ARTS & CULTURE
02/07/2012 04:18 pm ET

Alfredo de Batuc Finds Tranquility In The Water

Artist Alfredo de Batuc always felt at home in the water, but he never knew it would come to represent his freedom after a debilitating disease would take away his ability to paint. Filmmaker Eric Minh Swenson's touching profile, "Alfredo de Batuc: Liberation Of An Artist" tells the story of the Mexican-born painter's crushing creative blow and his steps towards painting again.

Although he has held a variety of jobs over the course of his life, at his core, de Batuc is an artist. His claim to fame is the Hollywood mural he painted of Dolores del Rio, the famous Latina movie star. But in December of 2005, de Batuc was diagnosed with a severe case of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the nervous system, causing extreme muscle weakness.

Unfortunately for de Batuc, the most afflicted part of his body was his hands. Unable to paint, de Batuc grew frustrated with the lack of a creative outlet. However, it was his love of the water that brought him back from the brink of hopelessness.

"The buoyancy of the water allows me to use more movement," de Batuc explains in the video. "It's very good for my body and for my soul too because I am able to be free there." Six years on, de Batuc still does not know whether he will ever be able to fully return to painting, but at least in the water he can be free, if only for a moment.

What do you think, readers? Were you touched by de Batuc's story? Let us know in the comments section below.

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