Hemorrhages, blunt-force trauma and bullet wounds don’t exactly scream “art.” But in a new exhibit, the National Museum of Health and Medicine is honoring men and women who survived such traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
The temporary exhibit — titled “Whack’ed . . . and then everything was different” — expands on the museum’s standing TBI installation, which showcases human brain specimens as well as medical tools used for surgery, treatment and rehabilitation. Artist and TBI survivor Eliette Markhbein created the larger-than-life portrait series to raise awareness of TBIs.
Her subjects include former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (shot in 2011), quarterback Troy Aikman (suffered several concussions), actor George Clooney (injured in a fall on a movie set), news correspondent Bob Woodruff (wounded in Iraq) and musician Keith Richards (injured in a fall). Non-celebrity subjects include Claudia Carreon, a service member who was injured in Iraq, and Alexis Verzal, a 5-year-old who was badly shaken at 14 months.
The museum describes Markhbein’s technique, which combines cutting, drawing and collage methods, as “a silent testimony to the three phases of TBI: fractured, reassembled and whole.”
The exhibit will be on display through May in the lobby of the museum, located at 2500 Linden Lane in Silver Spring.
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