My father is a behavioral neuroscientist and pioneer in the field of medical applications for Virtual Reality. He works with more companies and institutions than I have ever been able to keep track of, and constantly traverses the world to consult, advise, and inspire. Now that technology is finally starting to catch up with the ideas he's been working towards for decades, he's busier than ever, moving from one project to another at an incredible rate, and delivering hundreds of speeches every year. To those unfamiliar with the concept of medical VR, all of this may sound ridiculous, but he knows how much good will one day result from it, and it is for that reason alone he shows such a voracity for action. “I’ve been very fortunate,“ he told me last year, “almost every job I’ve ever had has been exciting and engaging. I’ve never worked on a project that, if asked, I wouldn’t have paid to work on in the first place.”
When psychologist Mimi McFaul was looking for a way that the National Mental Health Innovation Center could show its appreciation for him, she knew that it must somehow represent the effect he has had on the NMHIC's trajectory - his warmth and positivity, the gentle confidence and sense of collaboration he engenders. She didn't know that his own son practiced abstract expressionism when she first imagined the gift of a symbolic work of art, but she eventually found out, and after we had a chance to talk, I knew that this was a task I had to accept and treat with the utmost priority. What she told me about my father, on behalf of the NMHIC, fit precisely into my own understanding of him, my life-long historical account where "love" is the word which appears most frequently.
I'm proud to say that in creating this piece, I have taken my artistic techniques to new heights, and that in addition to everything outlined above, it represents the culmination of all the abstract experimentation I have done in this liminal phase between undergrad and whatever the future holds in store.