This is a painting I completed in February using Acrylic on canvas. The task was to choose a social issue in the world today and create a visual representation of the issue. While people were deciding to do racism, greenhouse gases, sex, etc. I was stumbling on what issue I would portray. For me, I wanted to take the opportunity to express something personal and meaningful through my painting and picking the right issue was really difficult. I initially wanted to paint about Learning Disabilities, but I didn’t think it would create an impact. I needed something offsetting, disturbing almost. So, I decided to use the issue of Teen Suicide.
The idea came to me through a friend I met at camp, who told me that because of his being bullied at school, he started becoming suicidal and started slitting his wrists. I felt very bad after he told me and even started to cry because he is a really amazing person and doesn’t deserve to feel that way. I also was reminded of how I felt in the eighth grade. This inspired the idea of teen suicide.
Below is my artist statement:
Have you ever been to that state of mind where nothing makes sense? That no matter how well you piece together the puzzle, there is always something missing? Have you ever been to that state of mind where you wish you were dead?
I can say that I have.
I began thinking suicidal thoughts when I was in the eighth grade. That period in my life is one of my darkest memories. I remember coming home almost everyday and crying alone in my room, wishing I were dead. Why? I had many problems learning academically and socializing at school and was bullied for being “weird”, “stupid”, and was even called “a fat a**”. Having people talk that way about you is difficult to live with. I was isolated, so I felt that if I killed myself, nobody would care and that nobody would stop me. I began to fantasize slitting my wrists, hanging myself, overdosing…
Have you ever realized that this has happened to me until now?
This is the issue that needs to be addressed; teens that are suffering from bullying may be becoming suicidal and nobody may ever find out until it’s too late. I never killed myself, but it doesn’t mean that I never wanted to.
This issue is very important to me. I know this may be a sensitive subject to talk about, but that is part of the problem; lack of communication. I felt like I could go to absolutely no one about my problem, not even my parents. They knew that I had problems about learning and socializing, but they never knew until this year that I was becoming suicidal.
I’m very pleased with myself that I was able to complete this kind of project because I was able to express a very personal moment in my life through my passion of art. If you are wondering if I am ok, don’t worry I am. Through art, I can freely put my heart and soul into my work, and I am thankful for my passion.