ELLIOTT SOSSEI

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 3, 2002

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Symphony acrylic 34 x 26 inches 1995


I have lived under the dark shadow of cancer for 35 years. When it struck, I was an otherwise healthy 19 year old about to begin his journey into adulthood. Unprepared, unknowledgeable, and frightened, I began a life-long struggle: first to cope with the fear and pain of three extensive operations followed by months of nauseating radiation, finally with a lifelong vigil, ever on the nervous edge, looking for signs of the disease to return.

Somehow I beat the odds and began my career in the arts. Ironically, it was the cure, the radiation, that has caused my body the most harm.

Over the years, first with sculpture and then with painting, I realized how much my work, in spite of myself, has taken on a kind of healing process. I am often surprised by what I have created. It is as if a subconscious entity, aside from my conscious mind, can get at a level of expression that bypasses my usual fear and apprehension and creates art that is, in some ways, healing, harmonious, and occasionally even humorous.

I am the proud father of three, now grown, adopted children.



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