A little over seven years ago, when I left the gallery world, I was in a very similar state of being to where most of us are today: overwhelmed, confused, anxious. I was so exhausted and burnt out after the crash of 2008, I couldn't take it anymore. After nights of crying myself to sleep over my mounting stress and depression, I didn't know where to turn and intuitively went to what I knew relieved my angst since childhood, painting.
I was lucky enough back then to travel to an art retreat for a few days, to get away from the world in the vineyard filled hills of Italy. I had three days of a miraculous transformation. Artmaking was akin to meditation, to a strategical meeting with my inner self, to a therapy session with my best friend, my little child within. It served as a catalyst for my complete revamp of my life. I left familiar pastures behind and stepped into something that I truly wanted, a balanced world where I could guide people of all ages to their balance in life through art.
Before then, in the midst of leaving my first marriage, I was in a similar state, but with no money. I also couldn't sleep at nights and in my moments of utter insomnia, I painted on whatever I could find, just to somehow ground and make sense of the trauma. A similar scenario played out in high school, after years of being bullied for being a dirty immigrant.
There're countless memories of how art had saved me, how it keeps saving me every day, in the midst of this crushing pandemic, how no matter how devastated I am, it always serves as a refuge, and subconsciously forges a way to move ahead.
It's hard for us to recognize that self care is important, that finding ways to be kind to oneself is of the utmost importance when there's so much darkness around us. Looking at art, creating art, talking about art brings us to that higher intelligence, to intuition, creates a direct channel between ourselves and the divine, gets us out of the crushing tunnel vision.
I wanted more people to see this direct connection between art and mental health and have put all my energy into organizing a high level art auction to benefit two mental health charities. One of them is right in our backyard and provides outpatient services to the Brookline Community. The other, OneMind, does incredible research into mental disorders. I'd love for you to treat yourself and participate in this event somehow, either as a collector who supports art and mental health efforts, as a donor, or as an artist who donates to this incredible cause.