Inherited Shock, 2009.

Oil, pencil, embroidery, thread, wire, paper, and pins on canvas,

36 x 48 inches.

Image detail

About This Artwork: This might look like it is about electric shock therapy treatments. I mean, it is. It is about mental illness in general I suppose, but it is mostly about fear. What I fear most about my mental illness is inheriting the same treatments my mother received for her illness.

I grew up with bipolar illness, but watching it in my mother, who had it severely, was not easy. The treatments for it then were not the same as we have for them today. It only seemed to make her worse. And so I believed that psychiatry was a bad thing for most of my early life until my mom was finally put on proper medication late in her life -- once it was finally invented.