Art of Medicine
Jan 2017

Out of Darkness, Light: Drawing and Painting by Margeaux Gray

Margeaux Gray and Mary Richards, MFA
AMA J Ethics. 2017;19(1):107-109. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2017.19.1.imhl2-1701.

Figure 1. Detail of Untitled



Untitled was created by Margeaux Gray at the age of 13 during her time at a residential facility, prior to telling anyone about her abuse or that she was a victim of trafficking.


This piece, which Margeaux Gray describes as a journal entry, is a raw, rare, and brave glimpse into suffering—a painful peering into a quiet self-loathing. The “x” crosses out, negates, appears to be constricting the hand. Gray explains she doesn’t know her own hand: “mine, I guess.” Disassociating from the body is likely a self-protective measure. Here she describes simply what she is able to see and feel: sadness, guilt.


Figure 2. Detail of Universal Light, Nurture and Nursing

Universal Light, Nurture and Nursing


Universal Light, Nurture and Nursing is a recent piece about which the artist states, “In my darkest moments, I saw a universal light.” She uses found objects in her art to remind the viewer of the beauty and value of people our society might disregard or undervalue, among them victims of abuse, victims of human trafficking, and people with disabilities.


There is a power that only some people know. It comes from an unimaginable darkness. Margeaux Gray’s abstraction speaks to the magic of artistic alchemy, in which discarded fragments are brought beautifully whole by merging a painterly, expressive quality. In a sense, Gray is symbolically putting the pieces back together through the work.

Editor's Note

The artwork was produced by Margeaux Gray, and the commentary and analysis was written by Mary Richards. 


AMA J Ethics. 2017;19(1):107-109.



The viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.