Social Media: @chrilzart
Medium: Colored pencil and graphite on smooth Bristol paper
Dimensions: 8.5” x 15”, Unframed
Artist Statement: "Together" is the piece created as a fruit of my experience working with my inspiration, Cai, whose story is one of accompaniment. Their partner was unexpectedly diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer in 2017, forcing them into the role of caregiver and changing their lives and relationship completely. While stable, Bryan, Cai's partner, suffers from a form of cancer that is never really in remission, forcing the two of them to bear the weight of a looming uncertainty day after day. Even so, this threat is not one that has broken either of them, but instead been an opportunity for deeper love and growth.
I admire Cai's remarkable walk with cancer because they have chosen to fight alongside their partner in spite of all the physical, mental, and emotional challenges that have arisen over this six year battle. It is an example of sacrificial love that has borne fruit in Bryan's healing, and one of the most beautiful triumphs is how he has retained his personal identity through it all. At the core of Cai's story is their love for another, which gives them the strength to stay the course amidst the trauma, and the ability to cling to Bryan as a place of steady refuge. While the memories may remain painful and difficult to process, they are still a reminder of how outward defeat can actually become true, enduring victory. He has held it together because they walk together.