits, live shows and five books.


15_Images-04Asylum Art

Shortly after famously cutting off his ear, Vincent van Gogh checked himself into an asylum where he ultimately created some of his best work, including Starry Night. During the last two months of his life, van Gogh completed 1890’s Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity’s Gate), perhaps capturing his own anxieties about suffering through his finals days and anticipating what would come after his demise.


15_Images-05Beauty of the Breakup

In 2011 when Adele first began to work on her sophomore album 21, she was determined to part from the heartbreaking themes that permeated her first release. However, after coming up dry in the early recording stages, she took a break… that is, until her relationship at the time deteriorated, inspiring yet another breakthrough release oozing with tragedy and raw emotion.


15_Images-06Healing in Eden

Following the death of his best friend and the divorce from his second wife, John Steinbeck began writing East of Eden, the 1952 novel he would later refer to as his magnum opus. Dealing with significant losses and struggling to reconnect with his two sons, Steinbeck penned this based-in-truth novel while simultaneously writing letters to his boys, a process that helped him recompose and regain focus.