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Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes

I: Prologue

There once was a man who could paint.

He drew globs of acrylic and oil about canvas, across wood, within concrete cracks and fabric that sucked the paint and nudged it along specific threads of cotton and wool. He used colors of lapis, of emerald and periwinkle. Ivory rather than white; ebony rather than black. He’d call his blends by emotion, this one here the quick, sticky sadness of a dropped ice cream on a warm summer day, while this other the laughter one feels when it grows and grows, pushing at your throat, tapping at the back of your teeth, yet fizzles before it can erupt.

He held his breath as he drew fine lines and thick, or curved strokes and straight. He held his breath often enough it became second nature as a way to steady not only his hand, but his heart, his head. And only when done could he exhale, releasing any indecision, careful attention or concern.

It was as if, in that moment of exhale, when he blew hot breath across fresh paint and new choices, a piece of him enveloped his art. A cloud, of condensed care and longing, ghosting across new faces, open settings, to settle on the chemicals as liquids turned to solids.

There once was a man who could paint. And in his paintings, there grew life from his breath.

And there grew death.


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