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“My first exposure to art was during the 15 months working at Harvard University’s Fogg Museum while in my senior year of high school. However, I wasn’t an artist. About 10 years later, I attended a lecture on the Rorschach test. The speaker told me to look at an ink blot and tell him if I saw anything in it. At first, I told him all I saw was an inkblot. He said – “try again.” Then I did see something that looked to me like a horse. It was then that I thought to myself “I could produce artwork like that.”

A few years later, after I was discharged from the Navy, I bought an unfinished bureau drawer and painted it using a sponge. I worked in computers, where both software and hardware must be precise. I wanted to do a painting that was completely opposite of my work. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that my artwork was connected to my professional work. Looking at both the drawers and the software my subconscious must have found a connection even though they are opposites.

A few years later, I developed schizophrenia. After 20 years of therapy, I was enrolled in the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, who got me involved with Gateway Arts doing artwork. Somewhere along the line I was exposed to Tarot cards and decided to use them as inspiration in my artwork.

My goal now as an artist is to display to the viewer my study of the subconscious and the effect it has on my work. My hope is that the viewer, whether accepting my work in a positive or negative light, will gain a greater thirst for exposure to art.”

Russ McNaught was born and educated in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He worked at both MIT and Harvard University as a teenager. McNaught attended college in Tennessee for two years, then joined the US Navy, specializing in computers, software and hardware needed for an Air Traffic Control system. After leaving the Navy he worked at Honeywell for 5 years in research then at Raytheon for two years, installing Air Traffic Control systems around the country.

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