Gary Kleiner

@Gary Kleiner, 2017

“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.

@Gary Kleiner, 2017

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.



© Bear the Artist

Our guest artist this week is Claire London, also known as Bear the Artist. In this article, Bear explores the relationship of spirituality, healing, and making art. You can see more of Bear’s work on her Tumblr site, here, and buy artwork from her online shop, here.

“My Name is Claire London – Bear The Artist.

In 2008 I had a stem cell transplant at the UCH hospital in London as a result of having reoccurring Hodgkins lymphoma, having previously being in remission for 10 years.

During my treatment I was offered spiritual healing. In the sessions, I experienced interesting, positive results of healing visions.

As an artist I knew I had to share this through my art. I started painting and researching into art and healing. As I painted, I realised my vision became a creative story to heal myself, it gave me hope, and restored my ‘brokenness’.

© Bear the Artist

Did art really heal me?

A controversial question, I know, but the more I painted, the more I believed that it did. I wanted to explore my art, and the part it has played throughout my life. It has not only helped me through hard times, it has also helped me make sense of healing, and the mystical powers the universe has to offer.

I felt more and more connected to my works and I could feel there was more than just a healing process going on. It felt like a quest, or a kind of magic, showing me a different way to look at healing through my art.

This was a very exciting time for me and during my works I would encounter some amazing stories of magic and wonder.

I travelled right back to my childhood – it wasn’t until I started to piece this exhibition together that new stories appeared and connected with the old.

Tall dark shadow people standing in doorways, the spider lady with long red painted nails, being sucked into a large metal vacuum-like structure and seeing bird like angels looking down at me…

…meeting spirit guides, floating across open plains, running with wild horses and being carried by monks into a stone temple – some of my visions which play a big part in my ability to understand more about spiritual healing through art, and my amazing journey through life.

I would very much like to share with you some of my stories, my art and how they help me find a way to see spiritual connections and create what I hope to be an exciting new body of work.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my story and artwork.”