On February 20, New York Film Academy (NYFA) welcomed Steven Rudin, a psychiatrist turned visual collage artist, for a special guest lecture and Q&A at NYFA’s New York campus as part of NYFA’s monthly photography guest speaker series.
Having led more than 24,000 psychotherapy sessions over the course of 20 years as a psychiatrist, Rudin now creates hand-cut paper collages that explore nostalgia and optimism, using the concept of perspective to create a unique participant-observer experience through art. He applies his extensive understanding of the human mind and mental health to his artwork, creating collages that require introspection and offer a look inside one’s struggles and triumphs.
Led entirely by Rudin, the special lecture entitled “Psychology of Collage” explored the aesthetics of memory and identity for which his collages are a metaphor. Rudin encouraged students to reflect on the ways in which stories emerge and are altered by the arrangement of our memories, similar to the way that films navigate through past, present, and future narratives.
Rudin also inspired students to appreciate the way that new experiences and emotions can change perspectives on the past, drawing a comparison between the scenes his collages represent and those that are edited in the filmmaking process. Students also considered how the media affects both the accessibility of information and memory overall.
Through the exploration of psychological theories, neurobiology, and cognitive behavioral therapy—of which he is an expert—Rudin opened students’ minds to the direct relationship between psychology and creating art, whether that be visual collages, photography or filmmaking.
The New York Film Academy thanks Steve Rudin for sharing his experiences and offering his unique insight into the psychological processes behind perception and creativity, and wishes him the best as he continues to explore the relationship between psychology and art, bridging the gap between these worlds and encouraging others to do the same.