Museum of Modern Art exhibition highlights artists with disabilities

NEW YORK — An exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art shines the spotlight on artists with learning disabilities and other disabilities.

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports, their works help them thrive by communicating who they are and how they overcome their challenges with art.

Christopher Chronopoulos of Hell’s Kitchen is living an artist’s dream. His work is in the famous Museum of Modern Art.

He showed Carlin one of his coins, explaining, “His name is Fenikkusu, and he’s a fire spirit that resides in me…It’s almost like a phoenix that’s in me that every time I am, like, down, it’s just picking me up.”

The exhibition “I am a monster, I am a flower, I am all at the same time” presents Chronopoulos and other members of YAI, a group of artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

YAI members pose inside the Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition “I am a monster, I am a flower, I am all at the same time” presents members of YAI, a group of artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

CBS2

“They diagnosed me with PDD… It only triggers me when I’m upset, like when I’m really sad or angry,” Chronopoulos said. “It comes out like a whiplash. It comes out because I don’t want to listen.

He says it is through meditation, tai chi and his art that he is able to achieve the right balance.

“Does it take you out of yourself and into a world that helps?” Carlin asked.

“It gives you the feeling that you can do almost anything,” Chronopoulos said.

Artist Jimmy Tucker says he’s dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

“I wash my hands a lot or check the door to my house often,” he said.

Tucker, who lives in Chinatown, says he gets lost in art in the best way possible.

“I think art is therapeutic. For me, it’s like every time I’m having a bad day or thinking negatively in my head, I just pick up the pencil and start drawing and let all that anger or anxiety flow onto the paper,” said he declared.

In addition to his illustrations, Tucker designed a t-shirt with quirky characters.

“A lot of the characters I design are superheroes with disabilities, so I base the four main characters I created on things I deal with like autism, learning disabilities, shyness or OCD,” did he declare.

The leader of this group for YAI is Priscilla Frank.

“I see how talented and passionate they are, and believe in their work with all my heart, and it’s just amazing to see the pieces we make in our scrappy studio elevated in this iconic, legendary and hallowed space. . . where so many artists fell in love with art in the first place,” she said. “We’re all, like, really humbled and blown away. We make art in space all the time. day, everyday, so we really wanted the artist to embrace a creative alter ego… to find a different creature inside of them and try to make art like that creature and really embody that creature .”

“Having the courage and ability to showcase yourself through your work and truly express who you are by doing…We are truly honored to be able to share their work with the public,” said Theresa Rodewald, assistant educator for the MoMA’s Learning and Engagement Department.

The exhilarating and creative exhibition continues until September 30. For more information, Click here.

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