Let me introduce myself...
My name is Logan Madsen. I am a 43 year old self-taught-painter and artist extraordinaire from Salt Lake City, Utah; with I AAS in Graphic Design/Multimedia. I live an independent life. I have a "hyper-rare" genetic condition called Miller's Syndrome (less than 30 documented cases worldwide) which affects muscle and bone formation, causes hearing and joint pain. Additionally, I have a chronic lung condition(only 50% lung-function) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Asperger's syndrome a more fitting label, in my case. My older sister, Heather, lived with ALL of the same disabilities. In 2010, we were the first family in the world to get our entire DNA genome sequenced. Scientists found that Miller syndrome is a recessive gene. They also found Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) –also a recessive gene- which is the cause of our lung disease, and other attributes here and there.
I get it… I do. I have the same reaction. The unknown is scary. Being scared is a negative feeling and wanting to stare is simply human nature. Anxiety is created because of these opposing reactions. I had to find a way to bridge the gap between you and me without anxiety being a factor. With this exhibit I want to bare my reality for everyone to see. Once I put it out there, it will be OUR reality. I want you to stare at my paintings. You will see there is beauty and magic that exists in even a small patch of skin. We all have skin.
When I see somebody who looks different, I want to inspect them as much as I can. Clearly, it’s not nice to stare, but WE ALL WANT TO. I wish I could touch them, talk with them, understand them, but it’s too risky. I might offend them or get stuck having to be overly charitable in my efforts to save face. What if they are clingy? I don’t know their mental capacity. How do I to relate to someone who looks so weird??? It’s kind of gross and alien-like. Some may say “This is too hard for me to deal with.” Others might cringe and pray to God that “weirdo” doesn’t look in their direction.
Extracting subtle detail from life is the basis for my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD). This hyper-awareness requires most of my attention; which, in new social situations, leaves me just enough simple responses. I have come to believe that this is caused by my Pervasive Developmental Disorder Non-Other Specified (PDDNOS). This diagnosis was realized about 8 years ago, putting me on the autistic spectrum. When painting, brushstroke is calculated and deliberate. I “need” to paint all of the detail, but there’s too much pain involved. I want to see all of the detail, but the amount of time it takes is not economical. I am working towards being able to include impressionism in my future works. I am inspired by the confluence of color, texture and shapes. Art is meant to isolate subject matter from the rest of life, in order to magnify their importance.
Dubious perceptions conjured by media(movies, TV, news, social) leave me feeling torn, psychologically. I live in a constant state of paradoxical awareness. I see things the way they are, how I want them to be, how you want them to be and how society views them...ALL AT ONCE. I wish I could just stay on my own path without worrying about how it’s going to affect someone else. I want to accept life’s terms and drop the weight of uncertainty off my back. Can’t I just be the me that I know? We all share the human experience, but nobody wants to talk about it. I want to talk about it. ...and I do... through public speaking and offering myself as a "safe" person for individuals to talk to about their human conditions.
It’s hard to describe how being different makes me feel. I cherish the unique perspective I have on the world, though it changes minute-by-minute. Consumed by anxiety, pain and depression; I am prevented from maintaining control over my will. I worry that people think I’m weak, stupid, ugly, rude, selfish, wrong, weird, boring, slow, etc. It’s quite possible that I think all of these things about myself. That being said… I KNOW I’m brave, funny, handsome, charismatic, smart, talented, passionate, thoughtful and strong. In my early teens, I was oblivious to any physical limitations of my disabilities. It wasn’t until my early 20's that I realized my life is much more difficult than my friends’. Slowly, I have surrendered to the reality that you and I are not having to overcome the same challenges every day. Just the basic, daily, living requirements we humans habituate towards never become rudimentary actions when you struggle with them forever. However, it's still what I choose to wake up to every morning. In hopes that it will give other people that extra will to persevere when they want out. The only way I can deal with it all, is to change my perspective. “Yes this sucks, but at least it’s not that.” Every moment my eyes are open I am doing this.