Huffington Post: Kimberly Brooks’ The Stylist Project Debuts in Los Angeles

March 2, 2010 | Ellen Caldwell

In Victor Bockris’ biography on Andy Warhol, Warhol describes his dream of attending one of his famed parties and mingling with all of his paintings’ subjects who have magically come to life around him.

Last night, painter Kimberly Brooks got to live out Warhol’s dream. Brooks’ current solo show “The Stylist Project” opened Saturday at Culver City gallery Taylor De Cordoba and last night, Vanity Fair, Dior, and Taylor de Cordoba came together to throw a one-night-only soiree benefiting P.S. Arts .

Rose Apodaca in front of “Rose Apodoca” Oil on Linen

Kimberly’s endeavor is lofty — she has gathered stylists and fashion icons who function somewhat like the Wizard of Oz, working behind the scenes to shape current trends and styles. One by one, she has asked these trend-shapers to style themselves and sit for her in the comfort of their own homes, closets, apartments, or backyards. The effect is at once compelling and inviting. Brooks turns the camera and canvas onto those who are more accustomed to being behind them, but in doing so, she establishes a level of comfort with the stylists that is not only recognizable in the portraits, but also felt at the crowded event.

Weaving in and out of the gallery’s rooms, attendees could see Brooks’ jewel-toned portraits intermingled with the portrayed stylists themselves, including Janie Bryant, Nancy Steiner, Rose Apodaca, Cameron Silver, Jessica Paster, and Arianne Philips – to name a few. What was extraordinary about the night is that here you had an event with 15 portraits of unique people who aren’t necessarily famous or immediately recognizable, but they were all in the room with you and with their art. Imagine if you went to a museum, and all the people in the paintings were alive and interactive. That’s exactly what happened Monday and it was fascinating — taking the night out of the realm of static art show, and making it a real happening.

Ginnifer Goodwin

Actor Ginnifer Goodwin sat for her portrait two weeks before the show and her portrait was promptly sold with 100% of the proceeds gone to benefit P.S. Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving children’s lives by bringing arts education to under-served schools and their communities.

Notable attendees included Michael Govan, Norman Lear, Arianna Huffington, Abbie Cornish, Nia Vardalos, Ginnifer Goodwin, James Van Der Beek, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jordana Brewster, Marisa Tomei, Perrey Reeves and Christina Hendricks.

“The Stylist Project” runs at Taylor De Cordoba 2660 S. La Cienega Blvd., through April 3, 2010.

944: ArtForm


Kimberly Brooks’ The Stylist Project is a series of portraits that focuses on the professional stylist and fashion-industry insider as its subjects.  The Los Angeles exhibition features paintings of some of the world’s most influential style-makers, including owner A + R and former WWD Bureau Chief Rose Apodaca; Madonna’s personal stylist Arianne Phillips; New York Times Magazine stylist Elizabeth Stewart; Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant; and stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe, among others.
By bringing these behind the scenes players on canvas, The Stylist Project comments on fashion and those responsible for setting the trends.  As Brooks says, “It’s great to contribute to a conversation about fashion and art — about fashion in art.”
Shortly after her successful 2007 exhibit Mom’s Friends, which focused Brooks’ brush on the personal relationships of her mother, as seen from Brooks’s childhood perspective, the artist found inspiration in the influence of Coco Chanel on the works of Henri Matisse.  However, whereas Matisse’s work was influenced indirectly, Brooks sought to make fashion and style the subject of a series while reflecting the personality within a portrait.  Apodaca adds, “I decided to wear the dress I was married in just the year before.  That, the vintage horn chair, the rush of color… it all just seems very personal when I look at it.”
Stewart was also impressed by the artist’s dedication to a soulful rendering, saying, “She came into my home and worked with me on the setting… it was very important to her that it reflected me and my style.”
Fashion, more than any other art form, is temporal; it shifts from season to season. Although there is a hyper-articulate niche in society that directly engages in a dialogue about fashion-as-an-art, it is most commonly a passive interaction.  Brooks is conscious of this fleeting nature, saying, “Someone will get dressed up only for a moment — for a movie, a TV show, a red carpet – and it comes and it goes.  I wonder – what will theses portraits look like in a hundred years?”
Check out The Stylist Project, on exhibition at the Taylor de Cordoba Gallery, Tuesday thru Staurday, 11 am. – 5:30 pm, until April 3
by Panagiotis Giokas

Peter Clothier- The Buddah Diaries

Excerpt from The Buddah Diaries Sunday March 6, 2010
“….So let’s take a look at Kimberly’s work. She’s a proficient painter, mostly pictures of people in environments that could be called “genre paintings,” and she has been concentrating recently on portraiture in what she identifies as “The Stylist Project.” They are portraits, mostly, of women, presumably themselves stylists for the movies, advertising, or the fashion industry. I have to confess ignorance on this score. But they are, we sense, comfortable enough in the material aspect of their lives and for the most part in themselves, for who they are. They are in touch with their own sensuality, with the physical world, and clearly enjoy the pleasures of clothing, jewelry, shoes, ranging from high-end designer to art-world eccentric.
There is, in these portraits, certainly, a celebration of the feminine, a delight in the “style” these women create for themselves and project. At the same time, there is an awareness of the inherent paradox of “style”–that, while glamorous, it carries with it the seeds of its own superficiality, its attachment to outward appearances–which is implicit in what I take to be a hint of satire in these paintings. In making a “project” of the series, I’m assuming that the artist is wanting to discover, in the paintings, something about what these people share in common, how their passion for style is reflected in the way in which they present themselves to the world. What she arrives at is an observation of our culture that suggests a fascinating surface–and a disturbing depth.”

The Examiner- Los Angeles, Kimberly Brooks Paints Masterful Artworks for The Stylist Project

March 3, 11:50 AM LA Women’s Style Examiner Laurie Brucker

As we all know, fashion is an art form. Designers essentially create living breathing works of art that grace our the runways. Haute Couture, of course being the finest and highest of this art form. Well what about stylists? Are the wildly creative fashion visions that stylist’s create, considered art too? I would say, yes! It takes a deeper sense of creativity to put looks together like stylists do. For film and music, for editorials, and especially for our rising starlets, those creations do not come easy. Well artist Kimberly Brooks, absolutely sees the work of stylists as art and is now immortalizing them and their art, as… ART! Welcome to the “The Stylist Project” almost two years in the making Kimberly Brooks painted portraits of Los Angeles’ top stylists, editors and fashion tastemakers. Debuting this past weekend at the Taylor De Cordoba Gallery on La Cienega. I went in for a first look and glimpse into the artists that are now art.

Each portrait is brilliant and fascinating. The colors are vivid, juxtaposing, strategic and give you glimpse into the essence of each subject. The details are intricate. There is life in each portrait. Movement. And with the stylists, styling themselves, with each portrait Kimberly Brooks brought to light, not only her internal creative process, but the creative process of each subject. All very different and all very defining. All very very fabulous.

Plus there is something so telling about Kimberly’s choices of portrait subjects. Truly, this is a presentation of the influences of today. From the famous and infamous Rachel Zoe, to Madonna’s very incognito costumer Arianne phillips (who happen to also do the costumes for my favorite movie…Hedwig and the Angry Inch), to designer Jeremy Scott, to Janie Bryant, costumer for the hit TV show Madmen, to fashion journalist Rose Apodaca, to vintage connoisseur and Decades owner Cameron Silver and finally to celebrity stylists Jessica Paster, Elizabeth Stewart, Jeanne Yang, and Katherine Ross. These are the people calling the fashion shots. They are top influencers who live most of their lives behind the scenes (…sans Rachel Zoe), and are now being brought to the forefront.  I can only imagine that  being immortalized in a Kimberly Brooks portrait must be the best reward for all the uncredited work these talented fashion tastemakers have created and I am sure, subconciously influenced us all.

You can see Kimberly Brooks, “The Stylist Project” now through April 3rd at the Taylor De Cordoba Gallery.

The Stylist Project – Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“KIMBERLY BROOKS: THE STYLIST PROJECT”

February 27 – April 3, 2010 Opening Reception: Saturday February 27th, 2010 6pm – 8pm

Taylor De Cordoba is pleased to present The Stylist Project, a solo exhibition of new oil paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks. The exhibition will run from February 27 – April 3. The gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, February 27th from 6pm-8pm.

The Stylist Project is the first in a series of portraits of renowned stylists and fashion industry insiders who have styled themselves and posed for the artist. After delving into deeply personal subject matter for her last two exhibitions – “Momʼs Friends” in 2007 and “Technicolor Summer” in 2008 – Brooks shifts her focus outward with this new body of work. Here, she broaches the red-hot themes of fashion, style and those omnisciently responsible for setting the trends.

This exhibition features portraits of LAʼs most influential style-makers including celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe; costume designer and Madonnaʼs personal stylist Arianne Phillips; New York Times stylist Elizabeth Stewart and Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant, among others. While many of the stylists are unknown to the general public, this work turns the spotlight on them, raising questions about who is really in charge of what wear and how we choose to present ourselves. Brooksʼ paintings portray a dynamic exchange between two artists: the painter and the stylists — both of whom use various props, settings, lighting, fashion and accessories to set the canvasʼ stage.

Kimberly Brooksʼ work has been featured in numerous juried exhibitions organized by curators from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Art Ltd., The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Elle, C Magazine among other publications.

For additional information and images, please contact Heather Taylor at 310-559-9156 or heather@taylordecordoba.com. Taylor De Cordoba is located at 2660 South La Cienega Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. The gallery is open from Tuesday – Saturday, 11AM – 6PM.