charleston

Painting

Vignette: John Brooks

A photograph of John Brooks in his studio.

A photograph of John Brooks in his studio.

"All Of A Sudden You Made Him Laugh" by John Brooks, 20x24in, oil on board (2016), $800   |  BUY NOW

"All Of A Sudden You Made Him Laugh" by John Brooks, 20x24in, oil on board (2016), $800 BUY NOW

If you approach John Brooks’ with no foreknowledge of him or his work, his paintings may strike you as primitive, or an example of ‘folk art’. We might begin by acknowledging the limitations of visual art nomenclature, which often seems designed to pigeonhole an artist; semantics aside, that reading becomes fascinating when one hears Brooks speak about his work in such thoughtful and intellectual terms. In his artist’s statement he tells us: “Regardless of subject matter or media, within each work is contained its own emotionally charged atmosphere and each work seems to have both specific and nebulous meaning.”

Earlier this year, Brooks moved into a new studio space in the Portland Neighborhood, and he thought he would use the change of space to move his work in a slightly different direction. “I've been collecting overheard phrases for years and have used them in my writing but have never previously used them in my visual work. This work is a real departure for me - it's abstract but also features the concreteness of text. But what I like about the phrases is the ambiguity they take on because they have no context.  Some harmless phrases, like "Mommy Has It," even take on an air of the sinister.” 

"Untitled #1" by John Brooks, 30x40in, oil on board (2016), $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled #1" by John Brooks, 30x40in, oil on board (2016), $1800 | BUY NOW

Yet Brooks found himself turning back to more familiar ground. “Thinking about the sinister and multi-dimensional meaning in that series of text-based paintings led me to return to my previous subject matter - faces - but with an eye on the mood of uncertainty that's seemingly overtaken the world, at least here in the US. This is a series still very much in progress, but they are about the zeitgeist, all that's happening in 2016: the fear of terror, the fear of unknown, the fear of ‘the other’.” Brooks certainly does see the new work as undeniably political, but he also believes they have an individual identity of their own; both personal and universal.

Brooks is a Kentucky native. He studied Political Science and English literature at the College of Charleston, in South Carolina, and art at Central St. Martins and the Hampstead School of Art in London, England. His work is held in private collections in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Germany, and India. Brooks has exhibited extensively in the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as Art Chicago. He moved back to Louisville, KY after several years in Chicago, Illinois. His last solo exhibition in Louisville, It Is So Beautiful Here, was at Swanson Contemporary in May 2015.

Hometown: Frankfort, KY
Age: 38
Education: BA in Political Science, College of Charleston; Studied art in England at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, the Hampstead School of Art and the Camden Art Centre
Website: http://www.johnedwardbrooks.com

"Untitled #2" by John Brooks,  24x36in , oil on board (2016), CFP |  BUY NOW

"Untitled #2" by John Brooks, 24x36in, oil on board (2016), CFP | BUY NOW

"Untitled #3" by John Brooks, 30x40in, oil on board (2016), $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled #3" by John Brooks, 30x40in, oil on board (2016), $1800 | BUY NOW

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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Please contact    josh@louisvillevisualart.org    for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Please contact josh@louisvillevisualart.org for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Painting

Vignette: Jeremy Brightbill

A photograph of artist  Jeremy Brightbill in studio.

A photograph of artist Jeremy Brightbill in studio.

Jeremy Brightbill has been an abstract painter for years, although some level of representational imagery was present in previous work. Most recently, he is creating densely layered compositions of pure abstraction that almost have the feeling of textiles; the broad, coarse brush marks interwoven almost as strands of fiber might be worked on a loom. We anticipate tactile textures in textile work, and Brightbill’s painted surface is a primitive, elemental exploration of interconnectedness. 

Yet, all of that may sound too serious for the artist himself, who emphasizes human experience and self-awareness when discussing his paintings. “My current work explores play and experiment, love and memory, and self-delusion,” explains Brightbill. “We tend to create narratives around our experiences that may or may not be accurate. This fascinates me, and, I believe, comes through in my work.”

"Blood Would Drip From The Honey"  by Jeremy Brightbill,  24x24in,   acrylic on wood (2016), $400 |  BUY NOW

"Blood Would Drip From The Honey" by Jeremy Brightbill, 24x24in, acrylic on wood (2016), $400 | BUY NOW

Brightbill is a self-educated artist who began making artwork in Charleston, West Virginia, in the mid-nineties. In 1999, he moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where he lived and worked for just over sixteen years. He briefly lived in Annapolis, Maryland, and is currently based in Louisville, Kentucky.

You can find his work displayed in Bloomington, IN at Dimensions Gallery, and he currently has a solo show up at the offices of Sold Sisters Realty in Ripley, WV.

Age: 41
Hometown: Charleston, WV / Bloomington, IN
Education: I worked in museums for 19 years. I did not go to school for art.
Website: www.jeremybrightbill.squarespace.com

"Lost Shoes"  by Jeremy Brightbill,  16x20in, acrylic on wood (2016), $200 |  BUY NOW

"Lost Shoes" by Jeremy Brightbill, 16x20in, acrylic on wood (2016), $200 | BUY NOW

"The Best Path Is The One That I've Taken" by Jeremy Brightbill, 24x24in,    acrylic on wood  (2016), $400  |  BUY NOW

"The Best Path Is The One That I've Taken" by Jeremy Brightbill, 24x24in, acrylic on wood (2016), $400 | BUY NOW

"Map For The Blind" by Jeremy Brightbill, 24x24in,    acrylic on wood  (2016), $400  |  BUY NOW

"Map For The Blind" by Jeremy Brightbill, 24x24in, acrylic on wood (2016), $400 | BUY NOW

"Pretty Much The Opposite"  by Jeremy Brightbill,  21x28.5 in,   acrylic on wood (2016), $425 |  BUY NOW

"Pretty Much The Opposite" by Jeremy Brightbill, 21x28.5 in, acrylic on wood (2016), $425 | BUY NOW

Are you interested in being on Artebella? Click here to learn more.

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Please contact    josh@louisvillevisualart.org    for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Please contact josh@louisvillevisualart.org for further information on advertising through Artebella.