Unbreakable / by Jonathan Centeno

"Cie. Unbreakable"  2016, 56"x46" mixed media on wood panel.  Collection of C. Sanita

I am happy to say that I have survived a rather tumultuous period in my life in matters of health-truly the one real matter of critical importance in life.  We all pass through challenging phases and hopefully come out better, wiser, stronger.  Sometimes our lives are in sync with those of our heroes, those whose lives seem to soar above the mere human condition, and those from whom we derive inspiration ( Courage...it couldn't come at a worse time).

We are reminded of their humanity.  We are taught that it is how you deal with it that counts. You actually have no choice, do you?  You are in the here and now, and you must deal with it.

During the past few months, a pressing commission for a dear friend, mentor and source of inspiration kept me distracted enough, engaged enough so as to make my health issues seem almost secondary.  My trials appeared to become irrelevant when I thought of what she had been through in her life.  An auto accident had claimed the life of a soul mate, and had left her for dead.

She survived-only to be told that she would never walk again.  She was, literally and figuratively, in pieces.

Years passed, and she miraculously endured, and after walking again, and rebuilding her life as a successful designer, builder and business woman, a terrible illness took the life of a second soul mate.

She credits her family and friends for their support in keeping her focused and able to move forward again-but those who know her-they understand that her courage comes from deep within.  

I grappled with the notion of an unconventional portrait.  I toyed with the idea of a classical one.  I felt I needed to tell her story in an instant, at a glance, in a flash.  The type of life-changing instant that one cannot erase or alter.   The haunting image of a flash whose blinding glare stays with you throughout time.  I needed  to seize the terrifying beauty of such a moment.  The terrible truth, in all it's glory. 

Her telling trademarks had to be present- the freedom wings, the hauntingly beautiful gaze, poise and defiance.

The name of her enterprise is Cie.  Design and build is what Cie is concerned with.  Cie is her vision.  Defiant.  Poised. Elegant. Unrelenting.........  Unbreakable.