Social Media: www.kennydarkpoetlapins.com, @kennydarkpoet (IG)
Survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
Twist on Cancer: Cancer is a dread disease that can take away limbs and loved ones, times and lives, hair and dignity. But I believe it can also give back. It can bring people together. It can help them find courage. Cancer can be the inspiration for beautiful art. Cancer can be the reason people who commonly understand one awful knowledge come together to Share. Connect. And Heal.
I am a survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While I won the first battle with chemotherapy and am in remission, I exhibit many symptoms of chemo brain. Being diagnosed with cognitive decline at my age is certainly concerning, especially for a copywriter. But, at the same time, as my verbal acuity and memory began to become noticeably diminished, I suddenly discovered hidden artistic talents. Never in my life before this happened would I have had the slightest interest or ability to paint. My neurologist believes the cognitive decline and the blossoming artistic faculty may be related: that the retreat of one ability uncovered the other. They are a duality, a pair — much like cancer and its unintended consequences. We sometimes need a reminder that bad is often found with good. That pain can blossom into art. And that shared sadness can be a source of great love.
Social Media: @kristinwenc (IG)
“Alt + Right arrow key”
Acrylic and Spray paint
22” x 28” x 1.5”
Artist Statement: On a computer keyboard, the title of this piece means “Go Forward.” When Kenny trusted me with his story, the sentiment of moving ahead echoed throughout my creative process. His cancer was discovered as he was starting a new job. I met him when he was beginning to recognize himself as an artist. Since then, he’s become a TOC Board Member and brought a new member into his family. Change is constant, and Kenny masterfully embraces the positive with every new turn.
Kenny is a writer by profession, and the aftereffects of “chemo brain” make his work more challenging. That same experience is what Kenny and his neurologist credit his relatively new artistic talents to. This piece needed to encompass both his writing and painting. The sonnet that Kenny considers his best-written work and the letter order of a keyboard are layered in the piece. I also incorporated “Share. Connect. Heal.” because Kenny wrote the tagline for Twist Out Cancer.
Throughout the piece, numerous references to our conversations and his work are presented in literal and abstract forms. I also chose to use a palette that Kenny regularly selects for his work. Collage pieces of his paintings are worked into the skyline for which he is so well known. Spray patterns of his cancer are covered with colorful gestures made while listening to a podcast interview where he was the honored guest. There are many things to seek and find.
Listen to their story.
Check out the podcast and take a deep dive into Kenny’s and Kristin’s experience together.