Kerry Brooks, March 2015
March 6, 5-8pm
Brightly colored flowers and gorgeous women are stunning on their own, but when paired together, viewers can’t help but be entranced.
Brightly colored flowers and gorgeous women are stunning on their own, but when paired together, viewers can’t help but be entranced. Kerry Brooks aims to showcase loveliness with her Gustav Klimtinspired pieces, as her easy on the eyes friends and family members play model against ornamental botanical backgrounds. “I hope my art is something people can really get a lot of enjoyment out of looking at it,” Brooks, 38, from New York City, says. “There’s so much ugliness in the world, if I can do something that contributes beauty, I think I’ve done my job.” Brooks has been a fan of Klimt’s works since she was a college student, and she says she was attracted to his art for its decorative elements. Using his work as inspiration and moving beyond the strictly floral pieces she had been painting, she aimed to create her own take on his work by integrating those closest to her in her wellrendered portraits. Brooks takes hundreds of photographs of each model, sifting through shots to find what speaks to her. “I’m interested in people who have a look that’s not of a certain time and place, and that is relatable, whether you know the person or not,” Brooks says. “I think all my models are beautiful women on the inside, as well as on the outside. Of course, they’re attractive women, but there’s an inner beauty that shines through. That’s why I choose people I know, too, because I feel like I have a better chance of capturing that person.” One collector drawn to the figures in Brooks’ works is Ethan Diehl, an oil painter who owns four of the artist’s colored pencil portraits of women. “I would own at least 10 pieces, but other people bought them first,” Diehl says. “Major bummer.” Diehl remarks on the realistic qualities Brooks adeptly captures in this unique medium, which Brooks often uses because of the convenience and control the medium affords. Plus, there’s the fun of surprising people. Another unique medium she’ll be displaying at her upcoming collection of 12 works at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina, is oil and wax pastel on paper, used in her two exclusively floral works, Holly Houcks and Trumpets and Passion Flowers. The rest of her works are oil on panel and oil on canvas, showing off her muses in contemplative and innocent poses, injected with art nouveau influences. Robert Lange Studios co-owner Megan Lange is featured in the profile piece Verdure, and she says Brooks beautifully captured an introspective moment. “Kerry infuses her paintings with her own poise and grace, and I feel blessed that she gave me even a touch of that magic,” Megan says. Megan’s husband and co-owner Robert Lange recalls that even the beginning of Brooks’ seven-year relationship with the gallery was a charming one. Brooks sent a linen box adorned with a tiny ribbon holding her paintings to the gallery, which enjoys featuring her for her ever-evolving style. “There is a freedom in Kerry’s work,” Robert says. “Over the past seven years, she has had shows of work in oil, colored pencil, pastel and graphite. Her most recent pieces are filled with color and life, and she is continually experimenting as an artist and creating from her heart.”