In 2010 I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer; in the process of being treated I wondered what it would have been like to endure the cures and surgeries of the past.

After having a section of my leg removed, I began researching medicine from the Middle Ages through the 18th century; this series was a good way for me to work out my anger and be even more thankful that what I’m going through is nothing compared to old remedies and techniques. My past art and interests were focused in the way society lived in history, but with emphasis on the defiant, glamorous, and eccentric — not daily strife. You could have been rich, important, or beautiful, but if sick, you would still receive brutal or worthless treatment. While these subjects and their stories are of my own creation, the remedies and belief systems are based in historical fact. While some things have changed, others have not (aside from better anesthesia and sterilization) and it makes one wonder what we practice today in medicine that will be viewed as cruel and obscene to future generations.

This was the beginning of my solo show that took place at Loved to Death in San Francisco, CA in February of 2012.

The second portion of this show was only half complete when I experienced a botched surgery and suffered stage 3 kidney failure as a result. Despite the hospital stay and coming back from the kidney failure and major surgery, the show opened in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014 at BAYarts. Strike while the irony is hot.

Arabella Proffer: Ephemeral Antidotes 2012-2014

Arabella Proffer: Ephemeral Antidotes 2012-2014

An overview of paintings dealing with faith and medical history. Fictitious portraits, and their stories, written by artist Arabella Proffer.

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