Jack Kevorkian, American (1928 - 2011)

Jack Kevorkian is an American former pathologist. He is most noted for publicly championing a terminal patient's right to die via euthanasia; he claims to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He famously said that "dying is not a crime."

In the 1960's Dr. Jack Kevorkian enrolled in an adult education oil painting class in Pontiac, Michigan. He combined his understanding of the human anatomy with his fascination with death and created, as author Michael Betzold describes in his book Appointment with Doctor Death, 18 canvases that "are as bold and strident, as critical and unforgiving, as pointed and dramatic as Kevorkian's own fighting words. They are strikingly well-executed, stark and surreal --and frightening, demented and/or hilarious, depending on one's point of view."

In 1985, Kevorkian stored those eighteen original paintings with the California Freight Company in Long Beach, CA. Then, in September of 1990, he requested that the paintings be shipped to Michigan. However, the company contacted Kevorkian several weeks later to inform him that the paintings, along with other personal valuables, had been accidentally sent to Australia. Those originals have never been returned to Kevorkian.

More recently, in the 90's, Kevorkian has returned to the canvas to promote and fund his crusade to legalize assisted suicide.

According to the owner of the gallery, Ann Kuffler, Kevorkian "has no further artistic aspirations and he believes it unlikely that he will paint again. He does not enjoy the process and does not consider himself an artist. In fact, he disclaims the paintings as art."

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