“I learned from neurosurgery that it’s all about planning.”
At the age of 49, Keith Kattner, DO, retired from a successful neurosurgical practice to become an artist. In December of 2010 he packed up and moved from everything neurosurgery in Central Illinois to Manhattan where, for two years, he immersed himself in the New York art scene and studied at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Not only did he study and practice, but he also read 20,000 pages on Modernism–and now he leads the bohemian life: making art, traveling from the midwest to the Hudson River Valley to Canada. He emphasizes, repeatedly in this interview with the Congress Quarterly that there is no way he could divorce the two careers, what he knows and practices now are fundamental principles that he learned practicing neurosurgery, and he comments that being an artist, building your ideas on historical bases is a lot like submitting a successful article to Neurosurgery.