John Ciaburri is also an award winning graphic designer and illustrator based in Temple, TX. A Commercial Art and Advertising graduate, and Owner/Creative Director of Ciaburri Brand, his art consists mainly of social issues, portraits, music and pop culture. John works in both traditional and digital art mediums. His latest work aims to create art that expresses what it’s like to reach the brink of mortality and come back.
Fear the Dark
In March of 2018, at the age of 46, I was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit of Scott & White Hospital with symptoms of a massive bacterial infection. For forty one days I was hospitalized, under a battery of anesthetics, antibiotics, and other drugs as my immune system fought against a blood infection that threatened to overwhelm nearly every critical organ in my body. The doctors induced a coma. My blood had become a battleground; my mind a prison.
Run from the Light.
Though I was lucky if I was able to see or hear them, each day I was watched over by a rotating team of doctors, nurses, friends, and family. For a month, there wasn’t a moment when I was alone. Outside of the hospital room, the rest of the family held vigil day and night, while the doctors ran test after test on my blood, trying to understand the nature of my illness. There were only so many drugs they could give me to keep my heart beating, and only so long my kidneys and liver could withstand the toxins that were accumulating. Even after coming out of coma, there were no guarantees, no promises of recovery. Every day I vacillated between terror and hope, apathy and gratitude.
Most people afflicted with the disease I suffered don’t survive. I did. Forty one days of struggle left my body weak and my mind with a jumble of sensations, images, and memories that felt nearly impossible to put into words. With my works I explore visually that life-changing experience. I aim to create art that expresses what it’s like to reach the brink of mortality and come back, to witness love and compassion immeasurable, and to be tested to the limits of human faith.