Captured by the noted photographer Carmel Fromson, close to sixty elegant portraits of Fountain House artists are now on view at Fountain House Gallery. And accompanying the photos are captivating artist observations and statements — at once informative and inspiring. A small sampling follows:
Fountain House and the Gallery really saved my life. Here I am respected, included and feel like I have something to give. During the shutdown, I have never been more impressed with the response from the staff. I love Fountain House.
The Gallery helps me to stay focused on creativity and motivates me to paint; without it I think I would most likely feel depressed. Before the Gallery, I was focused only on graffiti. Now my art has grown and has become more complex and aesthetically pleasing.
I am a self-taught, mixed media artist exploring new ways to repurpose things to save the planet and reduce my carbon footprint.
My photography is a study of different cultures and how we perceive unfamiliar people and their customs. The streets become my studio as I photograph life unfolding with the excitement of endless possibilities. My bold and dynamic photographs are intended to move viewers viscerally and make them reconsider the mundane reality as being somewhat magical and charged with power for change.
Author of the 2016 memoir “The Hospital Always Wins,” published by Chicago Review Press, Issa’s life and work have become a synthesis of Greek tragedy and the Second Coming as seen through a sci-fi lens: “The recurring images in my work of flawed heroes with multiple questionable personalities and power-mad super-villains are all examples of an internal struggle to comprehend my place as a Black man in the asylum called America.”
I have always been fascinated by cats, the most intriguing things in the Universe. I see people as art and fall in love with extraordinary "artworks" in a most platonic way; I have "loved" many. People sabotage their relationships because of the baggage they lug, instead of dropping it and getting the love they truly love.
SEEN: Portraits of Fountain House Artists by Photographer Carmel Fromson remains on view at Fountain House Gallery through June 29. Located at 702 Ninth Avenue at 48th Street in Manhattan, Fountain House Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday from 12pm to 6pm.
All photos and statements courtesy Fountain House Gallery
Note: Fountain House Gallery and Studio provides an environment where artists living with mental illness can express their creative visions, exhibit their work, and challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness.