JOHNSTOWN – For many who battle depression, expression through art can be a cathartic practice.
The Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Perrella Gallery hosted a reception Friday for a new exhibition by Amsterdam Artist Michael Davis called “21 Grams of Depression; a Visual Diary of Coping with Depression.”
“There are many examples of famous artists, musicians, and writers throughout history that have been haunted by depression. Many have been driven to create by it, and many have been ruined by it,” said Joel Chapin, gallery director, in a news release. “Davis’ work in the exhibition is courageous and cathartic, and will help viewers understand what depression sufferers go through and may be inspired by the healing process of creativity.”
Davis, who said he has dealt with depression for many years, said the work posted in the gallery was his way of coping with his depression, something he had been dealing with for several years.
“Its an outlet, a way to vent,” Davis said. “It was a way to just heal myself.”
“I think its very painfully powerful,” Judith Plotner, an artist from Bleecker, said.
Ed Redmond, a co-worker of Davis, visited the gallery to support his friend, seeing some of his artwork for the first time.
“He obviously has passion for what he does,” Redmond said.
The artwork includes many computer-generated pieces. While some might describe his work has having a “dark nature,” Davis said that’s a bit misleading.
He explained that one piece, Mind Suicide, depicting what appears as suicide by gunshot, actually was meant to symbolize a man purging his mind of negative thoughts and feelings.
“It’s really not literally death, it’s what is inside my head,” Davis said.
Other pieces were more hopeful, such as The Last Goodbye, depicting two figures embracing.
Chapin said this kind of work is of a personal nature.
“It’s a ‘directly from the heart’ kind of show,” Chapin said.