This is the first piece of artwork for our Art of Medicine Journal Club.
Please take 2 minutes to complete a questionnaire before embarking on the Journal Club: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScC_RiZd6gtBlX1IER6z9P7cofc9LlqJ9Sy4Y6L8M9aOWMGQQ/viewform
Take a deep breath and explore this image, and write a reflection in a comment below.
Acrylic on canvas
7 thoughts on “Reflection 1”
Calin Dumitrescu says:
This is a wonderfully done painting! When I take in this work, I feel a sense of both tranquility and stress. The jagged, black lines and structures come across almost as monsters. Therefore, the top of the painting gives off more of a peaceful sense with the calm, aqua blue and less of the black lines, while the more I look downward, I feel a greater sense of stress and chaoticness. To me, this represents that a lot of us put on an appearance that everything is under control and at ease, while we may hiding more negative, stressful feelings underneath. However, by acknowledging this possibility, we can start to open up and let out some of these feelings, illustrated by the mixture of colors in the middle of the picture, and then thrive. Overall, very well done:)
Sophia Musacchio says:
For me, this piece is a reminder of humans’ deep connection to our earth and a reminder that medicine should be an integrative practice. When I first began looking at this piece, the dark lines appeared like trees. Then, I began seeing instead shapes of cells-perhaps neurons or other cells with spikes of cytoplasm. Leaving my focus from the dark lines to the work as a whole, I noticed the patterns of colors, and thought of its resemblance to the earth, with the sky in blue, the grassy fields in green, and the core of the earth in red. Then I began seeing these colors as a transition from outer skin layers, perhaps clothing and appearance, to the dark red blood inside. As I switched back and forth between these two views I realized that they are in fact very interconnected. We sometimes forget, as people and in the medical community, how truly integrated and dependent we are with and upon our environment. Seeing patients and people in general in a more integrative context is a quality I would like to work further towards as a medical student.
Mokshal Porwal says:
This artwork evokes many different emotions and is very well done! Upon first glance, the bright colors stand out which creates happy and joyful emotions. However when looking closer, there is an almost sinister emotion that I feel. Some of the dark branch-like shapes resemble people running around chaotically. One of them in particular sticks out to me – the large one on the left which looks like an evil pterodactyl with an eye. To me, this figure looks like the leader of all the chaos and perhaps the whole scene. Overall, I interpret this painting as a representation of the inner chaos that is inevitable in life. The bright scenery represents the “face” that everyone sees while the chaotic jagged lines with the leading pterodactyl represents the process and “backend” that is required to create the apparent beauty and perfection we see in the background.
Monica Gobrial says:
It took me a while to really gather my thoughts for this piece of art work. At first I was just mesmerized by all the colors in the background and then I finally noticed the darker lines…. their shape finally seemed all too well familiar. They look like broken dendritic connections to me. So it dawned on me that this must represent a brain of a patient (I don’t know exactly what disease, Alzheimer’s maybe?). But this brain is full of color and light and it’s all segmented into different areas… completely unharmed and “normal” as one would study it in a textbook (like brodmann’s areas), the only problem is the synaptic connections themselves. They are broken and dark so that no information is really being transmitted. But I think the fact that our human eye is immediately drawn to the colors rather than the lines, demonstrates the artist’s point in that these patients have a fully intact brain, just as colorful, bright and capable as you and me, the problem (the darkness if you will) is that the synapses in the neurons themselves are not connecting to all those areas.
Ruchi D says:
When I first look at this piece of art, I am drawn to the colourful background. As I follow the colours, it leads me from warm hues of red and orange to the cool blues. The warm colours at the bottom give a sense of anger and strong emotions which in turn draws me towards the darker shapes and jagged lines overlaying the colours. Looking closely at the background, there is a sense of structure and organization as represented by each little dot. I can picture the artist putting in the effort for each coloured dot overlaying the colourful background. This is interrupted by the dark shapes and lines that has an omnious feel to it as if an evil creature lurking around. The cooler colours on the top of the paining bring a sense of calm. With less dark lines at the top, it allows one to focus on the colours. Overall, this artwork starts with a sense of chaos, fear and darkness and progresses to a sense of calm and cool.
Marge Blanc says:
At first, I felt cut off from the rainbow, the chakras, the continuance of the ‘background.’ It seemed like barbed wire meant to keep me from connecting to the infinite. Then, as I relaxed about the black lines in front of me, I could see that they were more like tree branches, or arteries, that melded with the more mechanical ‘machinery’ of modern life. That the foreground was continuous made me almost cry to imagine the connectedness of those parts of reality. But the connectedness of the background was inspiring in its infinity. The painting could be called ‘A Snapshot,’ and subtitled ‘forest and trees,’ and further described with the question, ‘which is which?’
Sophia Musacchio says:
Thank you for this thoughtful reflection, Marge! I especially appreciated how you were able to move through your initial response of disconnect and then find beauty in the depth of the piece.