When his legs stopped moving, he started painting. When his heart got broken, he turned that into art, too.
Setbacks seem to have that effect on Brandon (B.D.) White. Fifteen years after a high-school pole-vaulting accident left him paralyzed — and nine months after a long-term relationship abruptly ended — the 33-year-old Brooklyn street artist is getting his first major solo gallery show.
It’s a big departure from White’s usual turf: the lampposts and walls where, armed with stencils and spray paint, he rose to Instagram fame by practicing what he calls “mindful vandalism” — not to be confused with graffiti.
“I call it ‘mindful’ because I think a lot about what I do, and I take time to make it,” White tells The Post.
The Williamsburg loft that serves as his home and studio was a beehive of activity the other day as his mother and sister pitched in with final preparations for his show, at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery on the Lower East Side.
“Brandon’s always been someone with a quiet drive,” Shannon White tells The Post of her third child (of six), who has always been drawn to art. “He is a perfectionist, and he does not give up.”
What White did give up was college: After the leap that broke his back at 18, he decided to put school on hold and throw himself into a grueling, six-year physical rehabilitation program in Utah.
Bored and restless in his off hours, White returned to his childhood hobby of painting. To give his images greater depth, he began using stencils, the designs getting more and more intricate with time.
A $6 million accident settlement in 2009 helped him buy his Williamsburg live-work loft, as well as a hand-controlled car.
What insurance money couldn’t buy, White says, was a show: “Galleries don’t want to show your work until they know you’re a saleable artist, because they’ve got rent to pay….