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Jon Sarkin after a brain hemorrhage and a stroke that nearly killed him, the once-shy, ambitious chiropractor awoke with an effusive, unfocused need to create. He awake a different man in body and spirit. He was deaf in one ear, his vision splintered, and his balance permanently skewed.
Neurologist told him his brain had changed. It had been wounded, sliced up, and part, and parts removed. The neurons that were left had been forced to make new connections and find new meaning.
Eighteen months after his stroke, it became increasingly difficult to maintain the semblance of his former life. He tried to go back to his practice, but he no longer had the adequate coordination, his mind wandered, and he preferred to doodle and draw on his official stationary instead of seeing patients. Sarkin became obsessed with drawing.
These new drawings were different from kinds of random sketches he had made before his stroke. They we not the visual jokes and puns of the past, but distorted cartoon faces with symbols, like Moebius stripes, that sometimes overlapped or grew out of the faces. The images kept coming, spilling out of some dark unknown place in his brain.
Jon is unable to see the world as a whole, and unable to ignore it in its infinite detail. His brain constantly tries to make sense of the world, and he constantly tries to make sense of his brain’s failure-through colors and images and words. He cannot stop; he does not want to stop. In fact, he is afraid to stop. He is an accidental artist; he has the need to draw, to put it all down on paper. It is his engine, his purpose for living.
Jon has been featured in Vanity Fair, ABC Medical Mysteries, Discover Science Channel Documentary, “Tormented by Genius,” GQ, Art News, and the American Visionary Museum of Art. Jon created the album art for Guster’s latest album, Easy Wonderful, and he also appears in their music video/single “DO YOU LOVE ME.”
Tom Cruise’s production company is developing a movie based on his life story. Jon lives in Rockport, Mass. with his family. He works in his studio everyday in his studio in downtown Gloucester, Mass.