It isn't just a scar. It's my scar" is something Artist Ted Meyer hears all the time. After years of doing work about his own rare illness, and becoming bored by his personal situation, Meyer changed focus and began visually telling the stories of other people who have been through major traumas. For over 17 years Meyer has been creating a graphic yet beautiful depiction of people’s suddenly altered bodies and the resulting scars in an ever-enlarging collection of artworks entitled, “Scarred for Life”. “Scarred for Life” continues to grow and now consists of almost 100 artistically enhanced mono-prints taken directly from the scarred skin of his subjects. Each image – accompanied by a photographic portrait taken by Ted and a written story by his subject - tells a unique and intriguing story of medical crisis, resilience and healing.
The project’s title embodies a duality of ideas that are explored in depth: first, that medically related scars or physical disfigurements often have a profound lifelong impact on a patient’s self-identity, and secondly, that those scars have the potential to serve as powerful symbols of regeneration and life, and learning tools as well. Exploring facets of self-adornment, contemporary trends in body modification and the ways in which art has been used to redefine aesthetic norms, Scarred for Life presents ways in which medical patients can grow to view their scars as beautiful symbols of personal resilience.
The Scarred for Life project has grown into a lecture series, a book, and led Ted to his position as the first Artist in Residence at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.
Scarred for Life is also currently being shows at the Lancaster Museum and in November will be exhibited at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Bethesda, MD.
Over the years Ted has met and worked with other artists from all over the world who focus on Scars. MUZEUMM has asked Ted to include some of his favorites to the exhibit.
Zeina Baltagi was the first person to get her full tibia replaced along with her knee and half her femur with a titanium endo-prosthetic. Due to osteosarcoma, bone cancer. Post survival, she took back ownership of her body. Like bodies develop histories, her work endures a similar transformative process.http://www.zeinabaltagi.com/shedding.html
Diana Hobstetter’s “Fragile Flesh” paintings tell stories of people’s scars and look at the relationship of memory and the body. Like scars themselves, Diana’s creative process includes a wounding and scarring process — the words are carved into a thick, fleshy paint revealing the blood color below the surface; additionally some works include mixed media elements related to the scar story. Although the fragility of our flesh, and our lives, is a serious undertone, the stories themselves are of life and range from the poignant to the humorous.
Lilli Muller WARRIORS, Vol1:Lilli Muller’s casting sessions are a visual diary, using art as a language that transcends fear, expectation, stereotype, and policy to arrive at an unexpected place of power and beauty.
Alison Romanczuk is a photographer from London with her own scar owing to, so far, two operations to remove a persistent sarcoma. Shortly before her last operation she met with the Children of Fire charity, randomly, on the Southbank. She has photographed the children and their scars both in London and Johannesburg and has become very close them and their fundraising for a better future.
May Tanferri is located in San Palo, Brazil. Because of her own large burn scars has she created a doll with multiple burns that comes with all the matching medical dressings and supplies that a burned child would see during their treatment. Her hope is to give burned children a doll that looks just like them, and to teach the non-burned about their burned friends.