Ted Meyer is a nationally recognized artist, curator, and patient advocate who helps patients, students, and medical professionals see the positive in the worst life can offer. Ted’s 20-year project “Scarred for Life: Mono-prints of Human Scars” chronicles the trauma and courage of people who have lived through accidents and health crises.
Ted seeks to improve patient/physician communications and speaks about living as an artist with illness. Telling stories about his own art and the stories behind his scar art collection, he offers insight into living with pain, illness, and disfigurement. Ted has been featured on NPR and in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today. His work has been displayed internationally in museums, hospitals, and galleries. As the current Artist in Residence at USC Keck School of Medicine, Ted curates exhibitions of artwork by patients whose subject matter coincides with the medical school curriculum. Ted has curated shows by artists challenged by MS, cancer, germ phobias, back pain, and other diseases. In addition, he is a Visiting Scholar at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, invited to take part in the Aspen Seminars, was named The 2017 Sterling Visiting Professorship at Stanford University, and has been a TEDMED mainstage speaker.
Ted’s rare niche mixes art, medicine, and stories of healing and survival, drawing from his experience as a lifelong patient of Gaucher Disease (an enzyme deficiency that affects bones and joints). Ted spent much of his childhood in severe pain. His work is influenced by his many hospitals stays where he began mixing art and medical supplies. (How can you make something out of I.V. tubes, bandages, and pipe cleaners?) Contorted, graphic skeletal images appear in his early paintings reflecting his belief that he would not reach his 30th birthday. He now considers himself normal and healthy; outliving friends, family, and early expectations.
New drug treatments and joint replacements have improved Ted’s life and this in turn has changed his artistic direction, shifting from “Ted-centric” images to those that highlight other people’s health problems. His “Scarred for Life” series chronicles events that suddenly changed people’s lives. During an expansive narrated visual presentation, audiences come to understand how a lifetime of chronic illness impacts an artist’s work. Ted turns devastating illnesses into a source of artistic expression, giving voice to people around the world living with rare diseases and disfigurement.
Ted’s paintings have been shown around the world, from Europe to Asia, and throughout the United States. With subject matter ranging from introspective, to downright humorous, his narrative always looks at human interactions.
Ted is also a freelance designer, writer, photographer, and illustrator. He has written and illustrated several books. “Shrink Yourself: The Complete do-it-Yourself Book of Freudian Psychoanalysis”, “The Butt Hello – And Other Reasons My Cats Drive Me Crazy”, “Cats Around the World” and “Good Things You Can Learn from A Bad Relationship”, “Scarred for Life”, “Woman Napping with Animals” He is the owner of Art Your World, a full-service design studio.