The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 3, 2002
Recovery -- Dedicated to Maxine mixed media 50 x 48 inches 1985
Panacea mixed media 59 x 35 inches 1989
Since 1980, I have been making constructions out of traditional art supplies (canvas, paints, and India inks) along with medical supplies (x-rays, tapes, suturing materials). Some of the processes used, such as taping, cutting, and suturing, are shared with the physician. Through my "Healing Figures," a large body of artwork to which "Recovery" and "Panacea" belong, I hope to provide imagery that can act as a possible window to the unconscious and a potential restorer of psychic equilibrium that connects viewers with their inner selves.
My dear friend Maxine fought with breast cancer at 40. For now she seems to have won her battle. Jim was a junior in high school when his cancerous tumor was diagnosed. I gave him a "Healing Figure" drawing, which he hung in his hospital room throughout his long course of treatment. This drawing followed him to his undergraduate dormitory at the University of Pennsylvania and now is in his New York apartment.
How have I been touched by cancer? These people I love, in their contest with death, have made me ever mindful of the transience of life. Their experiences have made me appreciate the value of each day.