Etsy Shop Development: Introduction – Artist’s Statement

Jack and Mike circa 1956

Yesterday I posted the first of a group of images that I plan to offer for sale in my forthcoming Etsy Shop. In the days to come, I will post more sets of images. Below is the first part of my self introduction, my Artist’s Statement, which spells out the underlying philosophy of my body of work. I hope, by setting up this structure, that I will offer items in my shop consistent with this vision and approach to self expression.

As always, I welcome any helpful feedback. Thank you all for reading.

Artist’s Statement

I grew up in the 1950s. My earliest experiences were dominated by the presence of my older brother. There was something wrong with Mike from very early in his life. He was withdrawn and didn’t act at all like most babies his age. My parents struggled desperately to find out what was wrong with their first born. Autism was not well known at that time but eventually they discovered that he was autistic and low functioning in addition to being nonverbal. There were no support groups back then and our family was on its own

Mike influenced my life very much, particularly my desire to understand and make sense of the world. My father, a mathematician, and my mother, an artist helped in creating a pathway through the chaotic times living with a severely handicapped family member. Thanks to them, my life developed along two lines: scientific and artistic. I used my technical interests to learn about autism and my artistic talents to express my frustrations and other reactions to having a brother who was unable to participate in the most basic of human activities.

My Etsy Shop also will develop along two tracks: 

1. Photographs and paintings that attempt to capture my experience as a sibling of an autistic brother; 

2. Photographs and paintings of scenes or patterns that catch my eye (whose vision was influenced by the same sense of enquiry forged by my efforts to understand Mike).

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