I met Pete at his class' graduation exhibition. My girlfriend likes to drag me to those things. I rarely understand 90% of the work but she has fun and the remaining 10% is amazing stuff. He gave me the idea of making this article out of the photos I'd compulsively taken to make up for my photographic indiscretions back in college.
His paintings in that exhibition were hyper-realistic still-lifes: a four-leaf clover, a dark-coloured moth, and a dark-point Siamese cat. The paintings were entitled "Mutant #1, "Mutant #2" and "Mutant #3." Needless to say, he got a lot of attention, good and bad. But for all of that, Pete stayed quiet and unobtrusive, saying only "Thank you for your opinion" to anyone who wanted to talk to him.
He opened up to my girlfriend because she can talk shop. "Contemporary art comments on current society. There's something about change that we all hold separate. Sometimes it's good, like a four-leaf clover. Sometimes it's bad."
"Like mutants," said my girlfriend.
"Like mutants. Seventy-five percent of mutations are physical. Fins, tails, fur, extra limbs. Little, inconsequential changes that somehow make all the difference."
My girlfriend told me that the next night, when she and her girlfriends
went to the show, two of Pete's paintings had been vandalized, scribbled
over with spray paint. He left it like that for the remainder of