For this work I created a self-portrait with a specially designed head frame which is used to securely hold the head during a very precise radiosurgery known as Gamma Knife. This painting, entitled also as “Gamma Knife”, is more of a self- healing project since this same procedure was done to me. On July 2012, I experienced a head hemorrhage. After months of tests, they finally figured out that I had a Cognitive Arteriovenous Malformation on the left side of my brain which is what caused the hemorrhage. Later, the 5th of December of that same year, I had the Gamma Knife radiosurgery. On a physical scale, I have gotten better and at this moment there are no signs of the Arteriovenous Malformation, but on the emotional level I believe it has left a strong PTSD of the entire situation and probably other mental illnesses as anxiety and claustrophobia because I woke up various times during the surgery.
This painting is made with oil paint and aluminum foil on a canvas board 9 by 12 inches. Since I was not granted permission to see the actual head frame in the clinic I was attended, I used Photoshop to add the head frame to a picture of myself. This ended up being a great reference for the final piece. I incorporated the use of aluminum foil to portray the head frame which later I added the details that are on an actual head frame. I decided to use the aluminum foil because by just the thought of painting the head frame gave me a bad panic attack and thanks to someone close to me, they suggested that alternative which I applied.
In this work specifically, I wanted to paint the eyes but after some strong thinking in it I decided not to because during the surgery I do not know what happened. I never saw the head frame, which is why it is done in contour. I was not in control of my body because I would wake up various times alone with a horrible pain in my head.
In 2018 this artwork was exhibited at Elizabeth James Gallery in London, UK. The artists' first international group exhibit.