I created the "Crowned Corona" series of portraits after recovering from Covid-19 in March. Although I did not require hospitalization, I was the sickest I’d ever been in my entire life. Once I got back on my feet, I went straight to my art studio. Art has always been therapy for me, a healthy way of coping with difficult emotions and the complexities of life. I had originally intended to create a self-portrait to purge the pain, fear and anguish I experienced from Covid-19 but it turned into something much more.
As I painted a crowned portrait of myself as a survivor, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to another time in my life that was filled with a similar darkness caused by a virus that was not yet understood. I was just a young hospital nurse when the AIDS epidemic broke out. As I started hearing the tragic and courageous stories of healthcare workers dying and fighting on the front lines of Covid19, I realized I needed to find a way to make a connection with them through art. Memories of burn out, fear, exhaustion and grief flooded my consciousness weaving a common thread shared with those who are currently caring for the sick and dying. I needed to make a connection to front liners and give homage to those we have lost. More than 1700 healthcare workers have died from Covid-19 thus far, 213 were registered nurses like me.
The portraits of healthcare workers, both deceased and living, were placed in a grid to symbolize the invisible strength that binds us. In unity we create a more powerful force for the healing of humanity. Each of these workers have been “coronated" with a crown modeled after the old-style nursing caps I wore 35 years ago. The crown symbolizes victory over the corona virus, a nod towards corona’s English translation and a form of well-deserved recognition for the courage and sacrifice it takes to be a healthcare worker on the front lines of a global pandemic.
ICU Team of 8 Crowed Corona was featured in Los Angeles at Gallery 825’s Exalted One, an exploration of contemporary portraiture. I founded the Crowned Corona Fine Art Gift Project that donates framed artwork from this series and thank you cards to ICU workers.
This fine art gift project was created to say thank you to the men and women that are fighting Covid 19 on the front lines of American hospitals. Each event brings a framed piece along with a thank you card for each person working in the unit that includes my artist's statement. You can donate this gift to your local ICU or hospital by contacting us. Please see the shop for more products and gifts available for your favorite doctor or nurse.