Pre-med to Modeling: Onward!

Sometimes we just need a little courage to take a gradual right, or even a sharp left, off of our pre-planned journeys in life. This may be how we find the place that most suits our highest and best purpose.

That is the story I tell in my book THAT PAIR OF FRIENDS: Antonio Lopez and Juan Ramos. A limited number of copies are now available at the Suzanne Geiss Company Gallery in Soho, alongside the exhibition Antonio’s World, which runs until October 20th.

I graduated from college with the intention of becoming a physician. That did not happen. After an unusual series of events, I signed with Ford Models and met Antonio briefly in Paris. Later, back in New York, I reconnected with him and his creative partner Juan. We became friends, and I worked with the two closely. It had a powerful effect on my perspective, opening me up to being more creative, intuitive and visual. I began to photograph my colleagues and took dance classes almost daily. Photography and dance became my focus when I quit modeling and became a mother.

When the AIDS epidemic hit hard and took the life of Antonio and later Juan, I began to head back to my original desire to heal. I approached this yearning from an unexpected perspective: Eastern Medicine. I never would have been open to it fresh out of college, but life has a funny way of bringing us to where we are supposed to be, even if we make choices that don’t seem sensible at the time. Becoming a fashion model after acquiring the credentials to enter medical school? My grandmother certainly did not approve. Who would have thought it would be my circuitous route to helping others in a way that most suits who I am.

If you get a chance, go to see Antonio’s World at the Suzanne Geiss Company Gallery at 76 Grand St., New York, NY. The charming European-style light-filled gallery explodes with fashion art. When you enter, you’ll walk past a portrait of Antonio by Andy Warhol, and into rooms boasting Antonio’s genius in a variety of mediums. My book, THAT PAIR OF FRIENDS is at the desk. Perhaps it will inspire you to take a small detour off of your well-traveled road.


  1. Susan Baron says

    Dear Maureen,

    Since reading your article this morning,
    I have been experiencing chills all over my body.
    What do you think the Rx is for me, Dr.?
    Easy answer-I would love to read your book.

    How and where can I purchase a copy of your book, Maureen?
    Can I order it through the gallery?

    oh, and I love the title. I am so excited for you.
    Your presentation of your story
    linked with the NY Times article has quite an impact.

    Your creativity in living your life is beyond inspirational-
    You carry a powerful message for all of us.
    Many blessings my friend.

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