Southwest man diagnosed with schizophrenia grows as an artist

Benjamin Mazone grew up drawing anime and manga characters during class, but his artistic skills took a surprising and sudden turn for the better after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Mazone, 22, of the southwest valley, signed up for the Air Force when he was 19. Before long, Mazone experienced a breakdown and was transferred to different states before doctors diagnosed him with severe schizophrenia, said his father, Giacobbe. He said his son didn’t show signs of the disease growing up.

“They’re pushing you not only physically, but mentally,” Giacobbe Mazone said of basic training. “Through all of the screaming, which he isn’t used to, I think that’s where he broke down.”

Benjamin Mazone was medically discharged and sent back to Las Vegas after about 13 months. His father didn’t find out he was back until he received a letter requesting that Benjamin Mazone schedule ongoing medical treatment with the Veterans Affairs hospital.

“I thought he was still in the Air Force,” Giacobbe Mazone said. “I didn’t have a number to contact him.”

After reaching his son through email, Giacobbe Mazone said, he learned he’d been living in an east valley apartment for about four months. And when he saw his son, he’d given most of his earnings to homeless people and had about $1,000 left, Giacobbe Mazone said. Benjamin Mazone had been sleeping on the floor and had been allowing homeless strangers to sleep in his apartment, his father said.

He persuaded his son to move back in with him and said if he hadn’t found him, “I think he would’ve ended up dead or homeless or homeless and badly injured.”

After four to five months, Giacobbe Mazone was able to get his son to go to the VA clinic, where he received treatment, then was hospitalized. He’s now on a moderate dose of antipsychotic medication, Giacobbe Mazone said. He said his son doesn’t believe anything is wrong with him.

He said Benjamin Mazone, who was talented at math and science growing up, was on Desert Oasis High School’s cross-country team and was the president of the theater club, has become less social.

He also noticed his son was taking an interest in drawing again.

“He was an OK to maybe average artist (growing up), but when he came back he was like on steroids for art,” Giacobbe Mazone said. “The images became so much more detailed.”

Benjamin Mazone resumed drawing about two years ago, and his father encouraged him to create a theme for his work. He decided to use Disney. In the beginning Mazone used basic colored pencils, but he soon evolved to oil pastels, which made his artwork more vibrant, Giacobbe Mazone said. One of his first pieces featured a scene in the movie “Snow White.”

“They’re classics,” Benjamin Mazone said. “They’re beloved. They are childhood memories of the first time you watched ‘Aladdin’ or something. There’s just a Disney magic.”

He brings his own flair to the pieces by adding Japanese-inspired characters. He said he still hopes to become a manga artist.

“When I was younger, I loved Japanimation,” Benjamin Mazone said. “There was Pokémon and Digimon. … I like that art style, so I drew it.”

Giacobbe Mazone opened an art studio called Spiritual Art Gallery & Museum so his son would have a platform to share his art.

“I opened the gallery to give him a job,” he said. “He can’t work anywhere and after thinking really hard, there was nothing potentially that I could do for him other than put him to work in our own place.”

Giacobbe Mazone said he thinks creating art has become therapeutic for his son.

“It’s almost like this (art) was his rebirth of something new and something that he could use to enhance whatever it was that he lost,” he said.

Contact Kailyn Brown at kbrown@viewnews.com or 702-387-5233. Follow @kailynhype on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cabana Market Shooting -- Persons of Interest
On February 3, 2018 at approximately 1:57 p.m., patrol officers were dispatched to a parking lot located in the 3900 block of East Owens Avenue to investigate a report that a man had been shot. Responding officers located an unresponsive adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Life
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like