El Segundo, CA
Social Media: @ktubbsart (IG)
“She Laughed as if We Would Never Die”
Acrylic, pencil & Conte a Paris on canvas
Artist Statement: My artwork creates beauty from what is often considered grotesque. I depict human disease, injuries, scars, and the body’s interior and microscopic matter. The images are abstractions created from source material of medical science. (X-Rays, scans, etc.) My exploration started in graduate school at CSU Long Beach, while my family was caring for a terminally ill child relative with cancer. Visually, the surprising colors of disease made a deep impression—whether from the side effects of chemotherapy or the colors of diagnostic medical imagery. Non-traditional color choices take my images from realism to abstraction and create a way for me to inject positivity into a somber subject matter. I work to generate messages of hope, beauty and positivity in and through trauma. My artwork is a type of souvenir for the viewer—not of geographic travel, but of the journey through disease and injury to recovery.
Working with Michaela Hernandez as my Inspiration for Brushes with Cancer Midwest was an absolute pleasure! She is a joyful personality, and we laughed a lot in our interactions. I wanted to honor her bright light by creating an image that would match her sunny disposition, while also doing justice to the serious health challenges she faced. We jokingly called her painting “side boob,” as the image depicts the internal structure of a breast from the side with the tumor in detail. The title, “She Laughed as if We Would Never Die” speaks to Michaela’s sparkling attitude in facing her cancer and future.