My Favorite Entrepreneurs Series: Dr. Man – Artist and Plastic Surgeon

This is the first in a series of articles that tell the stories of some my favorite entrepreneurs. I have had the privilege of interviewing dozens of business owners and learning first hand the passion that has driven their success. I love hearing and telling the stories of business and entrepreneurial vision. I find them inspiring. I hope you will too.

Originally published in HerLife Magazine of South Florida – April 2013

     “Most people see what is and not what can be.” ~ Albert Einstein

 If we accept the truth of this quote from Albert Einstein, we can be confident in our assertion that Dr. Daniel Man is not ‘most people,’ both as it relates to his profession as a plastic surgeon and to his skills as a scientist and artist.

Dr. Man is a world-renowned, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Boca Raton, Florida. Plastic surgery patients treated by Dr. Man have always seen him as an artist; that is the reason they come to him. They offer him a living sculpture to reshape and improve upon – each patient amazed at the transformation his skill achieves.    

Dr. Man, the Artist

In addition to his recognized skill and talent in his chosen field of work, Dr. Man has always been drawn to the visual arts. When he was a child, his mother painted on porcelain. His hands reached out for creative tools too, doodling on paper or carving pieces of olive wood into shapes and figures.

After putting the rigors of medical school behind him and becoming well-established in his profession, it was only natural for Dr. Man to turn his attention back to creative pursuits. Sculptures in clay and metal became common creations, almost exclusively portraying the human form.  

As with any artist, Dr. Man’s art evolved over time. Frustrated with the lack of movement associated with sculpture, Dr. Man began experimenting with ways to incorporate movement into his art pieces, so that an individual could enjoy the full spectrum of a piece while viewing it from a stationary position. Various pieces have incorporated wind and solar power, as well as parts from washing machines and boat lifts used to rotate the base of his sculptures.   

The Human Canvas

In 1995 Dr. Man began to turn his artistic endeavors in a new direction; he began to develop his drawing skills and learned more about painting in the realistic form. His first portrait models were his patients, painting their portraits before and after surgery. With ongoing encouragement from his medical patients, Dr. Man continued to pursue and perfect his painting.  

It wasn’t long before Dr. Man started noticing a correlation between his oil portrait painting and his plastic surgery. “The more my painting improved, the more my surgery skills improved,” Dr. Man explains. He realized that his goals both on the canvas and in the operating room were the same – to achieve a look that was as natural as possible. Just as his knowledge of anatomy helped improve his portraits, his painting assisted him in discovering subtle ways to improve the results of his surgery. 

“Every patient is different,” says Dr. Man. “Every patient becomes a canvas on which I envision the end result, instead of what is already there. However, with patients you have only one chance to achieve the best result”  

You’ll find Dr. Man’s art adorning his office space, but you will also find it on display in homes and commercial spaces. Dr. Man has garnered recognition in all spheres of his life, from his art to his work as a surgeon to contributions to society in general. In his quest to learn portrait painting the old-master way, he painted a portrait of former President Bill Clinton during the famous handshake at the White House between Israel's Prime Minister Rabin and Yasser Arafat. The painting hung in the oval office for three years and is now kept in Clinton's archives.

“The Renaissance Man”

Because of his artistic and surgical skills, Dr. Man has been referred to as “The Renaissance Man.” Dr. Man has won numerous awards for his work, including the 2012 Best Overall Facial Makeover Award for a nonsurgical achievement and the 2013 Award for Best Overall Patient Enhancement. For his contributions to charity and humanitarian causes, Dr. Man was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Palm Beach County Victims’ Rights Coalition and was presented the award by Attorney General Eric Holder.

Dr. Man is also an author. In addition to scientific publications, he has published a series of books titled “The New Art of Man: Faces of Plastic Surgery,” which brings together his artistic sensibilities with his technical skills as a plastic surgeon.   

Dr. Man continues to grow and expand his artistic techniques and interests. His latest works experiment with the use of the pallet knife as a painting tool and movement towards three-dimensional and impressionistic styles. As he improves his artistic eye and skills, his patients are certain to reap the benefits as well. One of the things Dr. Man’s patients appreciate most is the invisibility of his ‘signature’ on their skin.

Dr. Man’s medical office is located at 851 Meadows Road, Suite 222, Boca Raton, Florida. For information on his art, visit his website: theartofman.com

Read more in the My Favorite Entrepreneurs Series

David Ulrich - A Man with a Vision