Christopher Brooks's studio

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Barry and I were in Christopher Brooks's studio last week. Unfortunately the images I've uploaded here can only begin to describe the work we saw. They start with a black enamel panel which is related to the two pieces we saw at Audiello one month ago and they finish with a very recent work, a shiny panel which is (almost) completely white - at least for now, since the artist is probably not finished with it yet.

You will get an indication from these pictures that we saw a large range of work, stretching even in these shots from extraordinarily minimal painted panels to some whose compositions were almost shockingly busy (for Brooks) with both applied and painted figures and shapes, as well as his characteristic broken or layered surfaces. I think everything we saw had that subtle element of collage that I've associated with Brooks's paintings all along. Some of the pieces we saw had been completed years ago, but a seductive line running through all of the work showed it was all clearly the creation of an independent artist who knows what he wants to do and does it very well.

The images on Brooks's own site represent a creative period of twelve years and they are very good. Because of that I first hesitated to put up any of the shots I came home with from our visit, but even a professional jpeg isn't always enough to describe a painting or a sculpture. I think that sometimes an informal installation or studio shot can add a lot to reproducing the image of a painting or sculpture, although there's no substitute for being able to stand in front of it. There's also the additional dimension which any kind of editing can bring to the work, and if the photographer is excited about the art images captured more or less impulsively may sometimes do it better service than formal, abstracted shots which present it only straight on, an approach we don't even use when we're able to actually be there.

I've also noticed that the straight images on both Brooks's site and my own can represent almost nothing of the excitement of the three-dimensional quality of the surfaces of these particular paintings, and because of the deliberate, rich reflective qualities many of them exhibit, they may just look wrong given conventional studio treatment. In the end I suppose I just wanted an excuse to show more of them, and my computer skills are too modest to work with the images on his Flash site. I was excited, and I hope some visitors to this blog will be as well.


i'm really liking these too!!

i know this is an old post but i have been into Chris's work for awhile and Ive always wanted to know how he applied his enamel paint (the shinny glossy part) to his boards. There's no brush marks or scuffs. Does he use a spray enamel or does he just pour the enamel from the can onto the canvas and spread it around very lightly?