A Beholden Purpose


Brennan Stasiewicz explores the paintings of Brad Kunkle in his most recent short film, A Beholden Purpose. The Pennsylvania born, Brooklyn artist use of gold leaf and central female subjects have drawn comparison to Gustav Klimt. Though their styles are nothing alike, Kunkle’s women lean towards realism while set in forests and surreal environs.

The film opens with a voiceover asking the artist to describe the woman he imagines. Kunkle’s response is enlightening. His paintings often depict women shrouded or swept up in a flurry of gold leaves. They are not vulnerable figures, instead they are “intuitive.” They are aware of their purpose and have control of their destiny.

The film bypasses the usual behind-the-scenes depiction of an artist. The viewer only sees a glimmer of Kunkle’s thought process. What the film lacks is entirely intentional and what it exceeds in is the highly visual. In a way, it serves as an extension of Kunkle’s paintings with the representation of a woman from his artwork.

Brennan has come a long way since he directed our short docs. A Beholden Purpose is further proof of his talent and the evolution of his artform.