Art and Xanax

I was talking with a friend about medical issues (it seems to be the theme this month with all my friends!) and how I’m feeling old now that I have to keep an eye on myself from now on as far this cancer nonsense is concerned. Although we were complaining about the health care system, overall bureaucracy of Cleveland Clinic, and medical institutions, I said how thankful I was that we live in this age of medicine and technology. Could you imagine what steps would be taken had I discovered this tumor 500 years ago? Let alone the work I’ve had done on my teeth throughout my life!

“Well that’s what much of your work is about too, the way people and society were in those times” she said. And she was right, but I only put emphasis the rebellious, glamorous, and eccentric aspects of how I imagine it was to live back then — not the awful every day gross stuff. You could have been rich, important, or beautiful during the Renaissance, but if you were sick, they were still going to throw a bunch of leeches on you for a cure. And that, isn’t very glamorous.

I’ve been meandering as far as my next series was concerned, but now, I have settled on my concept. Continuing with my portrait series of my imaginary characters it will consist of medical themes and practices. I figured it is a good way for me to work out my anger and be even more thankful that what I’m going through is only a mild upset compared to the old remedies and techniques used. We’ve come a long way from using hack saws with zero pain killers, in that we can now replace knees and other joints where it is hardly noticeable. After my radiation, chemo, and surgery, even I will be missing some inside parts an entire section of my leg, but I’m pretty confident I’ll have an awesome surgeon to do that job.

I have begun the research bit of my new project before composing too many drawings or writing anything — I am already queasy! The practices of medicine when it came to women alone is horrifying in itself. This could get interesting; I just hope it doesn’t make me puke learning about it all, plus the religious slant to every cure gets me mad as hell!

It appears though, that blood letting and cupping are now making a comeback in certain parts of the country as part of the “alternative medicine” tag. Have fun with that, and keep your leeches and blades away from me! I’ll take the non-invasive surgery and some Xanax thank you very much.

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6 Responses to “Art and Xanax”


  1. 2 Hunter 06/27/2010 at 9:35 pm

    You may well already be aware of it, but I highly recommend a visit to the Dittrick Medical History Center at Case Western. Their website is here: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/dittrick/site2/ They have an entire section of contraceptive and obstetric devices. Gruesome, but very informative.

  2. 3 Josh 06/28/2010 at 4:36 am

    This is an exciting new series. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. I was very interested in “quack” medicine during my time as a psych major, and it carried over into my art history training as well. If you need any help with ideas, or more info let me know.

    Are you going to stick to a specific timeline, or just tackle all odd, quack style medicine procedures?

  3. 4 Toni 06/28/2010 at 10:40 am

    i would love to see you do a piece on hysterectomy.

  4. 5 vendettabella 06/29/2010 at 7:51 am

    Thanks Hunter, I may check that out! I’m going to still stick with my 1400-1700s time line, as I’ll probably make more characters related to my portraits that have already been painted. I don’t want to make them too gross or anything, more symbolic and with a dash of humor as always. I’m sure they will still appeal to the goth in everyone though!

  5. 6 Heidi Alamanda 07/03/2010 at 9:33 am

    I can’t wait to see this new series, Bella, and I hope your treatment process goes smoothly so you’ll recover soon.


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