“I’m Gary Kleiner, an artist based in Suffern NY, near a place called Hopper House Gallery, the home of Edward Hopper.
I’ve rediscovered my artistic abilities while being hospitalised for several months for depression and anxiety. Whilst resident at Frawley Hall, Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern NY, and Four Winds Hospital at Katonah, NY, I did arts and crafts. My mom – also an artist – brought me drawing supplies, and I was hooked.
My mental and physical health have clouded my view of the world. I have viewed the world as generally scary, and seeing others as being different than I am. With my view of the world being dark, I interpret it through colours and abstract shapes, seen in my distorted people and moving lines. I use some symbols in my drawings such as the cross which represents faith, church (religion), penises and vaginas, representing sexuality. I include some small writing in some of my drawings. I’m just writing what’s on my mind. The crown in my images pays tribute to the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who has influenced my work.
I am a very creative and emotional person who uses art to show others what’s going on in my life. I see art as a major part of my life. Since I was little, I was always searching for meaning to my life, as well as being extremely curious about life and death. I have been using drawing daily as a therapeutic tool to help me with my self-esteem as well as trying to earn money with my art.
My mother, an artist, who studied at The Art Students League in New York, has been a large influence to me by showing me her view of the world through her art. She shared some of her world as an artist and for this I dedicate my work to her. Other artists who I admire are, Picasso, Munch, Basquiat, Dali, Haring and Sesow (a current artist).
I work tirelessly on my art; my goal is to take my art as far as I can go, as well as teaching other people how to express themselves though their art.
I accidentally got the woodcut look by surrounding people, figures and objects with black. I studied wood cuts, I have interesting older stuff I did after I got out of the hospital. They are supposed to be all emotions, this is what I want to express.”
Gary is currently looking for opportunities to exhibit his work. Please contact us at Mental Spaghetti if you are interested.
“Hi, I’m Chris Gray. I’m forty eight years old and have a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia which is largely under control by the correct medication. I grew up in Littlehampton and I’ve lived in Brighton for over twenty years.
Early hand drawn images
I’ve been using computers to create images, animations, interactive pieces and music since the early 1990’s and I have a Professional Development Certificate in interactive multimedia design. One of my animated short movies was shown on regional television in 2002. I also have paid work experience in graphic design, 3D design / animation, video editing, web research and as a PC and audio / visual field technician.
I have recently had several pieces published in ‘The Big Issue’ magazine and one of my pictures has been included in ‘Letting in the Light’, an outdoor light-box exhibition in Stratford, East London.
Early Amiga images
I’ve always enjoyed drawing and painting. During my early teens I was a keen model maker (Airfix kits etc.) and later was very interested in painting and modifying role-playing figurines (Citadel miniatures and the like). I like to think of these hobbies as a sort of apprenticeship in form and colour and different types of paint and painting techniques.
I first got into using computers in my artwork writing programs in BASIC to generate geometrical graphics patterns on early 8 bit computers like the Sinclair Spectrum and the Acorn Electron in the 80’s, but more seriously when I got my first Commodore Amiga and Deluxe Paint. Since then I’ve been using a combination of digital and hand drawn techniques in my work.
Early PC images
I’m greatly inspired by surrealists like René Magritte, M.C. Escher and Salvador Dali, abstract artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock, a lot of ‘pop’ artists including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and ‘op art’ artists like Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely.
I’m also very interested in ideas surrounding geometry and topology (the juxtaposition of regular and irregular polygonal shapes, symmetry / asymmetry and tessellation) and concepts from fractal maths (endless repetitions of similar but non-identical shapes and patterns etc.).
My other influences come from many disparate sources such as comic books, science fiction and fantasy art (Chris Foss, Rodney Matthews etc.), album covers, tribal art from around the world, body art, graffiti and stained glass windows. I love using a lot of bright, clashing colours in my work.
Hand drawn and digitally enhanced images
My work is mostly about internal states of mind I have experienced, from dreams and nightmares to altered states of perception, euphoria, delirium, isolation, alienation, paranoia and psychosis. I am in no way trying to create photo-realistic images from the real world, but rather to interpret some of the things I have been through in my mind in a visual and hopefully pleasing, although sometimes disturbing, form.
I have also been producing, mixing and recording electronic music for over twenty years. Over this time I’ve used a wide variety of techniques and technologies. I make tunes across a broad spectrum of styles from hip-hop to rock, mellow electronica to hardcore drum and bass, all from a very experimental angle. In addition I’ve made several animated short movies and videos to accompany my tunes.”
You can check out more work by Chris via the links below.
Our first exhibition of the year, at the Menier Gallery, London, has swiftly come, and all too swiftly gone.
The Mind Machine was a week-long exhibition featuring eight of the ten artists we are working closely with – Yvonne Mabs Francis, John Moore, Jan Arden, Marie-Louise Plum, Mikey Georgeson, Terence Wilde and Vincent Black.
By all accounts the show was a success, drawing flatteringly positive comments – “the most original exhibition I have been to in years” and “the art is raw, and speaks to me” – and a heady, well attended private view that has resulted in interviews, reviews and new opportunity for our artists, as well as a few sales.
So here we are, saying a massive ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ to, well, ourselves, and the artists, and to share a few images from the exhibition, courtesy of Jan Arden, Marie-Louise Plum and Yvonne Mabs Francis.
I have Borderline Personality Disorder comorbidity with Bipolar II which gives me the ability to use my unpredictable emotions in my art. I also have dyslexia which helps much with my creative nature naturally I am a person of the right side of the brain. My goals for the future would be to keep improving and developing my art skills and become a recognised portrait artist/tattooist. This privilege of being featured on Mental Spaghetti will help to give people the opportunity to view my work and help to reduce the stigma and raise awareness for mental health.”
Hello dear readers. I’m extra excited about today’s entry as I have been nagging this contributor to send me work for a while, I had only seen one piece and I knew it was going to be great. I’m also biased because I’m an illustrator as well as an artist so to see some drawing come our way was very good. In my drawing I always try to remember to add something interesting and challenging, and although I don’t always remember to use this trick, I’m a great fan of distorted angles and points of view, something that Lis has employed in the third picture down. She has also used colour in an interesting way.
Here are some words and pictures from Lis to you…
“I’m Lis, 26 years old and have bipolar disorder.
I find illustrating is an outlet for me, even if the finished work ends up in the bin!
I draw from life and photography, but always draw people. People have always fascinated me. I love sketching faces. Different expressions, poses, individuality. Ask me to draw a landscape and I will look at you like you have gone mad!
Most of my work has been done whilst in an ‘up’ mood, I rarely draw whilst stable or depressed. Due to that I have a bit of a love hate relationship with art, I’ll feel compelled to create something yet will hate sitting still for too long in order to create it, hence all my work is done in a hurry.”