A Free-Expression Painting Studio with University Students

Aesthetic Reflection from Michel Henry


  • Erika Rodrigues Colombo Instituto de Psicologia da USP
  • Andrés Eduardo Aguirre Antúnez Instituto de Psicologia da Universidade de São Paulo
  • Gillianno José Mazzetto De Castro Centro Universitário Católica do Tocantins

Parole chiave:

Free-Expression Painting Studio, Michel Henry, Phenomenology of Life


The present study intends to present a reflection on the aesthetics in the work of Michel Henry, based on the experience of a Free-Expression Painting Studio with university students who had suicidal ideations or attempts. The Studio took place online, between September 2020 and September 2021. The case of one of the participants who was present in 8 sessions will be presented. Henry’s reflections in the aesthetic field help us to understand how the therapeutic process in the Studio does not operate at the level of deductive thinking, but at the level of affective transformation that, through our actions, originally implies us in it. What the Painting Studio mobilizes is the affective dialectical relationship, through which one can move from despair to the original pleasure. There is a common background between patient and therapist, which is the feeling of the power of transitivity in the life of suffering in pleasure – a feeling that is to be, in one’s own life, every possibility of transformation. The therapeutic relationship opens the possibility to find mobilization for painful affections in the community.