Valerie Medina - Love in the Time of Lupus
At a glance its a picture of a female figure with butterflies which are symbols for Lupus.
Sometimes disease can define a life…. or so you think, especially when you are sick…but eventually, with medicine, exercise, exhaustive hope and ART, one can live with a disease and define the disease rather then let it define.
I painted this originally in 2013. I have had my “beautiful disease” for 30 years now. I have experienced frequent flare ups and manage them and cope. I used to call it “my lupus” letting it define who I am. I no longer see it that way. Lupus is a disease where I would often hear, …“but you don't look sick.” Lupus does its dirty work to the heart, lungs, nervous system, joints, skin and kidneys. It often doesn't present itself as an “ugliness.” And the beauty comes with the strength one needs to live with it everyday. Lupus is a gift, that “colors” my life.
This painting represents the beauty that comes with illness. A body that is complicated by illness is still one of beauty and strength. Would I look at Lupus the same way if I did NOT have ART or was not a creative spirit? I doubt it…I'm not that evolved. Art allows me to feel this disease in a different way. To express it and thereby expel it…maybe not literally, but expelling the negative self pity, that could surely come with a lifetime of illness. Or Maybe LUPUS is a rung on the ladder of evolvement.
side note: I recently added the glitter and resin top to this painting. The process is toxic and physically difficult to do, metaphors abound.
"Love in the Time of Lupus" is currently on display at Sanchez Contemporary as part of the Flora & Fauna exhibit. It has been collected/sold. Congratulations to Valerie Medina!