The Contemporary Art of Jay S. Zimmerman

Background

Joseph Campbell, the great analyst of myth, when asked about joy in life, said that people should "follow their bliss." I see creativity as the juice that fuels my life.  In my profession as a psychologist, I have always been drawn to creative ways of expressing my work. I was drawn to Gestalt and Jungian Psychology and spent two years in Jungian analysis. I also spent time studying yoga and meditation in India and in America. During that time, I began to draw, using elements of dreams and active imagination to populate both drawings and collages.The pull to creative ways of expressing myself professionally, whether as a therapist or in other aspects of my work was always coupled with different creative artistic processes, ways of expression, of seeing the world--writing fiction, poetry, acting, photography, drawing and singing..
My work as an artist and as a psychologist draws on my observation of myself and others, of nature and the environment in which we live. I have been especially influenced by the natural world and a long time interest amd immersion in eastern spiritualityand philosophy.
Our lives, our experiences, our reflections and narratives bring meaning to what we observe, organizes it, gives it shape as we bring it together to form a whole, a self, a direction, a work of art. We are always in the process of creating. In the psychotherapeutic experience, aspects of  our observations are shared in a relationship between two people. In art, the artist shares  the self or his vision of the world through the work of art and as in therapy, both the artist and the viewer project their own experience into the work and make meaning of that experience together.
So, being both a psychologist and an artist seems to be two sides of the same coin. My interest in psychology began out of an intense curiosity about what I couldn't understand, about the mysteries of life, about the forces that shaped lives, that enhanced them and destroyed them. It was and is a curiosity about what is below the surface.  As a psychotherapist I create spaces where self reflection, exploration, integration and connection can occur--a healing sculpture of sorts. I feel that my art currently serves a similar purpose. It asks people through their involvement with it to explore corners of their own psyche, to reflect on themselves, to see their world in new and unique ways, to provide an awakening.
My work has been an absorbing dance, finding and testing the limits of the technologies I use to create and my own creative vision--moving back and forth between the intentional and the improvisational. As other artists in their times who used the tools available to them, I use the tools of my time--the digital camera, ipad, iphone and computer and particular software to integrate and expressively manipulate photography, drawing and painting. I think of myself as having a wonderful digital palette with which to create and express myself. Therefore my work takes the form of limited edition Giclee prints.
I continue to learn and challenge myself as an artist using the tools of digital expression and also in the more traditional aspects of the arts. My years as a psychologist have provided the ground for the artistic "figure" that emerges and takes shape in my work.  My work will continue to explore aspects of the soul as well as the environment in which we live--the world out of which we emerge, the world that shapes our life and our psyche.