(Re: "For LJ gallery owner, healing starts with art," Oct. 25, Page 1)
While I honor her philanthropy and agree with her preface that art has healing properties, I challenge Ms. York’s claims that "not all artwork has healing properties,” and that “artwork being painted by a heroin addict won’t have healing properties."
The aesthetic experience of art is subjective to each viewer. The idea that anyone can dictate to others which artwork is healing or not is a fallacy.
Art can be healing for everyone, just as the process of making art is healing in and of itself. To dismiss the capacity of artwork created by a heroin addict to have healing power is narrow. How does having an addiction limit creating art with healing properties? This highbrow idea is an unjust bias. After all, what are these mystical life-saving properties that only non-addicts can produce?
If hospitalized, I’d find California painter and heroin addict survivor Chor Boogie’s “Color Therapy” series to be healing. His dynamic use of bright colors and abstract shapes would keep me entertained and interested while bedridden. Moreover, his paintings would inspire me to create artwork in response to them, whether in the form of a story, poem, song or drawing.
I encourage people to keep an open mind and heart.
— Michelle Josey, La Jolla