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LENS ON LEADING: NOTES FROM ANTONY

Stories of Healing Art

Last summer I was taken by a piece of music I first heard on an Apple commercial for a new MacBook Pro. I investigated and discovered it was by a musician in Austin, Texas, named Daniel Johnston and was called “The Story of an Artist.” The critics didn’t necessarily like his music, but I certainly liked that particular piece. Reading more about Johnston and discovering a documentary about him, I learned he has experienced significant mental illness throughout his life, and I came to see that perhaps his music played a role in his life beyond what the critics understood.

Later I came across an article about a photographer, Louis Quail, who had published a book of artistic photos telling the story of his brother Justin’s life. Big Brother is a tribute to a sibling living with schizophrenia who is nevertheless extraordinary and resilient in a life full of struggle that incorporated his own forms of art and beauty.

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