Factory Girl, Art and Acupuncture

Factory Girl: Homage to Andy Warhol, on display at the Mystic Museum of Art, is a work taken from the large body of work that I created in New York City from 1981-1988,

After a 4-year career as a fashion model, I switched to the other side of the lens to work as a fashion photographer. I created fashion portraits building on my experience working with myriad photographers to learn not only the technicalities, but also how to allow light to fall on flawless skin and cheekbones and to compose an image for greatest impact. My work as a model for Antonio Lopez for American, German and Italian Vogue allowed me to observe his genius and begin to see the world from the part of my brain that is intuitive, creative, non-linear and irrational. I learned that fostering a deep connection with a stranger, so that the masks and walls put up in everyday life disappear, helped me to capture an image that might move a heart, soul or psyche. All of the above is important, but, the key ingredient was a deep respect for the person before me.

For me, as an acupuncturist this respect, along with training and knowledge of a centuries old medicine, is paramount. Often a complete stranger comes for help, willing to lie down on a table and allow her skin to be pierced with needles. It is essential to be able to relate to her quickly to build a sense of trust. At the same time, the acupuncturist must figure out the best way to generate healing in a person fragmented by disease whether from too much stress or something more serious. To help someone heal requires the sensitivity and vision of an artist along with the skills necessary to execute an integration of the spirit, mind, emotions and body.

Similarly, as a photographer, I worked with many new models, often vulnerable after landing in New York City to work in one of the toughest businesses in the world. Their agents sent them to me because of my ability to draw something out of them that they did not yet recognize in themselves.

Just as the model was often lifted in spirit when she saw images from the result of our work in which a beauty, strength or quality she had never seen in herself before was revealed, the patient is often surprised at how relaxed and centered they feel after a good acupuncture treatment.

It is not just skill and experience that help us to produce good fruit with our creativity. Works of art that move the soul and works of healing require compassion, skill and insight. The character for health in Chinese has two parts: one is the symbol for beauty and the other is strength. I hope you see both of these qualities in Factory Girl.

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