Kelsey Brookes creates some truly magnificent art. In the interview we talk about San Diego, the colour pink, and the text seen in his paintings — among other things.
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
Surf, Paint, Eat, Sleep. Not necessarily in that order. Hangin out with friends, loving my girlfriend, sneaking onto the golf course by my house, taking mushrooms in the park, going to the Symphony, going to the Museums in Balboa park.
How’s San Diego treating you? What’s the art scene like there?
I love this place right now. I had no idea there was an art seen in San Diego until recently. Its small but going strong. Its also nice that LA is not too far away.
Are you always in the mood to paint, or does it come and go?
Definitely comes and goes. Its cyclical like most other things in life. But I have been really amazed with how well creativity can work if you force it and work hard at it. I always thought it was such an intangible thing that would just have its way with you and leave you when it wanted but you can control and force it sometimes.
What’s your creative process like?
Research, Sketch, Paint, Surf
What does your studio look like?
A long narrow room with lots of wall space and one large window.
Your pieces are incredibly detailed and look like they take a fair amount of time and patience. From start to finish, how long does an average painting take to complete?
From one week up to 9 months. Never continuous work though. I like to work on lots and lots of things at once.
Why does the colour pink get repeated so much in your work?
It works for me I guess. It’s such a wonderful color to paint with. I don’t know what it is about pink but its got me hooked for now.
Through your art, what type of messages are you trying to get across to the viewer?
The messages are usually emotional ones. I am trying to communicate emotion through a visual form my head to yours.
Your paintings all seem to be very condensed with a lot of different colours and “abstract forms”. When do you say to yourself, that the current piece you are working on is complete?
I don’t say it to myself the piece says it to me.
What does the text in some of your recent paintings say?
The text is there to augment the emotional core of the painting. It’s never overt or direct but it always relates. Lots of poems from Dr. Seuss, Shakespeare, Blake, Lewis Carroll and some scientific theories and ideas.
What are you up to at the moment, what projects have you got going on?
Mostly surfing actually. El Nino is ruining my art career. Im working on finishing up some commissions that I have put off forever, some new prints for Pictures on Walls, and starting a new series of work that will be going to LA and Berlin this year.
Any upcoming shows we should know about?
Next big show will be in November at Berlin’s Circle Culture Gallery.