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In this issue, an interview with Maureen Fain

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Self-Portrait by Maureen Fain

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Email Maureen Fain

Maureen Fain Introduction to Ravages


A series of paintings by Maureen Fain

The scars of invasive surgery, or of amputation, are intimations of mortality. They are openings into a world in which death is a companion not to be deferred or ignored as it usually is in the time of our undamaged youth.

There is a thin. fine line between the outer “given” of our bodies and the hidden, terrible inner landscape: awful, fascinating, repulsive, threatening. But it is this “other”, the internal body, which is in fact the essence, the enricher, the nourisher, the core. The skin is merely the frail, beautiful outer veil. Only when it ages, withers or sickens do we become aware of that frightening, enlightening truth — of that subcutaneous world so near the surface, so ominous, mysterious, unknowable.

These paintings evolved as a direct consequence of my own illness. But I believe that art cannot only be a declaration of pain. Personal anguish must be filtered, cooled and transformed through a contemplative distance. Only then can it become universal, documenting all our mortalities.

—MAUREEN FAIN

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