Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Art and Brain Trauma?

Reporting for the New York Times, Dr. Abigail Zuger tells the story of Jon Sarkin, a chiropractor in Massachusetts who was plagued by a "high-pitched screech" that doctors shrugged off as "a vague abonormality near a nerve at the base of the brain that controls hearing and balance."

Maddened by the ceaseless racket, Dr. Sarkin underwent surgery to correct the problem, only to wind up in a coma. The man who emerged from the coma bore little resemblance to the man who fell into it several months before.
He was physically delicate and walked with a cane, but that was the least of it. His personality had morphed into a difficult teenager's: self-centered, unreliable, obsessive.
He also began to draw. Now, twenty years later, he has become "a full-fledged artist of some renown" and has sold work to The New York Times Magazine as well a private collectors. What started as a shriek heard only by himself, became unexpectedly transformative.

Read more here.

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