Kelsey Brookes is Brighter and Bolder

American psychobiologist, Roger W. Sperry developed the theory of right brain and left brain thinking in the 1960s. Sperry’s research concluded, the right brain is visual and processes information intuitively and simultaneously, while the left brain is verbal and processes information analytically and sequentially.

American fine artist, Kelsey Brookes is a former scientist who pays homage to his analytical background by painting thousands of small interpretive brush strokes. Kelsey celebrates Dr. Sperry’s left/right brain theory by manifesting masterful works of art through his visually articulate style, bright colored compositions, mystical deities and nature’s creatures.

Kelsey Brookes further defines these notions in his latest exhibition, “Bigger, Brighter, Bolder” at the Quint Contemporary Art gallery in La Jolla, CA. Now in its final week, Kelsey has created a fresh and innovative body of work that interplays brightly colored organic elements with abstract figures, animals and text. This exhibition is comprised of, what I would call, micro-symbology, where each canvas features thousands upon thousands of painted pieces.

Each painting features an array of brightly painted animals, smiling deities, fruit pieces, neon colors, densely painted glitter areas, (with the shimmer of metallic rock) and brush strokes dance around the central character(s) on each canvas. One of the most inspiring attributes of Kelsey's work is that it invites you in, requesting your participation and closer analysis of the composition.

"Bigger, Brighter, Bolder" represents personal meditations, as a result of life’s experiences. Kelsey’s work is personal and draws upon influences from Hindu and Buddhist deities, exotic animals, sexuality, nature and spirituality. Also, he incorporates the poetic verse of William Blake and the active brush movement of Francis Bacon. In “Tyger, Tyger,” a double canvas and largest work in the exhibit, (seen above), Kelsey celebrates William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” while adding his own story line. The piece incorporates dense applications of glitter paint, representing his fascination with how people adorn themselves with jewels and precious metals on their person.

Each painting also celebrates Kelsey’s keen interest in rustic American quilts. The brush strokes form a kind of interwoven tapestry, intertwining color and design in controlled and non-controlled ways. Outward color rays look as if they were created through delicate masking, while outward and moving splats and sprays are moved around the canvas begging your eye to travel from pink pool to dense metallic pilings on the canvas’ surface.

Who says you can’t use your left and right brain equally? Kelsey Brookes’ focus and painting dedication over the past year on many of the featured pieces really paid off in “Bigger, Brighter, Bolder.” I felt this exhibition was one of the year’s best alongside of Jeff Soto’s Riverside Museum installation, “Turning in Circles,” the Clayton Brother’s Patrick Painter Gallery exhibition, “Jumbo Fruit,” and the incredible transformation of James Jean’s canvases in the Giant Robot Biennial at the Japanese American National Museum. Congratulations to all of you left/right brain artisans.

+++And there’s More+++
To commemorate Kelsey Brookes and the “Bigger, Brighter, Bolder” exhibition, Murphy Design was on hand this past Thursday at the Quint Contemporary with a full production team looking to capture the spirit of the exhibit before the paintings came down and the show had ended.

Tim Mantoani, a great sports and personality photographer based in San Diego, captured details of all of Kelsey’s paintings and a few really great portraits of Kelsey through a make shift camera made of cardboard, duct tape, an old view camera rigged to his fancy digital camera. The results are rocking, check out the photo. Also on hand, Geoff and Kelly from Ten Stories, complete with hi-def camera gear, captured all of the paintings and a few interviews with Kelsey. It was a great day, with great talent archiving an important exhibition for future generations to enjoy.

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