"The will to make art, is the will to live!” Artist Alex Echo has said amidst his Parkinson’s diagnosis. Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimers, unfortunately meaning that huge numbers of people around the world suffer daily with the condition, and yet there is no cure.
Causing a lack of motor-skills and uncontrollable shaking, to name a few symptoms, many may think of actor Michael J Fox who has been vocal in discussing the condition and has set up a foundation to find a cure for the disease. It has been said that the true measure of a person is not in the cards that they are dealt but in how they use them.
International artist Alex Echo was diagnosed with the disease 4 years ago. In an exhibition in 2021 he commented that “as your body and motor skills break down and fail with Parkinson’s, every moment becomes an existential experience”. Echo has worked relentlessly for various charities and institutions as a professional artist working for over 40 years, raising over £1,250,000 from sales of his work. He has created artworks for some of the world’s top corporations, institutions and celebrities all over the world including creating the principal designs for Paul Smith, painting Eric Clapton’s guitar, and providing artworks for Absolut, Madonna, Oprah Winfrey and the Elton John AIDS foundation. Parkinson’s has never affected Alex Echo’s passion for Art, however, and he continues to produce incredible artworks often supporting Parkinson’s charities.
‘Sky Writing’ captures this hope and love of life that Echo continues to express despite having such a debilitating progressive disease. He has often referred to his condition as a ‘blessing’ for the resilience that he is able to show to his daughter. Echo is always looking at the bright side in the darkest of times. Rainbow words light up the sky alongside detailed emoji-like images accompanying them. These works express a child-like love of life that all of us can do with remembering sometimes.