The "BrainTree Series"

John Bavaro is a Professor of Art at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and his current work is based on a serious stroke he experienced from a dissected carotid artery. At the beginning he had no speech and his arm was severely compromised. A year later he created this body of work based on his brain scans and scans of his carotid artery. 

“BrainTree Series” Comes from brain scans and trees. I had a serious stroke from the dissected carotid artery. At the beginning I had no speech and my arm was severely compromised.  These images the “BrainTree Series” come from the multiple brain scans, which were taken of me during that time. Also included are carotid artery scans. I had dissected carotid artery, the reason for my stroke, which took some monitoring. I remember looking at those images in the doctor, Charles Romero’s office while he explaining the dynamics of the brain, and what happened to me. Meanwhile, I couldn’t speak or ask about it. I was thinking what a nice piece of art it would be and how I could use it! It felt like the scene in the movie Amadeus "Queen of the Night Aria" scene where Mozart is being yelled at by his mother in-law. What he was seeing a vision of the aria from the opera.

(I’m grateful for  Charles Romero, by the way, he’s the one who saved my life). For my part I was just seeing compositions. How amazing the technology was, and how I had to get those images! Because they were my own scans, they are open to me on discs and I requested them from the hospital.

 The Process

 Basically the process involves taking brain scans, which I often layer one on top of another responding to them with paint and layers done on the iPad using the Procreate App. Then I take series of trees that I build in an app called “TreeSketch”. I produce 3-D images which I can “flatten”, then place them in layer after layer of my images. While working in “TreeSketch” I realized that the growth parameters, (the tropism, and gravimorphism) of the tree behaves like the physiology of the human brain. It parallels it in many ways. The branches that the brain takes, directly parallels the growth pattern of a tree. I was struck by the metaphor of re-wiring, or re-growth of connections that had died and now needed to be rewired

John Bavaro 

 John Bavaro fine art-digital art