LOS ANGELES, CA - Vision is a curious thing. What we see may be empirically there, in front of us, or it may be something more shadowy, an outgrowth of how we feel, what we think we see, what some might call an inner vision. Experimental artist and photographer J. Fredric May embraces that inner view. The former photojournalist, commercial photographer, and filmmaker is legally blind, having lost 46% of his vision after surviving a major stroke during open heart surgery in 2012. The stroke also subjected him to vivid visual hallucinations.


One could view this as a tragic set of circumstances, but that is not May’s way. Instead, he was challenged to alter his artistic expression, and find new ways to express visual images. He incorporated the hallucinatory episodes he was experiencing, and is shaping beautifully haunting works that challenge viewers to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.


Using computer imaging software to corrupt and disrupt visual information, the artist essentially began to replicate what was occurring for him. Fragmentary, poetic, and ghostly, they are familiar images turned inside out, puzzle pieces that are mysterious yet recognizable, life through a strange prism.


With his series Apparition: Postcards From Eye See You, recently awarded Critical mass Top 50 for 2017, May invites viewers to see through his artistic “looking glass,” and view the world as he does.


May says “Seeing is not a solitary or isolated act. We create and store a ceaseless visual loop of information hat continuously feeds our perception.” And that perception feeds the way we look at what see, May notes “Sight involves rapid-fire motor activity; electrons are fired, synapses jumped…all within milliseconds.”


And during that immediate process, one not only takes in and records visual information, one also absorbs the meaning of that visual information, or creates one’s own meaning from it.


We are given a fresh take on the human form in May’s images. Take “Author’s Hallucination No. 31,” above, a portrait of a man, yes, likely wearing sunglasses, features rearranged into a recognizable yet alien form.


Or “Author’s Hallucination No. 7,” in which a female portrait is dominated by a centered, larger-than-scale mouth.
In The Griffin Fifteen Series, “Griffin Fifteen No. 10” collapses a man’s face into a nearly-cylindrical shape, featureless, yet innately recognizable as a human image.


May, who grew up in a family that he describes as “collectors, inventors, and engineers” has always been an innovator, encouraged to “regenerate.” As a photojournalist and commercial photographer, he developed a reputation of capturing what a newspaper editor called the “A-one shot,” a standout image, a cover photo. His vivid, natural image style was forever altered with his stroke, but the artist continues to succeed – in a different form – at creating a resonant single image. May has viewed his stroke as a challenge, a condition to be explored with the assistance of his iPad and his inspirational desire to create images that depict what he himself sees. Along with limited sight, May’s hallucinatory episodes are a result of Charles Bonnet syndrome, in which the brain regenerates visual imagery, attempting to refine and fill in the blur of limited vision.


Depicting these episodes, May creates archival pigment prints that combine both analog and digital photographic process, scanning vintage portraits, subjecting the images to data corruption software, creating layered image composites which he prints as cyanotypes. His next step is to bleach and alter the tone of these images with a mix of tea and photo chemicals, which contributes to an ethereal feel to this work. Then, he digitizes the altered cyanotypes to create a print. The result is a distorted yet oddly beautiful composite, ephemeral and fleeting, the glance you always remember, the nearly-dissolving face glimpsed through a rain drenched window you can’t help but forget.


May’s capture of these “visionary” moments has also gone beyond his works themselves, with his art-making process accelerating his own recovery and inspiring researchers to study the use of his techniques as an alternative treatment for stroke patients.
Whether in a recent group exhibit at the Los Angeles Center of Photography or in a solo show, Gray Matters, at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Mass., May proves that what you see may be just a part of what you “get.” In May’s process of comprehension, what we observe in the blink of an eye is rendered into a potent, depth-filled image that both questions and embraces the vision of life itself.

BOSTON, MA — “Gray Matters,” at the Griffin Museum of Photography, consists of six shows that examine the layerings of identity — layerings of time, layerings of surface, layerings of material, layerings of meaning. The title alludes both to aging (that ultimate layering of time) and the wetware encased in a human skull. What’s human identity without human mind?

“Gray Matters” runs through Dec. 3.

The most striking of the six shows is J. Fredric May’s“Apparitions: Postcards from Eye See You.” The punning title has a grim history behind it. May, a professional photographer and filmmaker, lost almost half of his vision after a 2012 stroke. The reduced vision led to a syndrome that produces visual hallucinations — an optical version of phantom-limb sensations.

Drawing on this dual visual dislocation, May takes vintage portraits, scans the images, then alters them with a variety of techniques, both digital and analog. The 15 examples at the Griffin are startling. Each image looks inchoate yet suggests an internal coherence. Each is a set of studies in search of a face — or, in the context of “Gray Matters,” identity.

Liz Steketee also radically reworks vintage portraits. As the series title “Sewn” indicates, sewing and thread figure as a significant part of the altering. The 17 examples at the Griffin offer energy, surprise, and consistent unease. The use of thread requires needles, after all, and these needles get under the skin. Some of the bolder images recall Francis Bacon. Is that tribute or warning?

Marina Font takes sewing and photography a lot further. Her series “Mental Maps” does not lack for ambition: “I aim to approach what lies beyond control and reason, exploring, through the act of drawing with thread, embroidery, fabric and appropriated crochet pieces onto the photographic surface, the intricate mysteries of the psyche.” Font photographs a woman’s head and torso — or, in a few cases, her full body — against a black background, then obscures the face or other parts of the figure with those textile elements. This is serious layering. Alas, those intricate mysteries she speaks of remain unplumbed. The results look pretty goofy without a redeeming sense of wit.

Sandra Klein’s series “Noisy Brain” (great title) follows a formula. The 18 images show her in silhouette, with all sorts of things superimposed on her profile. The repetitive format frees up Klein to be anything but formulaic. Surprises abound, and the results are vigorously unruly in the layers she adds. In one case, the superimposition is her mother’s silhouetted profile. Visually, Klein’s brain is definitely noisy. Viewers are the better for it.

“Comus” is the title of the yearbook at Francie Bishop Good’s high school. It’s the same high school her mother went to. After her mother’s death, Good found her yearbook. Good’s series “Comus” consists of enlarged portraits from the 1942 and 1967 editions: the year of her mother’s graduation and her own. Good appropriates the portraits, making them her own with paint, drawing, collage, and digital layering. The images are garishly ugly. That’s not necessarily bad. Garish ugliness can very effectively make any number of points. Here it doesn’t. These images look like Warhol silk screens of people who never got their 15 minutes. That’s not meant as a dismissal of the people. It’s a function of how appropriation works or, as here, doesn’t. Appropriation without recognition is like a dust jacket without a book. There’s no visible meaning. Colleen Woolpert’s “Persistence of Vision” is the smallest show: two photographs and a silent video loop. The video shows a sculptor who is blind shaping the eyes of a self-portrait bust, which is almost as striking to watch as it is to think about.

           HOUSTON, TX - The Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 (CM50) is an opportunity to see work from a very large number of talented photographers. Among the photographers in the final 2017 Top 50, selected from hundreds of entries, are some that educate us on how photography can be used for an expression of who we are and challenges we face, both internal and external. While there are too many to write about, five created a voice in images that have matured through repeated visual experimentation. Looking beyond the submitted portfolios, one found artists who kept working and re-working a concept embraced in a challenging subject. Studying the origins of the current projects for Patty Carroll, Marina Font, Nicolo Sertorio, Dotan Saguy and J. Fredric May, we learn to more deeply appreciate the arresting images that hold our eyes to a message they wanted us all to consider.
 

“All photographers have a relationship with the world” was expressed by Patty Carroll.1 It is true. What is difficult is showing and sharing that relationship to others in a meaningful way. Carroll’s relationship with the world is focused on the issues of women and “domesticity.” Her visual expression of women and how they are defined by themselves and others, and by the “stuff” they gather to surround themselves are embedded into these images of camouflaged women hidden under cloth. Each image is a statement on an aspect of a domestic situation which Carroll models into both still photographic images and video.

In “Anonymous Women: Demise”, her most current series, we see a staged scene acted out in a studio setting. We do not actually see the person under the fabric. Clearly the body, real or mannequin, is meant to be symbolic of women in challenging situations. One might argue more broadly that any gender of person can be trapped in a life that they or others construct for themselves. So, these vignettes can be applicable to anyone as no facial identity is revealed. Carroll does seem to style situations most commonly applicable to women in a western society. An affluent society. In “Booky”, a woman is buried under piles of books. She is dressed more formally than one might expect. The shoes, stockings and dress, the tea pot, cookies, vintage phone, wall paper and shaded lamp all give the scene a 1950’s sense of the perfect homemaker. The books and book shelves are collapsing around her. There is a disorder in this life, and we notice an unusual, seemingly hand drawn picture of a woman with a less than perfect figure in a partially open book on the floor marked by a pair of glasses hanging on the page. There are actually multiple pairs of glasses, perhaps reading glasses, on the floor, and a phone that is knocked off its cradle so phone calls cannot intrude on this person’s apparent collapse in her chair. There is both a sense of someone waiting, bored, but educated. There is a sadness in the sense of an intelligent well-read person who has been sidelined or idled, not reaching their full potential and “trapped” in a boring situation, living life through the words of others in all these books.

Her own description of the Anonymous series from the Photolucida Critical Mass Top50 site3 gives the viewer a perspective on this work. “The subject is the merging of woman and home. ...In the newest narratives, “Demise,” the woman becomes the victim of her home, to her fatal end. ... The scenes and narratives that I create in the studio are about women who use their objects and décor to shore themselves up against a dark, scary world. Obsessing and perfecting home life with its objects, decoration, and activities fill a void of futility, and invents usefulness beyond caring for family or career.”

Carroll’s frustration with how one can live their life is evident in her other prior bodies of work. “Diner Ladies” “...are fictional portraits of ladies who have loved, lost or been left. They seem to be caught in the time warp of their own thoughts, overtaken by memories or life that might have been, perhaps waiting for life to find them.” Her series “Perfect Lawns” was very purposefully photographed in black and white, as her other work is in color. She says in her description of this series that “[t]he suburbs are constructed places of solace, where everyone has a perfect life, home and yard; places where nature and culture exist in harmony, where children are free from harsh, urban truths, where there is no crime, and people are ‘normal’. The manicured suburban lawn is the living display of this cultural myth.” A woman’s world was also examined in “Objects of Desire.” Patty Carroll is a photographer taking a theme and working it over and over, changing it and challenging it until what she feels is there for a viewer to share and experience.

Marina Font4 is an Argentine woman, now living in Miami, whose portfolio “Mental Maps” embraces a visual expression of the complex emotions and challenges of women in a very different way. She wanted a tactile feel and dimensional visual expression to her images. It is important to her to be engaged in the “construction” of the photograph beyond the image itself by using thread or gold leaf, vintage crocheted doilies or other materials and fabrics to give a three dimensional tactile appearance to her images to emphasize and illustrate her message.

Adding material to an image has been done before. For example, similar techniques can also be seen in the work of Iris Hutegger and Elene Usdin.5 In these photographs, the incorporation of other media enhance the image, but do not replace it. However, Font uses these materials to a different purpose from other artists. Her materials replace part of the image, layering onto a recognizable photographic image.

In her image “Connections”, we see the head and shoulders of a woman, but not her eyes or the top of her head. The body is in a very neutral position. The pose is calm with lips that lack emotion. In choosing a black and white image of the visible body, this person becomes more of a stage for a performance by the materials that Font chooses. The viewer is forced by the photographer to really pay attention more to what is incorporated into the photograph, than the actual photographic image itself. That goes against our normal impression of what we expect a “photograph” to look like. The head is replaced by a very geometric arrangement of multiple colored threads. The arrangement of the patterns extend well beyond what we would expect the normal size of the head to be, implying perhaps that her thoughts are exploding on the inside. That explosion imagery might mean a call for help, or of frustration or a need for self expression. Because the threads are shown in such an organized manner, we do not have a sense of violent expression, but something more systematic. The title “Connections” give us a hint that this person is in thought. Thinking. We do not know what she is thinking about, but the use of multiple colors, expanding well beyond the size of what we would expect her head to be, might imply complexity and deep thought. When compared to others in the series, this image conveys the most calm and control of thought - a woman in control.

Capturing and realizing how one feels is part of Font’s upbringing. Growing up in Argentina, she was exposed to constant conversation about Freud and psychoanalysis. Perhaps that is why the pose of the model is very clinical, shown as a naked body in black and white - covered by materials that are very colorful. The body, almost as if laid out in a morgue for examination, is in the same pose in most all the images. If not a full frontal body pose, it is the repeated use of a head and shoulders image. Much of her work seems to connect a part of the body to another or a focus on a part of the anatomy or organs via the non-photographic materials added. Some of the material, like the gold leaf, according to Font, was used because over time, and exposure to light, the material changes, as we change both mentally and physically with time. She has several works that focus on the head and material exploding from or covering the head. In some, the head is covered in gold leaf like a crown; in others, multicolored thread explodes from an eye or mouth, or a geometric pattern replaces where we would normally see the top of the head, as a metaphor for the brain.

Like Patty Carroll, Font takes hold of this examination of a woman’s emotion and challenges in a number of earlier portfolios. In Mental Maps (2014 - ongoing), Font acknowledges that this series builds on the work in “Dark Continents.” “The construction of these mental maps evokes diverse psychological states and emotions with meanings that are in constant flux, never fixed, just like our identities.” Dark Continents (2012 - ongoing) was another “exploration of womanhood, a mystery in constant flux and evolving mutability.” She notes that the physical work on the images are “engravings” that impart and reveal private thoughts, feelings and persona. At the same time, the viewer is invited to contemplate as to what the images may mean, for themselves. The Weight of Things (2014-2015) examined how one relates to “memory, tradition and a life lived.” In The Weight of Things, she repeatedly used a weight scale to metaphorically challenge what value we put on physical objects. The scale is there to provide a visual “measure” of objects “used, acquired, inherited, preserved” and the emotional meaning attached to those.

Font’s emphasis is on our identity, who we are, why we are and what we have to express to others. While other artists may be more focused on external evidence of our selves, Mental Maps is an exploration of the internal workings in our minds, versus an outward physical expression through objects. Imprinted (2010-2011) was a series also commenting on the state of women in society. “Women have been, for generations, the keepers of our culture, bearing traditions on their shoulders.” She adds the dimension of immigration in these images as she explores “immigrant memories” as to a “particular place or personal history to explore ideas about identity, gender territory, language and memory.” El Contrato (The Contract) was “a series of photographs depicting a woman’s journey of self discovery and identity.” Womanhood became a series of photographs that explore the evolution of womanhood as her body changes from youth to giving birth to children, and domestic responsibilities and changed roles. If we study the photographer and what might have preceded her current portfolio of work, we gain a much deeper and rewarding understanding of what her art is now communicating, expressing and positioning. And, we learn that a photograph is not the end in itself. Artistically, a photographer can extend their ability to express themselves using more than one media as Font has done here.

Unlike Carroll and Font, Nicolo Sertorio6 is photographer concerned with our relationship to our external environment. He wrote about his series, “(Dis)Connected” that “[t]his series is thus based on the idea that the current sense of disenfranchisement derives from the fundamental disconnect we have from the natural world and the social isolation that comes with it. In turn, the perception of the natural environment as something external drives our uses and abuses of resources.”

Sertorio is a visual storyteller. Like Carroll and Font, he has been deeply engaged over a number of years and portfolios in exploring a subject in depth. In this case, our relationship to our external environment. In “Disconnected Landscape (2010)”, Sertorio expressed that “[w]e experience them without acknowledging them. And in so doing, we perpetuate our disconnect: nature as something external, to exploit, and at our service. We work against nature instead of within it.”

“ (Dis)Connected ” builds on prior work he has created and shown. In “Once We Were Here" his focus was on damage to the environment, consumption and social inequality issues. “Rest Areas of the US Southwest” was another examination of man’s footprint, abandoned, on the landscape and now mostly “meaningless” or less used. Past their time so to speak. Peregrinations (2011) seems to be a beginning of these works illustrating a care and concern and appreciation for the natural environment in a positive image presentation rather than an evidence of its demise and infringement in the series above. All of this seems to relate to the concept of indifference he illustrates in “(Dis)Connected.”

In this series, Sertorio makes use of diptychs. Two images that alone would not tell a story as well as both seen together. (The use of diptychs is discussed in an earlier Commentary by Foto Relevance, “The Metaphorical Image”, September 21, 2016).  In the image “Make Believe”, we see two “mountains.” The left image is a photograph of a beautiful mountain landscape on a wall as wallpaper in a room - an image within an image. We see two tables and chairs in the foreground in a sort of dining room. Visitors in that room, and us as viewers, appreciate the beauty of that mountain landscape. The other image is a pile of rubble. It begs the question of how many mountain tops have been flattened and reduced to rubble from man’s activities like mining or land development. Together, Sertorio lets the images tell a story. It is a story that questions how, on the one-hand we travel to see and enjoy natural vistas, and on the other-hand, engage in a destruction of our environment in the name of profit and development. Interestingly, people are nowhere seen in Sertorio’s images, but are ever present nonetheless.

Dotan Saguy has a very different approach to his images, but no less an artistic journey. Unlike Patty Carroll who constructs and stages her work in a studio, or Marina Font, who adds materials to her images by hand, Saguy is out on the streets photographing. He adds nothing to his images nor does he delete anything. Where Carroll and Font are inwardly reflective, Saguy is a photographer who has a keen interest in people and their environment, the story behind who they are and what is happening at the moment of capture. His “Venice Beach” project was the result of multiple visits to Venice Beach and other locations in the area where he would wait patiently for the right things to happen to capture an image he imagined. He deepens the story in his images “layering” in many different elements or content in the composition of a photograph.

In this beach image “Boy and Snake”, the snakes are a center of attention. The reptiles are out of place for most of us in our normal world, but for a young person’s intense and child like innocence in watching one, while another snake crawls off elsewhere. We see several buff and deeply tanned young men engaged in different activities. A young lady, perhaps the young boy’s mother appears to be either doing sit-ups or lifting her head to get a better view of movement around her. Two men in the center appear to be engaged in conversation. A man, entering the image from the left wearing a cross on a large beaded necklace, seems to have just noted the snake on the sand in front of him, with the beginning of a startle or surprise. Maybe not. Yet, in the far left background a young man with a backpack is looking at this person with a broad smile, as if to say “of course there are snakes here on the beach !.”

Saguy is an Israeli who grew up in Paris and now lives in California, who shoots primarily in black and white. He follows a tradition of social documentary and street photographers. Two photographers who have influenced him, among others, are Henri Cartier-Bresson because of his geometric compositions and his sense of moment, and Alex Webb for layering in the composition of a work. Both are evident in “Boy and Snake” where Saguy successfully captured the moment and layered the image with stories.

He has studied photojournalism techniques to get deeper into a project. A diligent editor of his portfolios, he challenges himself on why he was capturing certain images to best invite the viewer into the image, rather than leave us an outsider to what is happening. This journey then evolved into a study of documentary photography, and then travel photography. What is interesting about Saguy is how many genres of photography he has consciously and purposely learned and experimented with to improve his craft. He trained his “eye” to see enough content in the story for the viewer to react and engage in the image so, in their own mind, one is able to create a story out of the image.

J. Frederic May10 is a photographer who combines a very different internal physiological examination of self and looking at the external world in his series “Apparition: Postcards from Eye See You.” May commented that these are “digital images created during my recovery from a stroke that left me legally blind in 2012. .... vivid visual hallucinations from a condition known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome.”


The Charles Bonnet Syndrome (or CBS) is defined as follows: “The visual hallucinations caused by CBS can vary and can range from simple shapes and dots of colours, simple patterns, straight lines or a network of branches, to detailed pictures of people, animals, insects, landscapes and buildings. When you have lost a large amount of your vision it may be difficult to see everyday things, but you may find that your CBS hallucinations are very detailed, and much clearer than your normal vision. The images can appear "out of the blue", lasting for just a few minutes or in some cases, several hours. At times, the hallucinations may fit alongside the background you are looking at, making them feel quite real, like seeing cows in a field when the field is actually empty or seeing a fence across the pavement.”11 Yet, his work has been noticed and interest validated by his inclusion in Photolucida’s Critical Mass Top 50.

With May’s images, we have an opportunity to literally see the world as this photographer sees it. Unlike the other photographers discussed, he appropriates some of his images. Interestingly, May commented: “I collect imagery from swap meets, from eBay, anywhere I can find them. I’m a crate digger. The messier it is the better it is to go through and find those little jewels.” During his recovery he took these vintage portraits of head shots and mug shots that he had collected or found and put them through “deconstruct” programs. He then “coerced” certain processing algorithms by creating certain blurs and certain contrasts within the image “by blowing out certain areas with highlights and crushing some shadows.” He would look at hundreds of images. From his website we find that “[h]e then creates layered composites and prints these as cyanotypes. ... Ultimately, he digitizes the altered cyanotype and creates an archival digital print.”

In “Author’s Hallucination No. 3”, we see the black and white abstraction of a face. It is not clear if it is male or female. An eye is directly staring at you, with an eyebrow that gives an intense expression that seems to challenge the viewer, almost to the point of intimidation. There is a mouth that looks feminine rather than masculine as one might expect if one assumes the eye is that of a male. The lips are closed tightly, yet seem layered with lipstick in a sensuous expression of control. The ears are minimized as this image is not about listening. It is about seeing.

However, May very much realizes that no matter how he constructs these images for us to “see” as he does, this is not perfect. May stated that “I would like the viewer to really bring their own story to my images. I think that’s what most viewers do in art. Whatever their life story is and whatever their life experience is, they are going to be moved and drawn into the image or not. They may relate to it based on an entirely different set of circumstances that has nothing to do with me.” It is very insightful of him to realize that our own life experiences jade what we see and how we appreciate an image. CBS may have influenced his creative vision, but in his mind “the images pretty much stand alone on their aesthetic value aside from Charles Bonnet Syndrome. ... the intent is to have an almost startling yet mesmerizing image in front of you because it is really what CBS sufferers have always described - startling, disturbing facial features. Some CBS sufferers describe more teeth, I describe more lips and eyes which are similar shapes and I don’t know why that is.”

In a sense, May had a journey both like and unlike the other photographers in this commentary. His journey was similar with the years of work and discovery for his artistic expression. He said: “during my recovery creating these digital images with glitch programs I had no conscious idea what I was creating. This was all subconscious. It wasn’t until 2015 (three years after I lost my vision in my first stroke) that I revisited that imagery and it became clear to me that those thousands of images formed the base of my apparitions. At that point I needed to get them out of a digital form and make them into an object and that’s where the cyanotype process came in.” Apparently May was always drawn to portraiture. Specifically to the portraiture of the 1960s and 1970s, such as the work of Danny Lyons and Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, but also the aesthetic and composition of Aaron Siskind.

These photographers were selected into the Top 50 of Photolucida’s Critical Mass 50 through exploration and experimentation of how best to help others visualize concepts or ideas they felt important. This group of five photographers have, through their images, invited the viewer to engage in the image and visit their own imaginations. Each defines their view of a relationship with the world and provides a platform for us to challenge our own. Sharing one’s view of our internal or external relationships clearly is an evolutionary process as these photographers demonstrate. It seems that the first images out of the box, so to speak, are not always an end, but a beginning to a long journey. These artists worked again and again on their form of expression and visual communication with us, the viewer. In the end, we all benefit from the opportunity to study and engage with them through their art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Linda Alterwitz   Lenscratch Magazine, February 5, 2019

ART + SCIENCE: ART OF HEALING: J. FREDRIC MAY

            Las Vegas,NV- J. Fredric May is a visual artist based in Los Angeles, CA. His life course changed in 2012 after he suffered a stroke. In addition to 46 percent loss of vision, he experienced lucid visual hallucinations, sometimes appearing in the form of lights, shapes, geometric figures or as the image of a recognizable object. Yet, instead of dwelling on the negative, May embraced this phenomenon and focused his unique visual perception toward creative explorations. The result is the series of photographs Apparition: Postcards from Eye See You.

 

 I am a former photojournalist and filmmaker. During open heart surgery in 2012, I suffered a major stroke leaving me legally blind and subject to vivid, visual hallucinations. This life event changed my artistic vision, opening up an entirely new visual style.

 

 With profound curiosity and a life-long habit of experimentation, I picked up my iPad and started to explore. Because I was raised by inventors and engineers, I embraced regeneration as a way of life, so I focused my limited attention on what could be invented and created.

 

 It wasn’t until years later that I learned from neurologists and neuroscientists that my stroke allowed subconscious imagery to reach my conscious awareness. Taking those facial fragments that filled half of my lost visual field and utilizing imaging software that corrupts visual data, I was effectively able to replicate what was happening with information within my own brain.- J. Fredric May

 

After winning critical acclaim in Photolucida’s Critical Mass and LensCulture’s Emerging Talent, J. Fredric May’s latest series, Apparition: Postcards From Eye See You, based on the visual hallucinations May experienced after suffering a stroke and losing half of his vision, broke out in 2018 with 3 solo shows, 8 group shows, took the Grand Prize at FOCUS photo la, won the Merit Award at all-about Photo and took home the Jane Friend Award from the Brand Library & Art Center.

 

Prior to this project, May made his living as a photojournalist and filmmaker winning Telly and Cine Awards for his industrial film work.

 

Interview with J. Fredric May:

 

LA:  Are you emulating your vision, or a part of it, to envision the fragments you see in your mind? 

 

JFM: In my series of apparitions I am emulating my visual hallucinations caused by my visual loss along with using a certain amount of artistic license. The name of the condition is called Charles Bonnet Syndrome. Just to give you more clarity–my type of blindness is called homonymous hemianopsia. 46 percent of my vision is gone. It is on the right side of both eyes. I am considered legally blind. I can’t drive.

 

LA: Does this fragmentation inhibit you from carrying out activities that you used to do prior to your stroke? 

 

JFM: The hallucinations themselves were never debilitating in any way, nor were they scary. I was fascinated by them. More than anything, the hallucinations became a part of my rehabilitation in an inquisitive and artistic process. I say that because that is true–but in terms of activities being inhibited after the stroke – yes, definitely. Homonymous hemianopsia is an incredibly deceiving type of blindness. I thought I could still see. I thought I could still do production work (Lisa and I had a production company). It became harder and harder. In 2015 I had a second stroke which affected short term memory and problems with parallax, and I knew my days doing video production were over. But here was the cool part – even though I was trying to keep up with my old career and not doing so great, at that same time from 2012 to 2015, I was playing on my old iPad altering different types of imagery many different apps. It wasn’t until after my 2015 stroke that I looked back at the images in Lightroom and saw a resemblance to the facial hallucinations I originally saw. When I scrolled fast through the files, the images animated just like I had experienced them. I began to see the apparitions as a possible body of work. Neurology and neuroscience professionals have since explained to me how the project literally started in my subconscious when the brain started forging new pathways – also known as neuroplasticity.

 

LA:  Are you still seeing the fragments now or are they dissipating? 

 

JFM: I only saw the facial fragment hallucinations during the first 18 months of recovery. My hallucinations have changed to where I see more groups of people, for example, bikers, skateboarders, Marti Gras band members, but they are dissipating.

 

LA:  How do you see your work evolving after this series? 

 

JFM:  Apparition: Postcards from Eye See You is not complete yet as I am still in the darkroom printing. In terms of evolving, my work is now centered around the subconscious memory and how we see with the brain. This intersection of neuroscience and art, how we mentally image everything from memory, has become endlessly fascinating for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Micheal Kirchoff    Catalyst Interviews    August 31, 2018

CATALYST INTERVIEWS :  J. FREDRIC MAY

               LOS ANGELES, CA -   I was prepared to sit down and write all about J. Fredric May, tell you his story here and now, and reflect on his ability to make you understand how it is that he sees the world. After some thought, I realize that I really shouldn’t do this at all - it would never do him justice. This is especially true once you know or hear the story behind his process. There is so much behind Jeff’s work that one would have no way of knowing it if you weren’t asking him directly or reading about it in a venue such as this. He currently concentrates on one body of work, presented here in part. The images are disjointed and fractured - they are portraits from a mind’s eye that see a world different from you or I. That’s all I need to tell you, really. Trust me, you’ll soon understand what I’m talking about.

 

So yea, I’m just going to sit here and read his words again, contemplate his photographs a little more, and absorb what he is showing. This is time well spent, and I can honestly say that this is exactly what it is when photographers say they are presenting you their vision. Jeff has quickly become one of my photographic heroes, and I have no qualms saying that I admire him, his struggle, his perseverance, his openness, and his ability to be a kickass individual. Read on.

Bio - 

 

A graduate of Brooks Institute, J. Fredric May received his B.S. in Commercial/Color Technology and was accepted into the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop in 1989. 

 

He made his living as a photojournalist and commercial photographer traveling all over the world, telling visual stories with a signature style of bold color and confrontational composition. He won numerous state and regional honors. 
As a filmmaker, May directed more than 50 corporate and industrial films and helped raise more than 7 million dollars for non-profit organizations. He won Telly and Cine Awards for his creative film work and national awards for his corporate and nonprofit clients. 

 

During open heart surgery to repair an aneurysm in 2012, May suffered a major stroke leaving him legally blind and subject to vivid visual hallucinations. This life event changed his artistic vision, opening up an entirely new visual style. From that style came May’s current project, Apparition: Postcards From Eye See You.

 

In 2017, May was awarded a “Top 50” and “Solo Show Award Winner” at Photolucida’s Critical Mass, LensCulture’s “Emerging Talent Top 50” and “Juror Award” and the 2018 Grand Prize Winner at FOCUS photo la. Because of that honor, May was chosen as a Special Presenter at “Open Show LA #45”. His work was a part of a two-person show at the USC Keck School of Medicine called, Compromised Perception, where he delivered an artist talk with the Chair of Neurology. His busy schedule also included solo shows at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon and The Center for Digital Arts in Santa Ana, CA. In July, the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida hosted him for a solo show and guest speaker on their medical panel.

 

Michael Kirchoff: Hello Jeff, and thank you for taking this time for an interview. Before we dive in deeper, I wanted to get some background on how and why you became a photographer. Why photography?

 

J. Fredric May: Hello Michael, and congratulations on Catalyst: Interviews. The question is why photography? Well, I am fairly certain my first exposure to photography was a Polaroid flashbulb in the summer of 1959.{pun} My grandfather was an early adopter of Polaroid cameras and film. It was also the beginning of the 1960s, where family events literally were Kodak Moments recorded on Kodak film, viewed as Kodak prints or Kodachrome slides and movies in the dark on a screen you had to set up. My father used an Argus C-3 with Kodachrome 64 and a hand held GE light meter well into the 1970s! I still have them. I purchased my first camera with money from picking tobacco during the summer of 1975, a Minolta SRT-101. I worked as a photographer on the yearbook staff with my now life long friend Robert Hodges. We were complete photo geeks and had a great time. I also started stringing sports assignments for our daily newspaper, The Kinston Daily Free Press. There I met photojournalist Charles Buchanan, who probably mentored me more than any single person in my career. Charles instilled in me the importance of standards and consistency in shooting film - and oh - to never use a stop bath with film. He was the first shooter I ever heard use the phrase “F8 and be there.” Wow, was I hooked! Sadly Charles passed away several years ago, but I always smile when I think about those days.

 

 

MK: You started your professional career as a photojournalist. What was that like, and did you find it creatively satisfying?

 

JFM: After graduating from Brooks Institute my first job was actually as a color printer. I had a minor in Color Technology. Later on, I began working part time at the Telegram Tribune in San Luis Obispo and then to full time at the Santa Maria Times. It was creatively satisfying to a point and was a great proving ground of self reliance for me. I estimated I had shot more than ten thousand assignments and drove 250,000 miles for daily newspapers in those years. From shooting ribbon cuttings and pet of the week to covering the Los Angeles riots in ’92 and an aid mission to a Russian hospital with American doctors in 1994, my assignments covered the spectrum of human events from the absurd to the profane. It was all film too. I can remember learning how to load 20 rolls of E-6 on 10 stainless steel reels for deadline while listening to three police scanners. My only regret was not keeping more of the original paper wire photos that were always ankle deep in the AP/UPI wire rooms. They are very collectible now. I see them for sale at AIPAD. I saved seven fairly famous wire photos from anniversary/memorial event re-transmissions, but I really I wish I had kept more.

 

 

MK: I understand that you also spent some time as a filmmaker, is this correct? Can you tell us a little about that transition from stills to motion?

 

JFM: I left the Santa Barbara News Press in 2001 to begin creating a small industrial film company called Penny Jar Pictures with my now partner of 25 years, Lisa Hammert. Lisa had started working with me in print and then went on to be a field producer for local television news. She later starting working as a producer at a special effect house, CafeFX. That’s where I learned filmmaking thanks to the generosity of Jeff Barnes and David Ebner. They tolerated my endless questions and constant loitering. This is also when the Canon XL1 had just come out and it was the perfect transitional camera for me. It had great ergonomics and the image had a real filmy look. It had terrible sound though, because it had a noisy timecode track. So of course I then had to learn how to record broadcast sound. As it turns out doing boom sound is one of my favorite film production skills I have. It’s just a lot of fun. Who knew? Right? And so it goes I gues

 

 

MK: Your life and career dramatically changed in 2012, when you suffered a stroke and were left legally blind. Clearly, a major blow to anyone, let alone someone in the visual arts. May I ask you to describe those events?

 

JFM: Sure. I fell off a wall trying to rescue my cat Samy from a rooftop. A CAT scan in the ER showed I had three broken ribs, one broken toe and a 5.5cm ascending aortic aneurysm right where all the blood leaves the heart. It had probably been growing   there my whole life. My new cardiologist told me, “This has no symptoms. You’ll feel great right up to the moment you drop dead.” In 2012 I underwent open heart surgery at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. During that five-hour surgery, known as The David Procedure, I suffered a stroke and awoke to about 46% of my vision being gone in both eyes.

 

MK: Did you feel that your career was done, or did you immediately know that you had to find a way to continue?

 

JFM: Actually, I was really just surprised I had survived such a major procedure. Then to find out I also survived a stroke during the surgery, I felt grateful just to be alive at all really. The recovery took much longer than I anticipated. Then in 2014 I had a transient ischemic attack (TIA). It was not until my stroke in 2015 where I picked up new deficits, particularly with short term and working memory functions, it became clear I would not be able to work in the capacity I once had.

MK: Please tell us how the images for Apparition: Postcards from Eye See You came about. Were there many changes from your initial concept to final execution?

 

JFM: First there is an important definition to know. 

 

Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. 

 

I spent my entire career with my camera lens point outward and never inward. With this project there was never an initial concept or intention, more of a discovery. While in ICU I started seeing very animated, but incomplete facial hallucinations in the blind areas of my vision. I soon found out the condition is called Charles Bonnet Syndrome. This instantly fascinated me but I couldn’t figure out who these people were or where they came from. I was always trying to find context in these hallucinations, but never did. Neurology and neuroscience professionals have since explained to me how the project literally started in my subconscious when the brain started forging new pathways - also know as neuroplasticity. The faces came and went for about the first 18 months of my recovery. During this time I used an old iPad One to alter lots of different types of imagery with many different apps. Just something I always did. It wasn’t until after my 2015 stroke that I started to look back at the images in Lightroom and saw a resemblance to the facial hallucinations I originally saw. When I scrolled fast through the files, the images animated just like I had experienced them. I began to see the apparitions as a possible body of work.

 

MK: How did you come up with the idea of creating work from a hybrid process of analog and digital means? Are special procedures taken to accommodate your impaired vision?

 

JFM: I first showed the work as basic duotone digital prints at Filter Photo in 2016. I had eleven very constructive and encouraging portfolio reviews. One of those reviews was with J. Sybylla Smith. Another was with Paula Tognarelli at the Griffin Museum of Photography. Paula was the first juror to ever include my work in a group show at Davis Orton Gallery that summer. I worked with Sybylla for the next year in which she helped me curate the literally hundreds of images I had created down to 15 that were a part of the Griffin Museum of Photography’s October 2017 show, Gray Matters. But during that year, I felt the need to take the digital images off the computer and into the darkroom. Cyanotype was the perfect process for me. I bleached and stained the prints with tea which mimicked the original digital images but took on a life and quality of its own. I’m in love with the idea of marrying a process from 1842 with a digitally corrupted .png image file on an iPad in 2017. There’s a certain splendor in that I think

 

MK: Once you began publicly showing Apparition, how long did it take before people began to take notice, and what steps did you take to promote it?

 

JFM: The momentum for me began at the Gray Matters show at the Griffin Museum. Shortly after that I was in the Final 50 of Photolucida’s Critical Mass resulting in a solo show at Blue Sky Gallery in 2018. And about that same time I made it into the Final 50 for LensCulture’s Emerging Talent Awards and juror Debra Klomp Ching awarded me the juror prize. That was all really unexpected. All in all I was in nine shows in which four were solo shows in the first seven months of this year. It was also a lot more work than I ever anticipated, but I also knew I would probably never have this opportunity again in my lifetime. The best thing we did was contract Kristine Schoemaker of Shoebox PR. Kristine and her team really helped relieve a lot of pressure for us in promoting the different shows on social media.  

 

MK: One of the things that I think sets you apart from many photographic artists is that you appear to present your work in a new and different way with each exhibition. What made you decide to do this and was it always the plan?

 

JFM: Creating different solo exhibitions was a self imposed exercise I came up with to push my problem solving capabilities. This is important to forge neuroplasticity in the brain. I was following where the process took the work and where the work took me. I was growing with the work as it changed in real time. Plus if someone comes to more than one show, they get to experience the work differently.

 

 

MK: Do you think that this body of work will run its course in the future, or rather, can you imagine that you will get to a point where you feel that you have completed what you started?

 

JFM: I’m sure it will run its course eventually, but with that comes many derivative possibilities too. Right now though, I’m deep in the thick of printing, which means many new things can still happen and that is the cool intangible part of printing in a darkroom for me.

 

 

MK: Have you thought about what may be next for you?

 

JFM: My work is now centered around the subconscious memory and how we see with the brain. This intersection of neuroscience and art, how we mentally image everything from memory, has become endlessly fascinating for me. I see a lot more to explore there.

 

 

MK: Do you study what others are doing, and do you find their influence in your own image making?

 

JFM: I am influenced by everything I see or hear, whether I know it or not. My image making has always been influenced by a number of photographers and artists in different mediums, but recently I have realized that just three images are always in my head and have been as long as I remember. I don’t know why. I can’t even remember where I first viewed them or how old I was. I never chose these images, my subconscious chose them. 

 

Diane Arbus’ “Teenage Couple on Hudson Street”  1963

 

Danny Lyon’s “Sparky and Cowboy”  1965

 

Richard Avedon’s “Italy #9 (Boy and Tree)”  1947

 

 

MK: Where does your inspiration to create come from? Do you think that this is something that can be taught and learned?

 

JFM: I think my inspiration comes from my curiosity and not having firm boundaries on what I should or shouldn’t do. The gift of my strokes is the license to have no expectations. And that can be a very freeing thing. It allowed me to problem solve without any expectation of outcome, other than trying to increase my neuroplasticity.

 

 

MK: Are there any other creative pursuits that you engage in?

 

JFM: Yes, I call myself an improvisational woodworker, which is another way to encourage neuroplasticity. Only recently have I incorporated woodworking into my work. As in the Month of Photography Los Angeles show, the show had a “Construction” theme. I mounted my watercolor prints on large wood panels I built. In that improvisational spirit, I assembled an edge veneer of scarred cedar in a train-of-thought manner which rendered six matching panels, but each one unique.

 

MK: Knowing you, and learning and seeing how you continue to create work, I know that I can always point to you as someone who has overcome the odds and continued to do what they love. Perseverance is the one thing that I’ve always told people that they need in order to succeed in their endeavors. I see you as a symbol of that, and wonder what it is that makes you persevere in such a creative and meaningful way?

 

JFM: What makes me persevere? Maybe it is my OCD. I have an insatiable curiosity to understand what I don’t understand. And making images has always been the vehicle to give me a context of understanding.

   

MK: Thank you Jeff, for your time, and your work. This has been an absolute pleasure for me. I look forward to the time I get to view new work from you, and have more discussions about why and what we do. Cheers to you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By  Summer Jarro | Correspondent   The Gainesville Sun,    July 19, 2018

At the Harn Museum:  Hallucinations Influence Artist’s Creativity

   

Since a 2012 stroke, artist J. Fredric May has had hallucinations that he now uses in his work.

J. Fredric May took a bad situation and turned it around to create a new artistic vision.

In 2012, May, a former photojournalist and filmmaker from Kinston, North Carolina, went to the hospital with three broken ribs after he fell from his roof trying to rescue his cat, Samy. At the hospital, doctors did a CAT scan where they found an aortic aneurysm.

May, 58, underwent surgery to fix the aneurysm and suffered a stroke during the procedure. The stroke caused him to lose 46 percent of his vision, making him legally blind, and have hallucinations due to Charles Bonnet Syndrome, May said.

Since his stroke, May, who now lives in Palm Springs, California, has been creating art to cope with his changed lifestyle and hallucinations.

“I just followed it and just with no expectation of what I would get out of it, and they kind of just took a life of their own,” May said.

He now has a body of work titled “Apparitions: Postcards from Eye See You” that represent his hallucinations.

The exhibit opened June 26 at the Harn Museum and will be displayed through Sept. 16.

 

May’s first hallucination came while in postoperative care. He had a vision of a Christmas tree with orange and pink bows in the hospital bathroom. After, he would get visions of different faces that are displayed in his artwork.

“The ones I get now just happen in my extreme periphery, and they’re usually of groups of people that are milling about and they kind of follow me around,” May said.

To help with his recovery, May began using Glitch software on his iPad to create and corrupt images. He would scan any photographs to the software and layer the images up, creating something new.

He ended up with vague, distorted faces he would put into Photoshop to edit and then turn into cyanotypes. After, he’d bleach and tone the cyanotypes with different teas. He scans the final print to make the pieces larger, as those shown in the Harn.

It wasn’t until 2015, after May’s second stroke, he realized he was subconsciously creating art based on his hallucinations.

The dark areas of his images are May’s hallucinations, which constantly change form in each piece, he said.

May displayed his artwork for the first time in 2017 at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts. Since then his work has been displayed at other museums, and he’s spoken at panels to discuss his medical experience and artistic style.

“It’s been a very kind of an emotional journey,” May said.

Along with the exhibition, on Friday and Saturday there will be two panels with May at the Harn Museum presented in collaboration with the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, UF Health, the UF Center of Movement Disorder and Neurorestoration, and UF Creative B.

The first panel discussion on Friday will include May and UF neurologists Dr. Kenneth Heilman, Dr. Adam Kelly and Dr. Brian Hoh, said Eric Segal, director of education and curator of academic programs at the Harn, who has helped plan the exhibit and panels. The museum is at 3259 Hull Road.

Saturday, the second panel will discuss May’s work and the relationship between art, medicine and health, said Jill Sonke, director of the Center for Arts in Medicine and coordinator for the panel.

The panel begins at 3 p.m. with May, Sonke, and three neurologists in the Chandler Auditorium and is open to the public.

“There’s so many different ways in which the arts relate to health and particular conditions that many people in our community are living with, so we really love to bring forward to the community opportunities to explore and more deeply understand the connections between arts and health,” Sonke said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Genie Davis  Art & Cake Magazine  April 8th, 2018

Compromised Perception: A New Way of Seeing

 LOS ANGELES, CA The fascinating photographic works of J. Fredric May and Jane Szabo are at the Hoyt Gallery in the USC Keck School of Medicine through April 19th, an exhibit that is not only important to see, but is actually about sight. May and Szabo have both chosen to use photography to document their perceptions of the outside world.

May suffered a stroke during open heart surgery in 2012 that left him legally blind and subject to vivid visual hallucinations; Szabo experiences facial blindness. Their work here, along with additional works by Tylar Ard, Andrea Bañuelos Mota, Alice Liu, Divya Patel Kristine Ravina, MD., Jo Marie Reilly, MD., James Stanis and Kella Vangsness, presents the ways in which these artists literally and artistically see the world.

Szabo says she was not aware that she had a real condition, or that it affected her work until recently. “Prosopagnosia, or face blindness, means I have a difficult time recognizing people. I never really understood I had a problem, I just thought I was socially awkward in that I often didn’t know who people were. My husband determined I had a problem when he realized I couldn’t always follow a movie as I had trouble telling the characters apart. The curator to this exhibit, Ted Meyer, knowing of my condition, made the connection that both my series Sense of Self and the following project, Reconstructing Self were essentially headless, and he helped me see how these things were connected. In both projects, it was a conscious choice to refrain from showing a face.”

She adds that “My intention at the time was to keep the figures anonymous, or universal, so they could speak to a larger audience. In retrospect, I realize that since the face is not what I use to really identify people, that likely made that element more dispensable.”

For May, “Memory and perception is what I have learned the most about from my entire experience. So much of our visual field is based upon memory. I recently learned that when you’re seeing an object, it is already in your memory, and your brain goes through its catalog and says ‘I know what that is’ but it doesn’t quite become the object until your synapses connect and your brain deciphers it.” He adds “The way I see things and what is actually in my vision are the black pieces of the shapes of the characters in my works here. If you look closely, they are really just abbreviated shapes. Any of the plain ground in the background is clear space, the parts that I see are the black shaded spaces and they dance around and one morphs into the other, sexless, genderless…”

Compromised Perception. USC Keck. Photo Credit: J Fredric May.

Szabo notes “Of course, I am not a scientist, but from my experience, I would suggest that Prosopagnosia, or face blindness, for me is less about vision, and more about memory. When I look at a person, I can see all the details, so the eyes are working, and bringing the data in. It is in recalling that information later to verify someone’s identity that things go haywire. As I am more aware of my condition now, I force myself to look intensely, to study wrinkles, or other details, in hopes this information will help me identify a person later. Many people are unaware of my condition, as I have created so many substitutes to identify a person, from hair style, ways of dressing, body language and how one walks, to tone of voice. That seems to work quite well, until the person changes their hair style, or I see them out of context, or dressed much differently than usual.”

Szabo’s series in this exhibit, Sense of Self: Gridding the Space was a work of self- portraiture exploring “my need to control my environment, and the ultimate collapse of my self-imposed order, or gridded structure. This exploration is a study of my place in the world in a symbolic way.”

Initially, curator Meyer invited Szabo to exhibit works from the series Reconstructing Self, a body of work that consists of photographs of dresses she fabricated from familiar objects. She says these works intrigued Meyer as they were essentially bodies without a head.

“I considered that series a self-portraiture project – which ties into my sense that I identify people by what they wear, or how they present themselves. In further discussion, I suggested to Ted, that work from the series Sense of Self might better illustrate the condition of face blindness. I see the face, but the details are essentially irrelevant.”

In these works, the camera blur technique the artists uses turns the face into a smear.

“Interestingly enough, in the course of planning this exhibit, I was introduced to a neuroscientist, who gave me some tests, and conclusively determined that I do have prosopagnosia. It was a term I had never heard before. In doing further searching, I came across an example of what a face might look like to some people with extreme cases, and it was essentially a smeared-out face.”

For May, the pieces included at the Keck exhibition have been born from his cyanotype process. “The process is also known as an iron print. I scan the cyanotype, so I can use it as a working plate, and then I can bring that image in, with the work essentially creating its own character through the process. That is kind of the translator that I use to bring the digital image to life. That’s my thing… bringing an image to life, but I have never done it that way before,” he reports. “This has been really chasing the process. I was going where the process took me. I had never worked with cyanotype before or any alternative process to any extent.”

Now, however, May enjoys that process. “I am really kind of enchanted by it, and plan to do art through that as a translator. I also bleached these works, and dyed them with different colored herbal teas.” He notes that the photographs here are the first in a series titled Apparitions: Postcards from Eye See You.

“That’s a pun,” he laughs, “a lot of people don’t get it, even if I have been working with them.”

There are 18 works in all, and all of the images here are of faces, or rather an almost abstract and entirely ethereal series of shapes that resolve into faces.

Szabo says that while she had not made her work here with the intention of discussing face blindness or tying the narrative into a scientific understanding, Meyer’s own astute understanding made a connection between Szabo’s condition and her work.

“As an artist, I think of myself as a conceptual storyteller. I make work that is heavily based on narrative, addressing issues of identity, self and family. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if my new-found knowledge is incorporated into future projects. Participating in this exhibit at USC, and having the honor of being a part of a panel discussion with Helena Chang Chui, department chair and professor of neurology, has given me a much greater understanding of my place in the world,” she says.

For May, “Everything is new to me as I go, it’s very important that I envision a project and bring that to fruition as a three-dimensional object. Using all your faculties, that is the best way after a stroke to increase neuro-plasticity. It’s the best way to retrain your mind to fill in the parts that were hurt by the stroke.” That said, he reveals that his work here is a continuation of his artistic narrative. “The show at Keck is a step in the process,” he says. “My next show, coming up in Portland this month, will feature giant 44 x 44 water color prints that I have drawn around, penciling in drawings that are an extension of how I mark the cyanotype up when I am about to develop it. That segues into my next show at Bergamont Station, Month of Photography LA, sponsored by the Lucy Foundation. For that exhibition, I submitted a proposal to do canvas prints mounted on panel. In fact, I just built six 44 by 44 panels. It is all a process.”

Join both Szabo and May for an art viewing and closing reception for Compromised Perception April 19th, from 5 – 8 p.m.

Watch the video of the Dr/Artist discussion we held at Keck-USC last week with Jane Szabo, J Fredric May, Dr. Helena Chui, Pamela Schaff.

Hoyt Gallery – Keith Administration Building, 1975 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, Ca 90033

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