Kees Holterman

Region: Northeast


City / State: Philadelphia, PA

 I use storytelling as a means of dismantling memories, relationships, and environments to bridge the gap between a past and potential self. I began creating this body of work after being diagnosed with congenital heart disease in early 2022. This diagnosis allowed me the space to move away from my printmaking practice and utilize painting and drawing to define impactful personal stories. Through repetitive imagery, skewed perspective, and nonsensical light sources, I provide myself the opportunity to investigate and gain control of specific narratives.

Each piece begins as if I am making a print; I lay down graphic shapes, flat and bold colors, and characters transferred from sheets of vellum with graphite paper. As the work develops, I let go of some of the print-based foundations and honor my influences of the Social Realist and American Folk art movements to further explore an image.

By being observed, these stories and moments I’m defining become something more tangible. I am offering vignettes of vulnerability, healing, and treatment; confronting fear and uncertainty.