Kimberly Brooks Launches The ImageBlog

New York, NY, March 19, 2013 — HPMG, The Huffington Post Media Group, the leading social news and opinion site worldwide, today announced the launch of “The ImageBlog,” a new feature for invited artists to share their work and engage with the public.

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The brainchild of Los Angeles-based painter Kimberly Brooks, The ImageBlog features contemporary artists such as Shepard Fairey, Annie Lapin, Daniel Richter, Rebecca Campbell, David LaChappelle and many others.   The stream of images, which lives at www.huffingtonpost.com/imageblog and can be found on the front page of the art section and will be accessible via mobile phone.  Artists are asked to submit images of their work, details, works in progress or their studios with a caption.  The ImageBlog stream is updated daily.
“Even though I follow and search for other artists on social networks, I longed for a place where I could see a river of works by stellar artists in one place.  The Huffington Post, with it’s incredible tools for sharing and engagement, offered the perfect forum to make that happen. It’s the ultimate form of public art.” said Brooks from her studio.

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Kimberly Brooks’ is a contemporary American Painter and new media artist.  Her painted work has been featured in numerous juried exhibitions organized by curators from the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art and California Institute of the Arts among others.  Her painting has been featured in New American Paintings, The Art Economist, Vanity Fair, the LA times, Vanity Fair, among many other publications.  New media projects include founding the Arts Section, the Science Section, Art Meets Science, and many others.   Brooks earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley and trained in fine arts at Otis College of Design and UCLA. She lives in Los Angeles and maintains her studio in Venice, CA.  http://www.kimberlybrooks.com

Rockstars, Orphans and Rescue Missions

As I write this, I’m sitting on a stool in the middle of my studio. My solo show is less than five weeks away. I have over fifteen canvases of all sizes strewn about, the finished ones hanging on the walls, the rest facing the walls. I’ve divided the paintings into three categories: Rock Stars, Rescue Missions and Orphans. There’s nothing like a deadline to align all the atoms of the universe so I can see with crystal clarity.

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Kimberly Brooks Studio Five Weeks and Counting

Unlike a typical triage unit on a battle field or hospital where you attend to the worst first, I do the opposite. First I must recognize and admit when a painting is not working and kill it or let it die. This is never easy. So I focus on the Rock Stars– the ones that fly out of my mind (my heart) and onto the canvas with ease. Even if I hit turbulence I know I can still get out of it and it will make it on the gallery wall. I’m jamming when I’m painting them. I’m confident about what’s happening, the palette, the composition, then surprises that always happen in painting are bonuses. They make me feel like a Rock Star. I focus on these first.

Next, the Rescue Missions. They were Rock Stars. What happened? That hand doesn’t look quite right, the palette needs fixing, the detail not enough or too much. But there are Rescue Missions and then there are Rescue Missions. I have one Rescue Mission that I’ve been painting on and off of for five years. It was once the basis for an entire show. Someday, it still will be, but now I work on her in between. Leonardo Da Vinci carted the Mona Lisa around with him for twenty years, touching it up until his death (and to think it started as a commission!). Like Jean Le Feo’s ongoing and never finished painting “The Rose,” or Jacob Wrestling the angel, I don’t know when she will be ready for the public, but I’m not giving up.

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Jay De Feo’s “The Rose”

How many times in my life have I spent too much time on a rescue mission? With the wrong relationship or a lousy job? Relationships, work and ideas– they are all things we have to nurture. I take note of what’s going well. Life is short and I don’t want to spend all my time fixing things.

There’s a common misconception that artists are focused on process and it’s all about “the journey.” Certainly the journey’s great (and challenging and circuitous and rewarding, etc.), but I want beginnings and endings. I want results. Nabokov wrote that there can be no art without facts and no science with out fancy. There’s nothing more satisfying than fact of a finished painting and the dream that it will somehow embody an ultimate aesthetic self.

But truthfully, thinking that any painting might represent the whole vision or spirit of anything is as impossible as attempting to hug a tornado. Rather, each painting or idea represents a single moment and angle of that tornado in motion– it’s early crosswinds, it’s fury, the occasional flying cow or car– it’s just just one piece in a life time of work.

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Detail from “Technicolor Summer” Oil on Linen

Yet the urge to strive for the ultimate “Hero” painting is irresistible. My artist friends and I joke about the “Magic Painting” that we’re going to put on the postcard for a show. As if one painting can summarize an entire show and bring more people in. Which reminds me, I have a solo show in less than five weeks. Time to get back to work. Back to the studio. I have a jam session to attend.

First Person Artist is a weekly column by artist Kimberly Brooks. Her solo show “Technicolor Summer” opens May 10th in Los Angeles at http://www.taylordecordoba.com”>Taylor De Cordoba. Come back every Saturday for more Kimberly Brooks. You can view more interviews and essays at www.firstpersonartist.com

Street Art Stories MOCA Panel with Shepard Fairey

Brooklyn Street Art Invites you to “Street Art Stories”, a presentation and panel discussion about new stories told on the street today, to be held at MOCA Grand Avenue Ahmanson Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA on Saturday August 13, 2011 at 3 pm.

STREET ART STORIES

Presented by Brooklyn Street Art
A Presentation and Panel Discussion About New Stories Told on the Street Today

In Street Arts’ latest chapter, the storytellers are hitting up walls with all manner of influences and methods. More than ever before, formally trained and self taught fine artists are skipping the gallery route and taking their work directly to the public, creating cultural mash-ups and highly personal stories of their own, altering the character of this scene once again. Eclectic, individual, and as D.I.Y. as you can imagine, these Street Artists may have knowledge of who came before them or not, but they are determined to be a part of one art scene that is perceived as authentic, relevant, and alive.
Join Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, authors and founders of Brooklyn Street Art and contributing Street Art writers for The Huffington Post ARTS, as they show and compare examples of work from New York’s streets today. Then join a lively discussion with knowledgeable panelists about precursors to this storytelling practice and how it may be evolving what we have been calling “Street Art” for the last decade.
Hosted by The Huffington Post ARTS and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) at MOCA Grand Avenue Ahmanson Auditorium, our panelists are:
• Kimberly Brooks, Fine Artist and Founding Arts Editor of the Huffington Post
• Shepard Fairey, Fine Artist, Street Artist, and Graphic Designer
• Marsea Goldberg, Director of New Image Art Gallery in West Hollywood, CA
• Ken Harman, Managing Online Editor at Hi-Fructose Magazine and Owner and Curator at Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco, CA
• Ethel Seno, Editor of “Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art” and Curatorial Coordinator for the MOCA exhibition “Art in the Streets” at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Presenters and moderators, Steven P. Harrington, Editor in Chief, and Jaime Rojo, Editor of Photography at BrooklynStreetArt.com
Location:
MOCA Grand Avenue
Ahmanson Auditorium
250 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Date and Time:
Saturday, August 13, 2011, at 3 pm
RSVP:
Admission is free and seating is very limited so please RSVP your request to MOCApanel@BrooklynStreetArt.com today. You will receive a confirmation via email by August 4 __if your request can be honored.

Highlights & Milestones: HuffPost Arts Celebrates 2010

It’s hard to believe we launched the arts section less than six months ago. I consider it an honor to provide so much oxygen to so many artists and different kinds of art. As we approach end of this year, I’ve created a round-up of milestones and highlights since we came into existence.

LAUNCH Here’s the elaborate slideshow that I spent Dec 31st working on ~ slideshow of accomplishments for the Huffington Post SO FAR : )

Miami Basel: Here I Come

On what turned out to be “Black Friday” in the late afternoon, I headed east to Beverly Hills to see Joan Mitchell’s The Last Decade show at the Gagosian Gallery. I found a parking space a few blocks away and fought my way through throngs of shoppers looking for — for what? A gift, an Hermes bag, a deal? They were everywhere. When I walked in the quiet gallery, the paintings hit me like a train and tears started to well in my eyes as I stood before the first piece at the gallery.

2010-11-29-JoanMitchell.jpg Joan Mitchell at the Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles
Art affects us all in different ways. I am currently working on my own large-scale paintings. I’m in the big struggle for less — less strokes, fewer colors, more gesture, more impact — brevity. The simultaneity of the riot and the stillness, on Mitchell’s canvases vs. that perfectly quiet room, especially in contrast to the throbbing streets outside, caught me off guard. Their vibrancy, created towards the end of her life, was equally disquieting.

Another couple entered the room and they were just as hushed. They didn’t have shopping bags and didn’t seem to be shopping at the stores that day either. It was as if we had decided to go to church and worship art instead. What is the difference between the people lusting over Hermes and those looking at the art? What would it look like if we could all walk around with MRI scans hovering above our heads as we took in the sights? Do different parts of our brains light up when we’re taking in a beautiful painting or coveting a cashmere coat?

2010-11-29-MRI.jpg This is Your Brain Shopping (left), This is Your Brain on Art (right) Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Actually, I just made that up. But I’m about to go to Miami Basel this week, and I look forward to the total immersion that is the experience of an artist attending an art fair. It is uncommonly quiet at the fairs — compared to other types of fairs or conventions — each booth is an alter or shrine and people stop by to pray, absorb and if you’re lucky, cry a little.

It’s been five months since we launched the Arts page, and I am more exposed to and aware of what is going on in “the art world” than I have ever been before. And yet, and yet, the imagery more often flies at me digitally, from my inbox in the morning and the evenings, and I hardly have a chance to see shows in person. Of course I make time for the biggies, certain museum shows and certain artists that I love or want to discover, like Joan Mitchell’s. But never often enough.

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The anatomy of the fair goes something like this: The main fair, “Miami Basel,” is located in South Beach, where you see really big artists, many dead ones (Magrittes, Bacons and Warhols, etc.) but far more living. Then the satellite fairs, with cool names like “Aqua, Pulse, Scope, Nada,” are clustered about thirty minutes away and in general feature younger more emerging artists.

John Baldessari once likened an artist going to a fair to catching one’s parents having sex. Artists don’t like to think of their work as merchandise, let alone see their dealers in the “act” of treating it that way. For most artists, the fair hovers around our consciousness like a distant moon or planet that we know is there but that we don’t actually visit. My paintings had attended for a few years with my gallery before I had come in person. But now that I’ve gone several years in a row, I’m hooked. I’m ready for the artist pilgrimage where I will no doubt pray, cry and enjoy some of the best people watching on planet earth.

On the flight home, my camera will be full and I will feel like I always do, like I’ve just gone through a car wash without a car. I hope to see you there!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kimberly-brooks/miami-basel-this-is-your-brain_b_789013.html

Walter Landor and Me

The introduction and subsequent rescinding of The Gap Logo unleashed a series memories of my younger self and the visionary designer Walter Landor.

I was a freshman at UC Berkeley. Being the always drawing-painting-coloring-designing “creative-type” kid, my father thought I might enjoy a lecture at SFMOMA by the legendary designer Milton Glaser who was introduced by his West Coast Counterpart, Walter Landor of Landor Associates. I was raised in Mill Valley so my university, my hometown and the glittering lights of San Francisco were all only a bridge away.

Although I am an artist today, when I was eighteen, my path was not so clear. My first generation American father, was still in the chrysalis of his first career as a prominent surgeon (he would then go on to become a best-selling author). In middle and high school, I often attended Sunday morning rounds and an occasional operation with my him before he picked up bagels and lox for Sunday brunch. I received the book “The Makings of a Woman Surgeon” four Chanukas in a row. Whenever I brought home a report card in high school it was often met with “What?? A ‘B’ in Chemistry? How are you going to get into medical school with a B in Chemistry?!” During our talks about what I wanted to do with my life, he would stroke my hair and say “Honey, you can be anything you want as long as you’re a doctor first. Then worry about the rest.”

Hence, the prospect of enrolling in art school was as inconceivable as visiting on a distant galaxy via jet pack. So getting an internship at one of the premiere design firms in the world while in college seemed like a great way to expose myself to a creative field and one that my father might (*might*) take seriously enough to justify not going to medical school.

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This is how I found myself, at the tender age of eighteen, wearing panty hose, my mother’s silk blouse and fake pearls, smack in the middle of a boardroom on a Ferry Boat called The Klammath at Pier Five as Landor Associates was about to launch “New Coke”. Like the Gap Logo fiasco, the introduction of New Coke, which has now become a source of lore amidst business schools and popular culture, was also met with outrage by a public which was just fine with their existing coke, thank you very much.  Although it had nothing to do with the design itself, the logo, too, which had shed it’s seraphs from “Coca-Cola” and abbreviated itself with to “New Coke”, also seemed like a fraud. Phrases like “Brand Loyalty” and “Brand Equity” were coined shortly thereafter.

But that’s not the exciting part of the story.  The exciting part was… Read whole article >

Painting Evolution: Liat Yossifor

“Falling Into Ends” New Paintings by Liat Yossifor. June 11- August 30 Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt Germany | Frankenallee 74 | D-60327 Frankfurt a. M.

Powerful art and extreme nature have a lot in common. This spring when the Icelandic volcano grounded all European planes and the most arresting images cascaded through my internet browsers – so much so that I had to catch my breath – my mind immediately went toward the work of painter Liat Yossifor.

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Smoke erupting from Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Getty Images 2010

The last time I wrote about Yossifor’s work was 2007. Southern California was engulfed in smoke from the wildfires and the palette of the sky has descended into a muted orange grey — the entire region was thrown into an altered state. At the same time, the daily casualties of the war in Iraq streamed through our televisions and for those of us not in the military– it was all perfectly the abstract. It was through Liat’s paintings of battle scenes in her exhibition “The Tender Among Us” — with the twisted bodies below a similarly muted atmosphere — that I started to feel a connection to the war.

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“The Tender Among Us” 62 x 72 in. Oil on Panel 2007. Liat Yossifor

Yossifor has created a technique where she paints portions very thickly but moves the paint around with a fine sturdy brush which renders the surface more like sculpture. The reflecting light and the painting itself change with each step as you walk toward and around it. While some artists’ work stay within the same series of notes, Yossifor’s work steadily transforms and each exhibition captures a state of that evolution. That her latest body of work has figures emerging from black as thick as the tar washing up in beaches off the Gulf of Mexico is surely a coincidence, (or is it? one never knows), in person she is not dark at all, but a bright, fiery burst of energy and intellect — a painter’s painter. I caught up with her while she was finishing a three month residency at a Kunstverein in Frankfurt and just opened her solo show at Anita Becker Gallery in Frankfurt.

KB: You have been a recent resident at the Deutsche Borse Residency Program at the Frankfurter Kunstverein for three months. What was the program about and what was it like for you?
LY: The residency program hosts two residents at a time: an artist and an art historian, a writer, or a curator. My experience here has been a rich one — from the people I met to the collections in the museum row in Frankfurt to the Kunstverein’s own programming to much more. For example, I finally saw Beckmann’s The Night at the k21 museum in an exhibition entitled Silent Revolution, and I completely lost myself in front of the most beautiful blue and black Rothko. The Städel Museum, just minutes from the residency, has a room with all my favorites: early Baselitz, Kirchner, and Dubuffet. I also love that this particular Kunstverein in Frankfurt exhibited works by Max Beckmann when he was still unknown.

KB: How has this experience affected your new work?
LY: Before coming to Germany, I felt that a shift in my work was coming, and in my mind, I saw the new paintings, but I also felt a little crippled in my LA studio, going back and forth between old and new processes. Then, I came to Frankfurt and encountered the new studio, new light, new experiences, and new materials (I began working on rough linen). All of these changes contributed to the shift in the work.

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“Falling into Ends” 71 x 63 inches. Oil on Linen. Liat Yossifor Courtesy Gallerie Anita Beckers

LY: In some ways I believe that, in Los Angeles, I was making black paint surfaces on panels that were condensed and object-like, while in my stay here I became more interested in pictorial space. The heavy black texture element in my new work is done in layers that are on top of thin layers on linen; whereas before, the thick layer of paint was done at once and all over, sealing the surface tightly. I am not crossing out the heavy object-like “walls” that collapse inward from before for the new thin layers on linen; rather I am imagining them together. There just seems to be more possibilities now.

KB: How would you describe the new work compared to “Tender Among Us” or your other work?
LY: I am using a lot more symbols than in my previous work. I have a large collection of images at this point of statue-like national monuments, of soldiers from various wars, and of paintings of soldiers (specifically from post war I German painting). I think of these references as documents and archetypes and also as ideas that are nostalgic and broken, like painting itself. I see painting as a medium that abstracts and confuses the “subject” — nothing is specific or hierarchal; a shape is a shape. Also, in painting, the idea of a return is not linear because history is always present. My attraction to these qualities in painting is how nothing stays fixed, so the most stubborn symbol or idea falls apart. When I decided to work with old strategies (such as post-World War I German painting), I was not aware of how troubling a relationship it would be. In a way, it made me very aware of today’s post-war reaction in art (or the lack thereof), and things came around to full circle, which was interesting — to be connecting identities (mine and German) across time.

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“The Monument” 180 x 160 cm Oil on Linen. Liat Yossifor. Courtesy Galerie Anita Beckers

LY: (cont.) Ideas flip in my head; for example, the monument is not just a failed idea, but also a shape that still impresses me. I’m working with thin cadmium red lines that separate large black shapes in the paintings. One tiny red mark in a black painting changes the whole composition. Then, when I insist on repeating a small red line, it becomes a “thing” too, not just a guide or a line. It’s fascinating for me at the moment, to allow these symbolic color combinations – often used for propaganda – to mess with me, to let them manipulate the way I see space, and to see the red mark gaining more and more power compositionally as I repeat it and see it deepen. I am painting the soldiers freely in the sense that their medallions, uniforms, hats, and flags are a mixture of various styles and origins. I find myself making a mass of bodies, where the soldiers melt into each other, and are grouped together for the sake of the overall structure of the painting. They seem to me to be celebrating an end of a war, or its beginning; moreover, they seem to be gathering but it is not clear for what. For me, their state of becoming “one” is both heroic and pathetic.

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“Falling Into Ends” Detail 1

KB: I think of your work as one that requires a slow viewing. Has that changed? How do you approach the viewing of your own work now?
LY: I am thinking right now about two experiences when viewing the work: one that is immediate and structured, such as bright red lines separating black space, ultramarine blue peeking through black shapes; and the other that is the experience of making up the slight differentiation between one black shape next to another and of the figures that are trapped in there. The bright red and blue lines work like a quick grid and an armature — they get the eye moving fast. I have been resisting the quick viewing of art for a while now because I wanted to slow down the act of seeing and to challenge myself to accept information in layers. This reminds me that I was just looking at a black Ad Reinhardt at the Falkwang Museum. It was so quite to slowly see the grid, and I felt like the surface was very flexible still, maybe even still wet, because it was changing so much while I was looking at it. But over time, for my own work, that has begun to be less interesting for me, and maybe even a little stubborn of me to continue to focus on slowing down time when seeing can happen in many ways and tempos at once. What’s wrong with fast? Or more accurately, why not have multiple (simultaneous) tempos to view the painting?

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“The Lovers (Soldier and Mask) 70 x 35” Oil on Linen. Liat Yossifor Courtesy Galerie Anita Beckers

KB: What’s next for you?
LY: My next show will be at Angles Gallery in Los Angeles, January 2011

“Falling Into Ends” New Paintings by Liat Yossifor. June 11- August 30 Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt Germany | Frankenallee 74 | D-60327 Frankfurt a. M.