Art Healing – Modern Day Meme Draws Together an Artist and a Psychiatrist

Via Scoop.itHealthcare Continuing Education

As Russian artist Alexander Melamid opened the storefront to his Art Healing Ministry in SoHo New York one morning in late May, I handed him a business card for my New York City psychiatry practice, where I have been developing my own version of art healing. His eyes reflected the humor in my own as I revealed our parallel forays into art healing, and he immediately invited me for a nosh at a nearby café. Co-founder with Vitaly Komar of the Sots Art movement in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, Alex is now a sixty-five-year-old New Yorker with hair like Einstein’s, known for teaching elephants to paint in Thailand and, more recently, for his portraits of rap stars Kanye West, 50 Cent, and others.

While seated at the café, we talked about art’s capacity to heal and the power of the placebo effect. Immediately I began to wonder if what we had independently called art healing might be a modern-day meme–a twenty-first-century thought form whose time had come.

Before leaving, I agreed that consideration of all these principles was worth attention. But I had to push myself to be receptive to Alex’s admittedly absurd treatments and oddly conceived mechanisms of action…
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