For painter and SVA fine arts instructor Suzanne Joelson, painting the sometimes deadly world of microbes was a way to contend with her father’s skin and bone marrow cancer. Images of deities and angels appear alongside the microbes, competing for dominance in Joelson’s work. The paintings are currently on display at the New York Academy of Science in an exhibition entitled Secret Agents. “Both diseases of the spirit and diseases of the flesh can leave you feeling hopeless,” Joelson says. “These paintings represent a kind of grappling-and coming to terms-with grief and despair.” The exhibition can be viewed at the NYAS Gallery of Art & Science, 2 East 63 Street, until June 20.
Image: Suzanne Joelson, Stammer, 1994, acrylic on birch