I picture her alone before a late Rothko painting, his darkening palette. Steffi’s favorite color was black. Rothko’s floating color field, “a universe for viewers they do not have in the real world.” Black a type of protection, a barrier against stalkers, reporters, celebrity, noise. Black a tunnel, a cave, a hole, a portal. The inevitable turning towards light, the quest for tennis perfection. How do you enhance a gazelle-like sprinter’s speed, a skidding knifed backhand that rarely missed, the power and precision of the greatest forehand in the history of women’s tennis? Steffi racing fast forward to whatever was next: the next serve, the next point, the next changeover, the next tournament. Black the color of mourning, of grief: the father she loves in prison for tax evasion related to Steffi’s earnings, that crazy misguided stalker assailant stabbing Monica Seles to help Steffi become #1. Emotions “intimate and human.” Limitless space, the sublime. “Silence is so accurate.”
Artist Bio: Originally from the Midwest, Brooke Hunter just completed her BFA in drawing and painting from the Laguna College of Art and Design. Brooke and her work are part of a recent feature article on “21 under 31” in Southwest Art. While she’s not painting, Brooke teaches classical realism to children and adults at Art Steps in Laguna Hills, California.
To get weekly posts every Thursday with original art and innovative writing on tennis, please subscribe below:
Happy to announce that this blog has been named one of Feedspot’s top tennis blogs, websites & influencers of 2022.
This writing first appeared in Cagibi.