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    Sarkin work for sale at Outpost 186

    OUTPOST 186 is a new arts, media and performance space at 186 1/2 Hampshire Street in Inman Square, Cambridge. Outpost 186 hosts several ongoing series of experimental & improvised music performances, multi-media events, poetry readings and film, seven days a week, as well as periodic art exhibits. Open during scheduled shows or by appointment. Contact: Rob Chalfen – robchalfen@hotmail.com

    Saturday, August 29, 2015

    Outpost 186 Concerts & Events, September 2015

    OUTPOST: 186 ½ Hampshire St., Inman Sq. Cambridge – All Shows All Ages


    ART

    Outpost regularly exhibits visual art! If you are an artist and would like to exhibit @ Outpost, please send your website url to robchalfen@hotmail.com, or arrange to show your portfolio. Outpost does not charge artists to display art.

    CURRENT SHOW:      JON SARKIN – Fish City Studios, Gloucester Ma.
    ABOUT THE ARTIST:

    Sarkin at Work

    Jon Sarkin has been painting for over 25 years. His life and work has been featured on the BBC, in The London Guardian, The Telegraph, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Art News, and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Liverpool, and around the world.

    In 1988 at the age of 35, Dr. Sarkin suddenly developed tinnitus as well as hyperacusis. In 1989, to alleviate the condition, he underwent surgery after which he incurred a cerebellar hemorrhage. Sarkin awoke from emergency surgery deaf in one ear, his vision splintered, and his balance permanently skewed. Neurologists told him his brain had been permanently changed. The neurons that were left had to make new connections and find new meaning.

    Unable to maintain a semblance of his former life Sarkin became obsessed with drawing, the images kept coming, spilling out of some dark unknown place in his brain. He is unable to see the world as a whole and unable to ignore its infinite detail. He has no filters, no ability to slow things down and order the world into neat and orderly images and scenes.

    His brain constantly tries to make sense of the world, as we all do, only Sarkin cannot stop. He does not want to stop. In fact, he is afraid to stop.

    How does he do it when his needle is pinned forever in red? Well, first – he’s not concerned with what concerns the rest of us. His art doesn’t attempt to capture anything or tell you anything, but it does so by simply revealing what the artist experienced at the moment of creation. It’s pure and direct – holding up the roots of the thing – letting them dangle in their own dirt so you can see from where it comes.

    Sarkin’s the original aboriginal searching for meaning in the Zen of repetition….but is it repetition or variation in a the guise of repetition? Are there really 46 moons in his cow? does it matter? Trust but verify? Take it on faith or do you really need to FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF
    Sarkin’s art continues to rush forward from its unforeseen Big-a-Bang origin into a new and ever-expanding artistic universe. His runaway rocket ride is chronicled in Pulitzer Prize winning author Amy Nutt’s biography of Sarkin,Shadows Bright as Glass.

    Jon Sarkin appears courtesy of Law & Water Gallery, Gloucester, MA

    To site of Outpost 186 please click here

     

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    Sarkin Featured in Gloucester Arts Now Video

    Gloucester Arts Now

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    Jon Sarkin Featured in Jared Charney Photography

    Click here to view Jon Sarkin Featured in Jared Charney Photography 

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    What took you so long? Charney and DiGregorio

    To view the full website click here

    Jon Sarkin

    That flying fish didn’t as much speak to me; that wicked metallic tuna up and gaffed my psyche.

    I’d never been to Gloucester. Not until an iron-cold January afternoon last year. Nor had I heard of artist Jon Sarkin.

    Yet here I was, on Gloucester’s sinewy Main Street: The aforementioned brutalist sculpture, poised above Sarkin’s Fish City Studio had pulled me in as if it wielded some preternatural force.

    Inasmuch, Jon Sarkin wasn’t making himself, or his art particularly accessible. The picture window that fronted Sarkin’s studio was all but hermetically veiled by Boston Globe pages: 30-year old broadsheets turned yellow-brown that straight-armed the casual observer, or mildly curious.

    But that wouldn’t be my fate.

    Craning my neck drastically to the right, I found a maybe two-inch gap in the window covering. Reposed against what appeared to be the rear of the narrow, hard-edged workspace, I could discern a hooded figure. The latter seemed more Unabomber than Hopper or Homer.

    Before I knew it, some synchronous gyre, some unforeseen vortex had lifted me up the cement stoop. Pushing my way in the door, a debris field that spoke to an explosion of mad genius spread before me.

    All over the wooden floor, on nine foot lengths of canvas stretched across facing walls, stacked haphazardly into every dusty corner lay Sarkin’s oeuvre: a distilling of Basquiat meets Steadman meets Fluxist-influenced paintings and sketches. Save for a few, all were stippled in bursts of verse, as though Sarkin sampled fellow Nor’easters Jack Kerouac and Jonathan Richman.

    Noticing big dollops of bright paint on his sweatshirt, I knew this was Sarkin. Yet rather than introduce himself, he asked in a tone equally deadpan as it was bemused, “What took you so long?”

    I’ve been in the thrall of Gloucester’s magus-conjurer ever since. —Michael DiGregorio

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    Cape Ann TV’s Portrait Series Features Jon Sarkin

    Cape Ann TV’s Portrait Series Features Jon Sarkin

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    Jon Sarkin at Law and Water

    Check out Jon Sarkin’s work at Law and Water Gallery. 

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    Jon Sarkin in Psychology Today

    Check out the original article on Psychology Today 

    Psychology Today: Here to Help

    Can creative ability suddenly develop following brain damage?
    Published on April 29, 2013 by Romeo Vitelli, Ph.D. in Media Spotlight

     

    Creativity and the Healing Brain

    For Jon Sarkin, it began in 1988 when he suddenly began experiencing tinnitus and abnormally sensitive hearing to certain sounds.   A successful chiropractor with a practice in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, Jon’s condition was linked a blood vessel pressing on his acoustic nerve.  Because of his worsening symptoms, he agreed to a delicate operation carried out by a Pittsburgh neurosurgeon in 1989.  During the operation however, he began hemorrhaging and experienced a massive stroke that left him comatose for weeks.   Doctors removed much of the left side of his brain and he had damage to his cerebellum as well.  Despite a long rehabilitation, he was left permanently deaf in one ear with slurred speech, double vision, and an impaired sense of balance that forced him to walk with a cane.

    Though he eventually returned to his practice in 1990, Sarkin found dealing with clients emotionally and physically exhausting despite frequent rest breaks.   He also spent more time “doodling” on his letterhead paper and eventually sold several doodles to the New Yorker.  After selling his practice in 1993, he decided to devote his time to drawing and caring for his three children while his wife acted as his interface with the outside world.  While his neurological symptoms never improved and despite bouts of depression, Jon Sarkin has established a reputation as an artist with his first New York art show in 2003 and a life story that has since been optioned by Tom Cruise’s movie production company.

    Can artistic ability suddenly develop as a result of brain disease?   Cases of “sudden artistic output” following brain injury are relatively rare but unexpected artistic talent emerging in brain patients  has been well-documented.   While savant syndrome found in people suffering from severe learning disorders such as autism has become well-recognized through movies such as Rain Man,  acquired savant syndrome, when a new talent suddenly develops in adults following illness is still poorly understood.

    Along with brain injury and stroke, cases of acquired savant syndrome have been identified following frontotemporal dementiatemporal lobe disease, and most recently, Parkinson’s Disease.   In a new review article published in Behavioral NeuroscienceRivka Inzelberg of Tel Aviv University describes a number of  cases of Parkinson’s patients suddenly developing new literary or artistic skills.

    Although it is unclear whether this can be related to the actual disease or the dopamine treatment the patients received,  these cases are even more remarkable considering the severe motor problems many of them experience due to Parkinson symptoms.   While some cases involved patients who had artistic ability prior to their illness, onset of Parkinson’s Disease led to a radical change in the quality of the art they produced despite hand tremors or other problems.

    According to one patient described by Susan Pinker who had been a regular painter before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, her paintings were enhanced by her illness and even felt that her dopamine medication may have played a role in improving her artistic output.  “The new style is less precise but more vibrant.” she said, adding that “I have a need to express myself more.”

    In Parkinson’s patients at least, the fundamental question is whether the new creativity is linked to the disease or dopamine medications such as L-Dopa.   Too much dopamine can lead to Dopamine Dysregulation Syndrome (DDS) with symptoms such as reduced inhibition, sexual acting out, and obsessive compulsive behaviours.  That can include compulsive writing, drawing, or other creative outlets.  In many patients, these creative skills tend to rise as the dopamine levels in their brains increase and can then become reduced as their medications are cut back to curb other unwelcome symptoms.   A recent study examining the link between Parkinson’s disease and creativity suggests that this creativity is completely separate from the impulsive behaviour seen in DDS patients and not a sign of illness as some clinical researchers suggested.   This is welcome news to newly-creative Parkinson’s patients who expressed fear that cutting back on medication might eliminate their creativity.

    In exploring possible reasons for increased creativity in Parkinson’s patients, Rivka Inzelberg raised several suggestions that may well apply to other cases of acquired savant syndrome in brain-injured patients as well.   Inzelberg suggests that disinhibition may hold the key to understanding this increased creativity.  Not quite the same thing as impulsivity, disinhibition involves the rejection of social norms and acting out in ways that are “riskier” than they normally would.  Often seen in manic patients, people who are less inhibited are more likely to overcome any doubts they might have about their artistic ability.  They simply write or paint for their own pleasure rather than worrying about what other people might think of their work.  Even in patients with no previous artistic ability, the wish to do something novel can lead to them experimenting with new ways of expressing themselves, often when many of their previous activities are blocked by their symptoms.

    Creativity is also a useful way of coping with anxiety since it provides a patient with an outlet to accomplish something worthwhile and to gain confidence.   Many patients with temporal and frontal lobe disorders can find themselves producing new writing or artwork even when it has little importance to anyone but themselves.  One example of this is thehypergraphia found in some temporal lobe patients  involving an overwhelming urge to write.  While some noteworthy cases such as Vincent Van Gogh and Fyodor Dostoevsky are well-known, most hypergraphia sufferers produce millions of words which may never have any literary value.

    While patients can be encouraged to engage in painting, drawing, writing or other creative activity as part of occupational therapy, this activity needs to be carefully monitored to make sure that these new skills improve the quality of their lives and not be taken to extremes.

    Understanding how this new creative drive affects the healing brain can teach us much about the nature of creativity, whether in brain patients or in neurologically healthy individuals.   These insights may well help researcherrs learn how changes in the brain can lead to enhanced creativity, whether it takes the form of artistic, literary, or musical ability.   Understanding how new talents develop may help us explore some of the many mysteries associated with why creativity happens.

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    Sarkin’s work for sale on Esty.

    Sarkin’s work for sale on Esty.Get it quick!

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    Interview with Amy Ellis Nutt- “Shadows Bright as Glass”

    Watch the Interview with Amy Ellis Nutt- “Shadows Bright as Glass” 

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    Sarkin at Law and Water

    Check out Jon’s art at Law and Water Gallery

     

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