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Will Gompertz blog: Can you make good art after giving up drugs?

The controversial Danish film director Lars von Trier said recently that he fears that he will not make any more films now he is no longer taking drugs or drinking alcohol.

"No creative expression of artistic value has ever been carried out by former alcoholics and drug addicts," Von Trier told the Danish paper Politiken.

While taking drugs can have a very negative impact on brain function, some argue that artists can be at their most creative under the influence of drugs. So is Lars von Trier right that this enhanced creativity is lost if the artist returns to sobriety?

Will Gompertz considers whether the quality of an artist's work is made or marred by having used drugs in the past.

The BBC does not condone the use of illegal drugs for inspiration or to produce art work of any kind.

Video Journalist: Ed Ram

Image copyright: Alamy, Getty Images/AFP, Rex Features, Associated Press, The Estate of Sigmar Polke / DACS, London / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

  • 08 Dec 2014
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