I had my first outbreak of organic bi-polar brain disorder (madness) in 1974. I was hospitalized that year and the next two years always during the growing season, mania is a warm weather issue for me. Huge depressions followed, finally in 1978 I began Lithium therapy and I was myself again. Well after a fashion like my old self. Thing is knowledge of one's madness creates certain possibilities and of course fear of recurrence. Within two years I did a large (the paintings were quite quite large) show at the Walker Art Center. I had made these huge labor intensive paintings based largely on cartoon like drawings I made of small heads.Hundreds if not thousands of these small polychromed heads would cover canvases 9 X 6 feet in size. This was mostly work I'd done before I went mad.[ I wrote something recently to Kathy Halbreich about Larry Poons and she said yes I can see how he might be a big influence on this work. She was the first in a long time who saw this relationship to Poons and all-over painting as too we see in Jackson Pollock].
So I evolved into a much more intellectual artist , like obsessed with philosophy and portraits started to come to be my main action,the idea was a kind of psychological portrait infused with ideas and feelings. I feel this change though gradual was profound. Portraits not me, and though the portraits didn't sell fabulous they did sell.And people liked to write about the portraits even me! I had suddenly many more things on my mind, the fear of my madness gave way to my excitement at making art.
I suppose this is a product warning of a type -CAUTION MADMAN AT WORK - everything is left unfinished every life every movement. P.S. The image of sex and sexuality in my work is clearly to do with my insanity, I read that bi-polars used sex as a suicide prevention therapy. Of course the medicine maybe as dangerous as the disease.