Leslie Adams
A framed charcoal drawing of a woman sitting in front of a series of brain MRI images.

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Sensazione: A Self-Portrait
Collection of the artist

Drawing is my first love. I always return to it. Drawing is the primal mode of visual communication: “A man [draws] with his brain and not with his hands.” Reflecting upon Michelangelo’s profound statement following my alarming minor stroke in 2009, I was forced to take pause, inspired to create a self-portrait, and compelled to question. ”What is self?” “How does the brain relate to who we are, consciousness, and the soul?” “What is the connection between the brain, hand, and eye and our understanding of ourselves and our existence in the universe?” As a visual artist, the fear of losing the function of thought, physical dexterity, or sight was magnified. I addressed these issues in an image produced with the most basic of drawing materials: charcoal. I confronted my fears by creating this work with the inherent simplicity, elegance, power, and beauty of black and white.