What Art Means to Me

Nick Burrus
Nick Burrus ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 03/11/23 in Show & Tell

I found consolation and solace in the art of a heart and a rainbow during my stay at Cedars-ICU. Sinai's Growing up as a gay man in a conservative city in Central California, the rainbow symbolized my soul, it felt. It served as a source of inspiration and reassurance, showing me that I was not struggling in vain. On the other side, the heart served as a reminder of my recent heart transplant and a representation of my revitalized existence.

I had lived in constant, agonizing pain before my transplant. Even the simplest things, like walking up a flight of stairs or carrying groceries, had become challenging for me because of my sick heart. I had undergone several surgeries and therapies while spending countless days in hospitals. My mental and emotional health has been negatively impacted by the ongoing discomfort, leaving me feeling hopeless and discouraged.

The heart and rainbow painting, however, was a turning moment in my life. It stood for a fresh start, a new beginning, and an important turning point in my journey. As a reminder that I had triumphed over my challenges and was prepared to begin a new chapter in my life, I regarded it as a sign of optimism and healing.

In conclusion, during my time in the ICU, the imagery of the heart and rainbow gave me solace and courage. They stood in for both my distinct individuality and my revitalized life following a successful heart transplant. The artwork served as both a memory of the suffering and adversity I had experienced and a sign of future hope and recovery. It was a crucial turning point in my path and gave me the courage and inspiration to continue.

Today, I am stronger. I grow stronger with each day. I was able to finish my doctorate and my master's in the few short years since. I work for a completely new company now, (as mine got bought out) from the heart of the conservative valley I grew up in. This is a very liberal, accepting, and company that fights for the underdogs. One of our founders even made a TED Talk on this, and how it can turn around a city. Click here to see that TED Talk.

The second part of this, is an art piece that had an impact on me. This would be a piece called the Heart and Rainbow by Yaacov Agam. This is an art of a series by Yaacov who likes optical and kinetic art to show change and movement. His abstract art is very captivating for me. This piece he had, I saw it on my first walk after my heart transplant and it was simply awe taking and breath taking. It was a little bit of a distance, so, it motivated me to see it each time during my incredibly difficult recovery period of 34 days in an ICU. The hospital has many artworks in the ICU including original Salvador Dali, and other amazing artists. But, this piece by Yaacov Agam captivated me to a point where I took a picture of it and wanted to see it each day.

Nick Burrus (@nickisashkir) • Instagram photos and videos

One of these days, I hope to be able to afford a copy of this to have myself. They hover around $1200 right now. Maybe in the future.


Dr. St Nicholas Burrus DHA, PMP

I build Smartsheets for the US Government, State Government, and about a dozen of the US Fortune 100s.