Recovery Through Art by Manny Mendez

  I was born in Cuba, and migrated to the USA in 1980 at 9 yrs old. I adapted well for the first few years, until I hit my teens, then a shift took place for the worst and I became a troubled youth. I found myself in juvenile programs and detention center a lot, it was there that I got close to art, just drawing! I grew up and continued on a path of self-destruction. Sentenced to prison at the age of 17 due to my addiction, I once again sought Art and we became best friends. Released at 28 yrs old with the greatest of intentions not to go down that path again, I did! For the next 12 years addiction controlled my life, in and out of rehabs, detoxes, and even homeless shelters. On January 16, 2012 I had a conversation with my self and Art somehow got involved, we have been best friends ever since. My creativity grew and I’ ve explored many other forms of art including film and writing. I produced 6 documentaries on recovery and addiction and I’m now a published author.

Artist Statement

Art has been the only thing that has been able to allow me to soul search, and while not always finding the answers I was looking for, it did give me some peace, an instrumental component for a person like me who could never achieve it. Painting consecutively now for 7 years and 4 months, I have also healed, and continue to use art as my 1st form of self-expression when trying to convey a message to the world. At times it’s raising awareness against Substance Use Disorder or wanting to empower the youth. It was as a youth that I found this gift that later helped me through the loss of 11 years of my life, and later became my PURPOSE.

Some of my Artwork

All prints are framed and matted and available for purchase at $300.

Reach Out