Residency Unlimited

Charlie Gross

Theo, a patient at Kings County Hospital, told Gross she was either walking into traffic or into the hospital, and is now publishing poetry about her experience. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist name: Charlie Gross
Dates of residency: 2016 – ongoing
Born: Pittsburgh, PA
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Lives and works: New York City
Education: BA, Comparative Literature, Columbia University; MA, Clinical Psychology, Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Charlie Gross works as a photographer & psychotherapist in a private practice and has worked with young adult substance abuse patients at the Weill Cornell Midtown Treatment Center. He is the co-founder of Sounds of Saving, a music-based mental health initiative that works in partnership with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to destigmatize mental health and bring awareness to resources. Before training in psychology, Gross worked as a portrait and reportage photographer – largely in the music world, which included a longstanding stint as a touring photographer for singer/songwriter Beck. His psychologically infused environmental portraiture – posed or candid – explores mental states in visual contexts with a focus on both the private and interior life and the interplay between cultural and social elements.

Since 2016, Gross has been an artist-in-residence with the Psychiatry Department at NYC Health + Hospital Kings County embedded within the Partial Hospitalization Program, a transitional day program that lies between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Through collaborative photographic portraiture and oral history, he is documenting individual experiences of mental illness and the process of recovery for young adult patients both in and out of the hospital setting. Gross’ project is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and includes publications in The New York Review of Books and Lenny Letter.

Scheduled to be completed in December 2020, Gross’s current project Outside/In: A Stay at Kings County is an online exhibition that will feature photography and other media resulting from his collaboration over the last three years – including during the pandemic- with young adult patients at Kings County Hospital Center to help them deal with reentry into their lives, envision their future, and articulate their hopes and life goals. Together they reflect on and share their stories about mental health struggles and recoveries.

Charlie Gross’s residency project Outside/In: A Stay at Kings County is made possible by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council and with the support from NYC Health & Hospitals / Kings County’s Behavioral Health Services Program.


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