Steffi Graf and Mark Rothko

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.

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This writing first appeared in Cagibi.

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