Thursday, July 15, 2010

Erik Johnson

An update about  Erik Johnson from Bravo's art reality series "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist".  See the last post here. Last week, he said a bit more about his brain injury.

"I've done so much dark stuff.... I'm gonna make a soft painting for my girlfriend. She's seen me fall on my face time after time after time.

Especially after the motorcycle accident. 
I've had physical therapy, 5 surgeries, neuropsych testings, and re-training my brain how to think and talk, and learn how to walk.

That's when I started doing art again.

I turned broken and she stayed with me. That's why I'm gonna make a piece dedicated to her. "

Bless our caregivers. They help us be who we want to be. They support us in adversity. They see the battle that is being fought, and while we are on the front line.... they are very much integral to us winning our fights big and small.

Also, it should be noted that Miles (also on the reality show) is dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.   He does great things, but in the midst of working, he gets insanely overwhelmed and has to retreat to a quiet place to calm down or take a nap.  He gets a lot of flak for this from some of the other artists.  I don't think they see that this is a survival and coping issue, much to the contrary, it seems as if they are interpreting his behavior as a dramatic artsy guy thing/ cocky/ lazy (you know.. the automatic assumptions projected onto those with an invisible disability). If he can't get in a place where he feels calm, I suppose he will have an out and out meltdown (which could end up in a number of ways).

I had a hope that Erik and Miles would be able to identify with the inner struggle that each other is dealing with. It appears that it is not so, for reasons I will not go into here. I think that's something that this injury has brought to me... a new way of seeing, of being empathetic.

1 comment:

Carole Baker said...

I have been watching the show too, and I very much appreciate your thoughtful insight into the actions of the 2 artists. I am seeing them in a new way. Thank you. I hope you will comment on this past weeks episode.