“Showcasing the work of an outsider artist”

Maybe you’ve heard of Jon Sarkin. A former chiropractor, he had a brain hemorrhage back in the late 1980s, followed by a stroke that nearly killed him, and he came through the ordeal an artist with an antic need to create. He has received a lot of media attention, not so much for his art as for his story, and last year a biography of Sarkin came out, “Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man’s Journey From Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph,’’ by Amy Ellis Nutt.

But what about his art?

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Open Door Gallery

Jon Sarkin: Line by Line

January 9th – March 9th 2012
Reception January 19 from 4 PM to 8 PM.  At 7 PM Jon and his biographer, Amy Ellis Nutt, will discuss the artwork and their collaboration.
Curated by Lorri Berenberg in association with Ruthann Traylor.

Jon Sarkin is a prolific, even compulsive artist who creates elaborate drawings and paintings cluttered with words and images.  His work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, ABC Primetime, This American Life, GQ, ArtNews, The American Visionary Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.  After a brain hemorrhage and stroke that nearly killed him, the once-shy ambitious chiropractor awoke with an effusive, unfocused need to create.  He was a different man in body (deaf in one ear, his vision splintered, his balance permanently skewed) and in mind.

Check out the VSA website feature on Sarkin’s Gallery


Book Review: Amy Ellis Nutt’s Shadows Bright as Glass

Where does your memory live? Your personality? Your career? Your soul? These are questions usually relegated to  late-night conversations in dorm rooms or talk radio, or else for academics well versed in philosophy, neurology or even religion. Even when they feel more crucial to our lives, as when a loved one is dying or faces dementia, we often find ourselves speculating uselessly. But for Jon Sarkin, once a successful chiropractor, and his wife, Kim, these questions were literally life and death after a blood vessel misfired in his brain.

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Shoot with visual artist Jon Sarkin for UK’s The Guardian

     Check out pictures from The Guardian shoot here


Amy Ellis Nutt: “We Must Tell Stories”

The first time Amy Ellis Nutt came across John Sarkin’s art, it was hanging on the wall of a neurologist’s office.

Amy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for Newark’s Star-Ledger, was researching a story on the elusive wonders of science. Her investigation led to the office of Dr. Todd Feinberg, who authored a book on the mysterious human mind.

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2 ‘The man who couldn’t stop drawing’

The Man who Couldn’t Stop Drawing

Jon Sarkin was working as a chiropractor when a stroke changed him. Suddenly, he was self-absorbed, rude and fighting a compulsive desire to create art.

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