After suffering a stroke in 2008, Philip Grosser began to draw. For him, it was more than art therapy. The stroke made it difficult for him to read and write. Drawing became a new form of communication.
What resulted were colorful abstractions, inspired initially by imagining the damaged nerve networks resulting from the stroke. The works soon flowed on their own without any preconceived associations. Philip now begins his drawings, not by planning them out, but by spontaneously creating intricate outlines in fine-tipped black marker. Next he selects the color he likes best and continues to draw, choosing additional colors until the drawing is complete.
For Philip, everything about the creative process just “is.” He is not thinking about what it means or how it will turn out. He derives pleasure from the physical and visual experience of drawing. In this way the drawings are an expression of the new way in which his brain works.
Philip sums up his work best when he says,
“The best thing about drawing is that it takes me away from thinking.”
On January 1, 2008, Philip Grosser, choreographer and professor of dance at Temple University suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke. While his motor skills remained intact, he suffered from aphasia, which meant he had to relearn speech and could no longer read. He can read now, but with great difficulty. It was in the hospital that Philip started drawing. Nerve Networks is the result of his search for a visual language to describe the new inner workings of his brain.