NEW BOOK: The New Oil Painting available for Pre-order

Preorder Now

The New Oil Painting
Your Essential Guide to
Materials and Safe Practices
By Kimberly Brooks
5 x 7 in, 208 pp, Paperback, Illustrations and Photos throughout
ISBN 978-1-4521-8479-1, $16.95

Media Contact: Diane Levinson
212.354.8840 x 248

Artist Kimberly Brooks Creates Essential Oil Painting Guide.

Oil painting has captivated artists for centuries, but too many would be painters feel hesitant to try it, daunted by complex setups or the thought of using harsh chemicals. All of that changes now. In The New Oil Painting, popular Los Angeles–based artist Kimberly Brooks walks readers through every aspect, including how to paint without solvents.

With humor, clarity and color images & illustrations, Brooks illuminates oil painting fundamentals, including which materials you actually need, how to set up your painting space, and—most revolutionary of all—how to completely eliminate harmful solvents from your practice and replace them with safer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly alternatives. Peppered with stories of history, science and her own personal experience, the book features helpful diagrams throughout illustrating various techniques and tools, plus advice on the golden rules of color mixing , how to read a paint tube, and thinking in three dimensions. This a reference manual and a survival guide friendly and encouraging handbook is the new go-to for newcomers and experienced oil painters alike.

About the Author
Kimberly Brooks is a contemporary American painter known for her work in portraiture, history and landscape. Her paintings have been exhibited and featured internationally, and the subject of several books. Brooks has spoken about her work and the science of creativity to museums, at TEDx, and for various arts and culture podcasts. As a writer, Brooks is a regular contributor to First Person Artist. Brooks teaches at Otis College of Art and Design and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and via her acclaimed online art program. Brooks lives and works in Los Angeles.

About Chronicle Books
Founded in 1967 in San Francisco, Chronicle Books is one of the world’s most admired publishers and distributors of illustrated books, gifts, and games for all ages. Its highly acclaimed list spans art, photography, food, lifestyle, pop culture, humor, self-help, wellness, children’s books, and stationery, among other categories. Chronicle is the home of numerous award-winning authors, bestselling series, and trend-setting titles. Chronicle Books is committed to partnering with artists and writers who represent the diversity of our world and to maintaining an inclusive and equitable working environment for its employees and business partners. For more information visit

Happy New Year & A Total Eclipse

Last year for a greeting I picked an ominously dark painting. Just in case it had some kind of preternatural effect, allow me to offer this sketch for “Arrival” instead. It is from a show called Technicolor Summer, and the painting reflected, among other things, how every time I, from LA, reunited with my family from San Francisco, I would be in a sun dress and they would be in black turtlenecks, and how metaphorically it always represented two different versions of reality colliding into each other, more evident in the underpainting.

As I write this, Los Angeles is experiencing a surge upon a surge and Angelenos have the same spooky look in their eyes that the New Yorkers had in March except that we’re perhaps more weary. So much time spent alone, painting, sitting by the fire, reading, writing. I wonder if, now that mother nature has collectively sent us to our rooms, we will finally put the phone down and be more present the next time we’re together.

We’re now all Anne Dillard in her essay entitled and describing a “Total Eclipse“.

2002 Total Eclipse Animated GIF

Please read the whole thing but this is an excerpt.

I turned back to the sun. It was going. The sun was going, and the world was wrong. The grasses were wrong; they were platinum. Their every detail of stem, head, and blade shone lightless and artificially distinct as an art photographer’s platinum print. This color has never been seen on Earth. The hues were metallic; their finish was matte. The hillside was a 19th-century tinted photograph from which the tints had faded. All the people you see in the photograph, distinct and detailed as their faces look, are now dead. The sky was navy blue. My hands were silver. All the distant hills’ grasses were finespun metal which the wind laid down. I was watching a faded color print of a movie filmed in the Middle Ages; I was standing in it, by some mistake. I was standing in a movie of hillside grasses filmed in the Middle Ages. I missed my own century, the people I knew, and the real light of day….A thin ring of light marked its place. There was no sound. The eyes dried, the arteries drained, the lungs hushed. There was no world. We were the world’s dead people rotating and orbiting around and around, embedded in the planet’s crust, while the Earth rolled down. Our minds were light-years distant, forgetful of almost everything. Only an extraordinary act of will could recall to us our former, living selves and our contexts in matter and time. – Annie Dillard’s Total Eclipse, The Atlantic)

Yeah, we’re living in a faded color print of a movie filmed in the Middle Ages, all right. I remember reading about the 1918 Spanish Flu, a teensy footnote in history class. Like a total eclipse, the footnote or photograph just doesn’t do it justice.

It has been eight months. Here’s to leaving this strange year behind us. I miss each and every one of you, even the ones I don’t know and have never met. I hope you’re well and safe. We will get through this.

Here’s to a better 2021.



Oil Painting Safe Practices

So many artists were taught to keep an open tin of solvents next to their palettes to dip and wipe their brushes between each color change. But why? The literature was murky to say the least. It turns out, that a lot of misinformation was handed down from one old yellowing musty manuscript to another. Only in the last few decades has modern science shined its burning light onto the truth, that you don’t need solvents to paint with oil.

While this is just one facet of the universe of oil painting, it is so important and so often misunderstood. I want both new and experienced artists to know just what they need to rid their practice of unnecessary hazardous materials, to save their health and the paintings. If you are an experienced oil painter wanting to transform your practice, or you just want to start an art revolution in your kitchen, I made this just for you.

Car & Driver, Drive by Art

Neidich’s words hit home. Writers and automotive reviewers mostly socialize in magazine offices and test tracks. It has indeed been a lonely time. Our first two stops weren’t too promising, as we spotted the little yellow Drive-By Art signs at the designated addresses, but not anything we could easily recognize as art. Perhaps that was the art, the wondering. Is a sweatshirt slung over a chain-link fence art? Is half an Arby’s sandwich sign leaning against a warehouse art? It might be, but not the art we were looking for. Things got more obviously artistic when we got to the combined works of Kulapat Yantrasast and Kimberly Brooks on a residential street in Venice. Yantrasast’s piece was a car wash offered for free to artists and heathcare workers. While they waited, car owners could look out their windows at a delicate, gold-leafed painting by Brooks. The two did not originally plan to join forces, Brooks told me, but her landlord wasn’t comfortable with sharing the location of her studio, so she walked over a few blocks to set up at the carwash. “This is the first social thing I’ve done in months,” she said, adding that there had been a steady stream of cars running through since they’d set up at noon.

See full article >

ARTILLERY MAG “Pick of the Week”

Russian Room, 42 x 36 in., Oil on linen 2018

by Annabel Osborne

Calling all Kimberly Brooks fans: A short time remains to catch “Fever Dreams,” her mid-career survey at Mt. San Antonio College Art Gallery. More than 20 pieces, from small studies to watercolors on paper to large-scale oil paintings, sketch Brooks’ artistic progression over the past 15 years. Upon entering the gallery, the first paintings you encounter are among her newest and shiniest.

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Gary Brewer Review

The real voyage of discovery consists of not seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust

A medium of communication is not merely a passive conduit for the transmission of information but rather an active force in creating new social patterns and new perceptual realities. – Leonard Shlain, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

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EXHIBITION “Paintings from the Interior”, UC Riverside

Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 6 PM – 9 PM

3824 Main St, Riverside, California 92501

Paintings from the Interior, curated by Andi Campognone, is a survey exhibition of painting in and about the inland region of southern California. With a specific geographic boundary east of Kellogg Hill in Los Angeles county to the low and high deserts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties, this exhibit focuses on both the literal landscape and the conceptual imagery of place.

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EXHIBITION “Disclosure” at Durden & Ray, Los Angeles


Jan 5 – Feb 2, 2019
Opening reception:
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019,
7-10 p.m

Artists: Kim Abeles, Jorin Bossen, Kimberly Brooks, Joe Davidson, Dani Dodge, Donald Fodness, Kathryn Hart, Debby and Larry Kline, Conchi Sanford, Ed “Celso” Tahaney and Steven Wolkoff, Curators: Dani Dodge and Alanna Marcelletti

Durden and Ray will celebrate the start of 2019 with an exhibition that allows people to cleanse their souls through the art of disclosure. January is about cleansing the past and making new starts. But since the early 1990s, independent polls have shown the rapid growth of those without a religious affiliation. So where do people go to confess, if not to a higher power? Maybe an art gallery? Dani Dodge and Alanna Marcelletti decided to play devil’s advocates and create a space where the participants can disclose transgressions and progress unfettered into 2019 through art.

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REVIEW: WhiteHot Magazine by Daniel Maidman


When I was in film school, before the millennium, we were instructed always to reserve some time at the end of shooting in each room. During this time, we were to record several minutes of silence in the room. This “room tone” could then be seamlessly woven in wherever sound editing called for dialogue shot in that space to pause. 

The point of room tone was that the ear can hear a mismatch if two different silences are welded together in the editing. No two silences are alike. Silence is full of timbre. Each room has a personality which comes to the fore in the quiet that falls after its occupants have left.

This concept comes to mind when considering many of the paintings in Kimberly Brooks’s solo show Brazen, at Zevitas Marcus in Los Angeles.

Painting is sight, but some painters naturally summon other senses in service of their imagery. Brooks summons sound, and yet she does not imply noises. She is a painter of silence, of the full, textured silence of room tone. The rooms she depicts are stately and filled with luxurious objects. People have perpetually just vacated them. Their conversations or laughter have fallen away. There is a stuffy close quality to the air. It is trapped and moves only in tiny currents. The personality of these rooms comes into focus now that they are empty.

Read more >

INTERVIEW: Yale WYBC Radio Interview

Kimberly Brooks is a contemporary American painter whose work integrates figuration and abstraction to explore a variety of subjects dealing with history, memory and identity.    Brooks has solo exhibitions throughout the United States and her work has been showcased in juried exhibitions including curators from the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Brooks received her BA at UC Berkeley and studied painting at Otis and UCLA. Brooks lives in Los Angeles and works out of her studio in Venice, A coffee table book of her work will be available Spring 2018 (Vivant Publishing).    Brooks current exhibition “Brazen” is on view at the Zevitas Marcus in Los Angeles until Oct 28, 2018.    The book mentioned at the end of the interview is Leonardo’s Brain.

Listen to Interview >

REVIEW: Art Scene by Andy Brumer

artscenelogo by Andy Brumer

Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks offers a strong showing of mostly oil on linen paintings. The title of the show, “Brazen,” offers a an insightful clue to its contents. Brooks spoke to this writer of the need she felt to move her paintings in a new direction. Towards that end she took leave of (for now, at least) the style of landscape paintings and figurative works (of mostly fashionably attired women), as well as the emotionally charged symbolic colors with which she painted them, and for which she has used exuberantly in previous work.

"Talitha" Oil on Linen 2017

“Talitha” Oil on Linen 2017

Using the word “Brazen” as a  mantra to free her paint brush to wander where it would, allowing the paintings to find new shapes, feelings and themes, the artist set to work. This rather extensive exhibition of large and small works attests to the fact that she met, if not exceeded her goal. It’s not that the figure and the landscape subjects of earlier paintings have vanished, far from it. Rather Brooks this time coaxes forth their visual DNA in a different manner.

Take, for example, the face-on portrait titled “Talitha.” Whereas previously Brooks would infuse her portraits of women with a blend of sultriness and luscious full-bodied curves, she now presents “Talitha” with a thoroughly flat, austere and almost featureless visage. The artist sets the face in an oval of sky blue reminiscent of a Victorian era pin or brooch that augments the piece’s sense of restraint. The painting’s primitive style adds an element of flourish and relief. A geometrically complex patchwork garment clings tight against the figure’s chest and neck.

Kimberly Brooks 'Blue Forest' Oil on lInen 2017

Kimberly Brooks ‘Blue Forest’ Oil on lInen 2017

This relative restraint finds its free-wheeling, sensual counterpart in a dreamy landscape painting titled “Blue Forest.” Here the artist uses a muted palette of earthy browns, yellows, greenish tans and pinks that run ubiquitously through this show, in this work to configure a dreamscape of plants, tree limbs and other organic forms. The bottom half of the painting presents a row of brighter red shapes that both pop forward visually and dot the canvas with a breezy grace.

"Gods and Mountains" Oil on Linen 2017

“Gods and Mountains” Oil on Linen 2017

Brooks’ undergraduate training in Literature (at UC Berkeley) makes itself known in this show as well. For example, in the narrative approach to “Gods and Mountains,” a group of angular El Greco-like figures kneel and huddle under a ray of teeming expressionist brushstrokes that pour out of a rather Old Testament looking cloud capping a mountain. “Angel/Mother/Goddess” then shifts into more of a New Testament mode, with a Virgin Mary-like figure spreading cloaked wings to embrace a flock of daubed cream-colored faces that have snuggled safely within their span.

"Portrait Hall", Oill on linen 2017

“Portrait Hall”, Oill on linen 2017

“Portrait Hall” is a slightly eccentric rendering of a Baroque, Palace of Versailles-like interior that introduces an architectural motif that relates most readily to Brooks’ previous style. However, rather than plumb straight corners and realistically rendered walls, this room shimmers in and out of focus in a kind of fun-house buzz. Loosely stroked and smudgy images of tall portrait paintings hang from the walls and add a note of hilarity to this highly skilled painting.

While Brooks may have corralled her muse’s willpower to produce these works, the paintings themselves in the manner in which they nourish the eye and nurture the soul feel anything but audacious, this is to say “brazen” at all.

BlouinArtInfo Review


Continuing her tense on-going battle between abstraction and literal representation, Kimberly Brooks’ latest selection of oil paintings are being displayed in Los Angeles at the Zevitas Marcus gallery.

Brooks explores the theme of human gestures, pillaging the imagery of well-known historical events to reproduce an entirely new story within that very same context. Her work is an amalgamation of figures, landscapes, still life and interiors. She blends into it her own personal experiences that go on to create a skilful fusion of historical and contemporary perspectives. As an artist Brooks has depended on the abstract, but never completely embraced it, though one can sense an on-going tension between representation and abstraction in her works. The recent paintings seem to tilt towards abstraction in many ways. Brooks uses it to divide the materiality of history, like in ‘Museum Wall’. She then invites viewers to dive inside the frame to experience the history as it happened and her depiction of it, which she does in ‘Blue Angels’. The works may have their sources in known historical events, but Brooks has no intention of reporting about them per say, instead she accesses her honed ability of painting that can directly construct meaning. The grand interiors, ornamentation and religious icons in her works are deconstructed from their traditional forms and are aligned within our contemporary culture with a renewed range of meaning.

Kimberly Brooks is a graduate from UC Berkeley in Literature and worked as a writer before choosing the brush over the pen. Brooks studied Painting at UCLA and OTIS. Her work has been the focus of several solo and group exhibitions organized by curators from Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, California Institute of the Arts and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She lives and works in Los Angeles where this exhibition will take place. Zevitas Marcus is located in Los Angeles’ gallery district, Culver City.

The exhibition will be on view through September 9 – October 21, 2017 at Zevitas Marcus 2754 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90034

Article >

EXHIBITION “Brazen” Zevitas Marcus


Kimberly Brooks 'Blue Forest' Oil on lInen 44 x 36

Kimberly Brooks ‘Blue Forest’ Oil on lInen 44 x 36

On View:  September 9 – October 28, 2017
Opening Reception:  Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 5 – 8pm

Los Angeles, CA – Zevitas Marcus is pleased to present Brazen, a solo exhibition of oil paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks. The exhibition will run from September 9 through Oct 21, 2017 with an opening reception Saturday, Sept 9, 2017 5:00 – 8:00 PM.

Kimberly Brooks’ constructs scenes with singular gestures, marauding imagery of recognizable historical contexts to manifest something entirely new. Her work brings together traditional subject matter – the figure, landscape, interiors and still-life – with her own personal experiences to form a deft fusion of contemporary and historical concerns.

There has always been a palpable tension between abstraction and representation in Brooks’ work. Her most recent paintings veer ever more aggressively towards abstraction, which is used as a divide between experiencing the materiality of a particular history (Museum Wall) and falling inside the frame to experience the history at the time of depiction (Blue Angels).

While the work included in Brazen all arrives from recognizable source material, Brooks is less interested in reportage than she is in the ability of paint to directly conjure meaning. To this end, religious icons, grand interiors and ornamentation are all purposefully untethered from their traditional functions and allowed to embody a greater range of meaning within our contemporary culture. In Talitha, stark Joan of Arc hair and a sumptuous collar remain as the greatest signifiers of a faded princess. The facial details have fallen vague, effectively encouraging an audience to project their own narratives onto what is left behind. Brooks work is ultimately concerned with how painters see and process the visual remnants of history.

Kimberly Brooks graduated from UC Berkeley in Literature and worked as a writer before exchanging the pen for the brush. Brooks studied Painting at UCLA and OTIS.  Her work has been showcased in numerous juried exhibitions including curators from Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, California Institute of the Arts and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Brooks lives and works in Los Angeles. This is her first solo exhibition with Zevitas Marcus.

Opened in September of 2015, Zevitas Marcus is a contemporary art gallery founded by Steven Zevitas and Richard Marcus located in the heart of Los Angeles’ gallery district, Culver City.

SIGN UP 1 Week Summer Workshop at Anderson Ranch, Colorado


Setting your artistic exploration free starts with understanding the architecture that makes up the grounds of a painting, whether you are working figuratively, representationally or abstractly. In this workshop, students with basic oil painting experience are exposed to new approaches for composing, including practical techniques, building different types of grounds, color mixing, how to layer and deconstruct, and when to employ tightness versus looseness. Develop techniques for keeping your art as fresh as possible while simultaneously building the scaffolding to create a cohesive body of work through this engaging exploration of painting.

Media & Techniques:

With a strong emphasis on safe studio practices, this class teaches techniques for oil painting used by Rembrandt and Velasquez. We learn to minimize our exposure to toxic chemicals, while at the same time work with traditional painting methods.

Activities:We explore various materials, build our skills in several painting techniques, and develop many paintings from beginning to end throughout the week. We learn through technical instruction, individual feedback and guided studio time.

Faculty:Kimberly Brooks is a contemporary painter who blends figuration and abstraction to explore a variety of subjects dealing with memory, history and identity. She exhibits nationally, and her work has been showcased in numerous publications and exhibitions including the Whitney Museum, MOMA and California Institute of the Arts.

Building Grounds: The Fundamentals of Oil Painting – D0611
Skill Level(s): I, II
Instructor(s): Kimberly Brooks

Workshop Registration begins January 2, 2017



Group Exhibition “Instalarity” Curated by F. Scott Hess


Santa Ana, Ca-  Kimberly Brooks will have three works featured in the group exhibition “Instalarity” curated by F. Scott Hess at the Q Art Salon,  November 5-28, 2016 Opening night November 5th 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Participating artists include: Alonsa Guevara, Kimberly Brooks, Charles Antolin, Damian Chavez,Daniel Maidman, Danny Galieote,Dina Brodsky, Felicia Forte, F Scott Hess, George Dawnay, Guno Park, James Thistlethwaite, Jihae Christine Lee,John Brosio, Justin Matthew Tecson, Lola Gil, Marc Dalessio, Marc Trujillo, Maria Kreyn, Michelle Doll, Natalia Fabia, Nina Ulett, Taylor Jade Phillips,Shannon Fody, Stephen Wright, Valerie Pobjoy, Joseph Rivera, William Wray, Yalda Sepahpour, Zoey Frank.  F. Scott Hess published an article about the exhibition here.

Q Art Salon, 205 N Sycamore St, Santa Ana, CA 92701.714-835-8833

Kimberly Brooks Receives Teaching Excellence Award at OTIS



Los Angeles- Otis College of Art and Design has awarded Kimberly Brooks The Franklin Leigel Award for Teaching Excellence and made her the award’s first recipient. The award was created in the late beloved teacher’s honor after he passed in 2012.

Kimberly Brooks, a was a student of Mr. Leigel’s in the late 1990s and 2000s and brings many of the lessons and practices to her painting classes.  Franklyn Leigel was famous for encouraging students to build grounds as foundations on the canvas and which Kimberly Brooks has incorporated and refined in her teaching today.


Franklyn Leigel taught painting at Otis for over twenty years. He built his reputation exhibiting internationally in exhibitions over thirty years and was a graduate of the OTIS MFA program.

“I am doubly honored to receive this award as Franklyn Leigel was also my mentor when I first came to Los Angeles and study Painting. His instruction style was passionate and elliptical. After an hour lecture about the importance of grounds and then he would walk around the room and react to each student’s painting in progress.  He would stare for a long time, with the intensity of a doctor deciphering a symptom, and then surprise us with advice we often couldn’t anticipate.  Paint her hair blue.  Get rid of him altogether.  Consider yellow ochre. You need a pattern.  Glaze the whole thing with pthalo green and then decide. Sometimes he was gentle, other times he hollered in a kind of exasperated despair.  After an outburst, he would recoil so deeply that the students often felt the need to soothe him lest he think he offended one of us but he never did. In fact we loved and craved his astute yet unpredictable opinions.”
– Kimberly Brooks

Art Talk with Kimberly Brooks, Windsor Smith and Rose Apodaca at Reagan Hayes

Reagan Hayes West Week Art & Design Event

Los Angeles — Join Furniture Designer Reagan Hayes, Design Icon Windsor Smith, Writer/ Curator Rose Apodaca and Artist Kimberly Brooks as they explore the interplay between art and the spaces they influence. Introducing new prints by Kimberly Brooks. Join us for  a book signing of Windsor Smith’s latest book Homefront following the event.  

Wednesday, March 23, 4:00 PM
Reagan Hayes Pacific Design Center Showroom, Los Angeles
8687 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

LEONARDO’S BRAIN Available in Paper Back


Leonado’s Brain: Understanding Da Vinci’s Creative Genius is now available in paperback. You can get it here

We also wanted to share highlights from the reviews and the book tour since its publication.

Leonardo’s Brain, The Future of the Brain, Dodging Extinction, and Arrival of the Fittest

Leonardo’s Brain: What a Posthumous Brain Scan Six Centuries Later Reveals about the Source of Da Vinci’s Creativity 

The Original Renaissance Man and His Brain by Professor John Seed


 2min video from the book tour.

Clockwise from left: Kimberly Brooks, Jordan Shlain, Tiffany Shlain

ART INSTALLATION March 19 – July 28, The Cooper Building, Los Angeles, CA



KIMBERLY BROOKS: Thread and Bone
MARCH 19 –  extended to July 24th**
Opening Reception: March 19, 5-7 PM

310.663.1737 info@SAGE-PROJECTS.COM

SAGE Projects and the Do Art Foundation are pleased to present “Thread & Bone”, an installation by Los Angeles – based artist Kimberly Brooks, which examines the intersection of structure and fashion within an architectural space at the historic Cooper Design Building in Downtown Los Angeles’ fashion district.

This site-specific installation transforms the grand entryway of the Cooper Design Building into a spectacle of accoutrement. The giant steel hanging pendant, which was created specifically for this installation, will now be on permanent display. Floor-to-ceiling burlap draperies and industrial concrete columns marry the rawness of the space with the material chosen.  A video piece, and collaged panels integrating memento mori symbology with elements from vintage undergarments, communicate excerpts from Brooks’ portrait series “The Stylist Project.”

This work explores the crescendos and accents that are apparent through layers of paint, and shapes the contours of a complete body of artwork.  Brooks’ installation invites the viewer to examine the artist and her work, by both undressing and zooming in on the most  intimate of details.

Against the backdrop of this large public space, Brooks explores the ever present relationship between fashion and structure through an intimate lens.  Through an examination of paintings from her “Stylist” series, a body of work exploring concepts of fine art and applied art, we journey alongside the artist as her steady microscope selects impressions from her work where the colors, patterns, and gestures, framed independently, are exquisite moments of abstraction.  From the traces of the hand, to the fibers of the brush, skin and bone of the underpainting are gradually unveiled.

Kimberly Brooks is an American Painter who blends figuration and abstraction to focus on a variety of subjects dealing with memory, history and identity.   Her work has been showcased in numerous juried exhibitions including curators from Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, California Institute of the Arts and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Brooks received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and studied painting at UCLA and OTIS. Born in New York, Brooks lives and works in Los Angeles.

This installation is on view through July 24th at Gateway Gallery inside the Cooper Design Space, Downtown Los Angeles, seven days a week. For further information or for press enquiries, please contact Heidi Johnson at 323.204.7246 or heidi@thinkhijinx.   

View Full Installation Here

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SOLO EXHIBITION: I Have A King Who Does Not Speak: Kimberly Brooks Roosevelt Library, San Antonio, TX

311 Roosevelt Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78210

A Solo Painting Exhibition

K I M B E R L Y    B R O O K S
“I Have a King Who Does Not Speak”

Nov 20, 2014 – Jan 14, 2015

Artist Reception:
Nov 20, Thurs 6:00- 8:00 PM


San Antonio, TX — The Roosevelt Library and Alice Carrington Foultz are pleased to present “I Have a King Who Does Not Speak”, a solo exhibition of by Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks. The exhibit will run from Nov 20, 2014 – Jan 14, 2015. The Gallery will host a reception for the artist on Thursday, Nov 20 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

In Brooks’ latest paintings series the viewer encounters a miasmic world of visual pleasures, from opulent clothing and architecture to hazy landscapes and portraits, all seen through her seductively decadent yet playfully loose brushwork. In keeping with her previous exhibition “I Notice People Disappear,” underlying this evocative imagery one encounters the psychology of desire, loss, and the uncanny.

In “I Have a King Who Does Not Speak” Brooks conjures and resurrects scenes and passages from a foreign place and time. Borrowing ancient imagery used to document presentations of wealth, historical events, Brooks twists images to appear at once familiar and strange. The viewer finds him or herself in an alternate universe. Scenes seems to come from a fever dream, as rooms careen out of control and ghostlike figures disintegrate into the backgrounds. Abstraction runs throughout the works, bending spaces, interrupting scenes with non sequitur brush marks, and transforming emblems of power into smaller paintings, as seen in “Family Tree” and “The Memory of Banquet”. As each painting teeters between abstraction and representation, going in and out of lucidity, Brooks’ work touches on her own understanding of how painters see and process the visual remnants of history. She uses this model as a keyhole to an alternate reality altogether. The challenge of this particular exhibition comes in part from confronting orientalism and the imagery of empire with the added filter and gaze of the contemporary artist. By warping familiar historical imagery in this manner, Brooks employs the remaining vessel as a means of accessing a subliminal past and in doing so opens a door to a world of her own creation.

Kimberly Brooks work has been showcased in numerous juried exhibitions including curators from Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, California Institute of the Arts and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Brooks received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and Studied Painting at UCLA and OTIS. Born in New York, Brooks lives in Los Angeles and maintains her studio in Venice, CA. Curator Alice Carrington Foultz has been advising clients through her art advisory for over thirty years and stages exhibitions throughout the country.

Image: “Portrait of Forgotten Ancestor” 32 x 40 in. Oil on Linen 2013 Kimberly Brooks

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SOLD OUT Spring Master Class with KIMBERLY BROOKS @ OTIS



Join Artist Kimberly Brooks for this intermediate painting workshop where students will refine their techniques and personal style when approaching the canvas. Students will be exposed to practical techniques involving building different types of grounds, color mixing, and when to employ tightness vs. looseness.  Brooks will share various techniques for embracing every stage in the life cycle of creating a work of art as well as assembling a body of work for exhibition.  With an emphasis on safe studio practices, this class will teach techniques for Oil Painting (used by Rembrandt and Velasquez) that minimize exposure to toxic chemicals.

Prerequisite: drawing and composition, introduction to painting: material and techniques.  First class materials: enrolled students will be given an itemized list of basic painting materials and colors.


LEONARDO’S BRAIN by Leonard Shlain



It is with great joy and gratitude that I announce the posthumous publishing of my father, Leonard Shlain’s last book, Leonardo’s Brain: Understanding Da Vinci’s Creative Genius which he completed shortly before he passed five years ago.

The book is available online and in bookstores now. My siblings and I are hosting events to celebrate the book’s release in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco this fall.

Many of you already know about Leonard Shlain’s previous books, Art & Physics,The Alphabet vs The Goddess and Sex, Time and Power, or were lucky enough to attend one of his presentations. Otherwise you may have learned about him by my Technicolor Summer Exhibition, the articles I have published about our vigil or the flowers or when I dedicated the founding of the Science and Art Meets Science sections to him.

Leonardo’s Brain is not only one of his grand intellectual journeys akin to his previous books, but also has a particularly special meaning as synthesizes of so many of his ideas connecting neurology, history, philosophy, art, science and ourselves, holding Da Vinci as a harbinger of how our species could evolve.

We have so many people to thank — from our publisher John Sternfeld at Lyon’s Press (now Globe Pequot), Robert Stricker, his long time literary agent and particularly Andy Ross, the literary agent for Leonardo’s Brain who seized the opportunity to bring this book to market with zeal our father would have loved.  We also want to thank Ann Patty, (The Life of Pi) who helped us edit the final manuscript. The act of conversing with his ideas in our minds as we navigated the different stages of the editing and publication process was one of the greatest gifts of all.


ACE Hotel: Kimberly Brooks Panel with Poet and Artist Robert Montgomery – Ace Hotel Los Angeles

Screen shot 2014-06-17 at 4.33.19 PM



Exhibition Dates: June 23, 2014 (ongoing, billboard locations throughout L.A.) Panel Discussion With The Artist: Monday, June 3oth, 7pm-1.30am, hosted by Artist Kimberly Brooks.

The Do Art Foundation, in collaboration with Art Share L.A., & Ace Hotel Downtown L.A., are immensely excited to present Art Above The Streets: An Evening With Robert Montgomery and Kimberly Brooks.

Renowned British text artist Robert Montgomery draws significantly from examples of mass communication & public interventionist strategy, to create powerful, achingly melancholic works, within the post-situationist & conceptual art traditions.

Often monochromatic, Montgomery’s billboard compositions encompass fragments of memory & nostalgia, narrative & conjecture, dream & love, journey & revelation, yearning, & imagining. Considered works of welcomed intimacy & collective enquiry, Montgomery has held major exhibitions across Europe & Asia of his billboard poems, light installations, woodcuts, & watercolours.

Robert Montgomery was born in Scotland, in 1972. Studying at the Edinburgh College of Art & then within the core program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Montgomery has lived & worked in London, ever since 1999. He is also the Associate Publisher of British cultural magazine, Dazed & Confused.

Above The Streets: Robert Montgomery, is Montgomery’s inaugural Los Angeles exhibition, & is the largest public collection of his work to date. Montgomery has created fifteen new & original, site-specific works, which will be exhibited at assorted billboard locations, throughout the City Of Los Angeles. These will all be explored in a panel discussion upstairs at Ace Hotel Downtown L.A., hosted by Artist Kimberly Brooks.

About Kimberly Brooks:

Kimberly Brooks is a Contemporary American Painter, Innovator, Technologist & Writer. As a painter, she has held numerous solo exhibitions across the United States, & has been showcased in juried exhibitions including curators from the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, California Institute of the Arts, & the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is the founding editor of the Arts & Science sections of the Huffington Post, & created Art Meets Science to which she still contributes. She is the creator also of Imageblog, a curated stream of images from artists contributing from around the world. Brooks received her BA at UC Berkeley and studied painting at Otis and UCLA. Brooks currently lives in Los Angeles.

About Do Art Foundation:
The Do Art Foundation is an L.A. based non-profit organisation that develops inspiring artistic projects and programs with & for the public realm to bring creative insight & develop awareness within our contemporary culture.

About Art Share L.A. –
Art Share L.A. is a sanctuary for the arts in downtown LA. Maintaining a 28,000 sq-ft warehouse in the heart of the arts district, Art Share maintains both 30 subsidised live/work lofts for artist, & a community-programmed facility offering classes, exhibitions & events.

VANITY FAIR- Kimberly Brooks’s Mesmerizing Oil Paintings

By Nell Scovell
Read full article >

This image may contain Outdoors Art Painting Nature Human and Person

In March 2010, I attended an art opening for Kimberly Brooks’s show “The Stylist Project” in Los Angeles. It was a starry celebration hosted by Dior and Vanity Fair to benefit P.S. Arts. But even as fun-to-gape-at actresses like Christina Hendricks arrived, I couldn’t take my eyes off the oil portraits. This was not a show about fashion. Brooks had truly captured the vibrancy and deep beauty of her subjects, which included Grace Coddington and Janie Bryant (*Mad Men’*s costume designer). Brooks’s latest show at Arthouse 429 in West Palm Beach is more impressionistic, with the evocative title “I Notice People Disappear.” The show went up in early February and has just been extended through March 15. Go if you can. I stopped by Brooks’s studio in Venice, California, to see many of the pieces before they shipped and coveted every one.

As Brooks moves toward greater recognition, here’s the giveaway that she’ll get there: board members at MOCA, LACMA, and MoMA are already collecting her works. I met Brooks (who is married to actor and filmmaker Albert Brooks) about five years ago, and we started a conversation about art that recently spilled into e-mail. Here’s a bit of that discussion, which focuses on her new show, her creative process, and how she lives at the intersection of the art world and Hollywood.

Who has disappeared from your life? Are any of these paintings about them?

In hindsight, I think this show had a lot to do with processing the death of my father, author/surgeon Leonard Shlain, five years ago. People disappear, but they are still there—it is just their bodies that are gone.

There’s a focus on luxury in these works. Even in the titles, you use words like “parlour,” “salon,” “palace,” “banquet ,” “princess. ” What drew you to these images of wealth?

So much of the canon of art has been about the documentation of wealth. If the history of art were on a 24-hour clock, only the last five minutes would involve subject matter other than showing off your landholdings, fabulous clothing, or conquests. For this series, I was going backwards in time, starting, in my mind, with some grand family in the 1850s. Binge-viewing Downton Abbey and the Forsyte Saga last summer probably helped.

We just got through Oscar weekend in L.A. Is there a message in “The Banquet” for everyone who attends a fancy party in a tux?

Yes, the Oscars is the greatest example of live participatory performance art! Marina Abramovic has nothing on the spectacle.

Like David Hockney, you have embraced technology. You have large followings on Twitter and Instagram (@artistkimberlyb), and I love when you post details of your work. You also started the art vertical for The Huffington Post, including the amazing ImageBlog. And yet viewing art on a screen is nothing like seeing it in real life. How do you reconcile this?

Deciding to toss a little piece of a painting out to the world in a ritualistic way puts your work “out there,” and then you can have the rest of your time to focus on making it. It’s just a Hansel-and-Gretel-like trail. It’s not attempting to be the thing itself, but a clue to a mystery that you want other people to know about.

Fashion plays an important part in your works. You once told me you saw fashion as an aesthetic language that speaks to a time and era. What are some of the eras you’ve painted?

My first show that really explored fashion was “Mom’s Friends,” where I painted my mother and her glamorous friends in 70s Mill Valley. I loved the furs, the big sunglasses, the bold prints. That might be the sexiest era of all time. That led me to start thinking about fashion as a language, which is how I came up with the idea for The Stylist Project, where I asked the most articulate people in that language—stylists, designers, costume designers—to style themselves and pose for their portrait.

Is it strange to be so close to the entertainment business and not part of it? Would you include painting as a form of entertainment?

Absolutely. There’s something about the stillness of all those colored rocks suspended on a flat plane that makes all the molecules of our mind stand at attention. I love its longevity as an art form and the way you can enjoy it without plugging it in. Most entertainment has such a short shelf life. With the exception of my husband’s (a constant source of laughter and inspiration), there aren’t a lot of movies that will want to be seen hundreds of years from now, but painting as entertainment exists on a different time scale. Albert believes that no one will remember anything about today’s “entertainment.” When Bob Hope died, the kids asked why the news was mourning an airport.

Which kinds of paintings make you cry? Laugh?

Some paintings are so great in their execution or abandonment, I’ve shed a tear of awe (Cecily Brown, Daniel Richter, and Herbert Brandl). John Currin makes me laugh and cry, because his paintings are so witty and masterful. But the only paintings I really laugh at are the ones I’m looking at when Albert’s standing next to me and making a quip in my ear. If he recorded a museum audio tour, we could invent an entirely new form of entertainment.

Read full article >

IA Creatives: “I Notice People Disappear” by Elizabeth Sobieski

32x40 Oil Linen

LA Artist Kimberly Brooks in Palm Beach

By Elizabeth Sobieski
The Venice based artist Kimberly Brooks’ one woman show opened at Arthouse 429, West Palm Beach, Florida on February 6 (on view through March 6) and is entitled “I Notice People Disappear”. I have noticed an extraordinary metamorphosis in Brooks’ paintings over the last three or four years, since first admiring her work at LA’s Taylor De Cordoba Gallery. Her older highly figurative works, while masterfully wrought, didn’t possess the intriguing haunted quality, the almost Orientalist mystery of these new paintings. While she references art history and her own personal voyages, both through her complex interior life (Catch Kimberly Brooks’ TedTalk on ‘The Creative Process in 8 Stages’!) and her extensive global travels, especially in South Asia, Brooks’ oil-on-linen paintings are completely fresh, startlingly free. The Banquet displays a uniquely telescoped room, where almost ghostly figures are seated and standing. Pink Salon is a revelation, another interior space, but this one containing a single figure, a woman perched on a grand Regency-type sofa, somehow isolated amidst precious objects. Who are these people? They have no facial features, but their costumes and movements tell us much. The viewer doesn’t see the details, but somehow we know the carpet is the finest Persian and the background painting is a masterpiece. It’s an unusual juxtaposition, but the Blue Drawing Room feels both opulent and spiritual. Smaller works seem to evoke fading portraits made during the time of the British Raj. While we see only fragments, they are fragments of luxury…and somehow fragments of loss, a lost time and people no longer here. People who have disappeared.
——-Kimberly Brooks——-
I Notice People Disappear
Curated by Bruce Helander
Arthouse 429 Gallery
429 25th Street
West Palm Beach, Fl
Above Image “Blue Salon”32x40in Oil Linen
“Portrait of Arjun”
Oil on Linen
“The Banquet”
60 x 48 in
Oil on Linen

“Pink Salon”

                                           Oil on LinenElizabeth Sobieski was a Contributing Editor for The Art Economist Magazine. She is a novelist and screenwriter who writes regularly for the Huffington Post and Jean Knows Cars.


Vanity Fair: Kimberly Brooks’ Mesmerizing Oil Paintings


Read whole article here >>

Kimberly Brooks: I Notice People Disappear
Solo exhibition, Arthouse 429
429 25th St., West Palm Beach, FL
Feb 6 – March 6, 2014

by Daniel Maidman

For Zemira

A fruit does not taste its best when you pick it. Consider a strawberry, or a pear. After picking, decomposition increases its sweetness and flavor for some unspecified interval. If you can sense the peak of that interval, and eat it then, it will taste as delicious as anything nature has produced. Only later does the rot become sour and repellant.

Memory is a continuum between experience and forgetting, and it operates in a way similar to the decay of the fruit. Experience itself is not as sweet and flavorful as the event experienced will become. These qualities go on ripening for some interval in the mind, until recollection unburies the experience, and displays it again before the eye and ear and heart. These exhumed memories, at the peak of their ripening, are now unbearably full: full of color, of light, of emotion and significance. And again like the strawberry or pear, only later do memories blacken and rot away.

I recognized Kimberly Brooks’s new body of work, “I Notice People Disappear,” when I saw it, although of course I had never seen it before.


She paints luxurious rooms, full of light, details vague, colors vivid but people translucent, indistinct, or missing. I recognized her work because it situates itself in that luminous region between experience and forgetting, when memory has ripened the raw material of experience into a nearly unbearable sweetness, a sweetness both celebratory and melancholy; celebratory of the experience that was lived, and melancholy because that living can really only be appreciated after it has already passed away.

I recognized too, from the subject of memory, and the foregrounded mechanisms of forgetting, and the stuffy trappings of wealth, that Brooks was self-consciously exploring the territory mapped by Proust, the prince of memory, who prowled the borders between the upper middle class and the minor aristocracy in pre-war France.

Pink Salon 36 x 48 in. Oil on Linen 2014

Read whole article >>


PBIllustratedFeb14Kimberly Brooks

Dreamy. Introspective. Hazy. Provocative. These words describe the work of contemporary American painter Kimberly Brooks. By blending images of recognizable figures with flowing abstraction, the artist layers representations of haute couture and glamour with tones of mystery and wonder. Based in Los Angeles, Brooks has established a national presence…  From Feb 6 – March 6, ArtHouse429 in West Palm Beach will host a solo exhibition titled “I Notice People Disappear,” which features works inspired by eighteenth-century British India and expressed through Brooks’ unique Aesthetic.  (561-231-0429, – Jessica Bielak PBIllustratedCover2014

MIAMI Magazine: featuring Kimberly Brooks




Los Angeles artist Kimberly Brooks has made a career out of depicting how the other half lives. Her latest exhibit, I nOtice People Disappear, Feb 6 – March 6, takes the concept even further. Inspiried by the individuals, customs and rituals of high society in the 18th century British India, Brooks presents the world of the privileged as if recalled from a feverish dream. Abstract scenes and portraits seem to disappear into their canvases in a not-quite lucid interpretation that’s hard to look away from.  “It wasn’t deliberate, but whenever I painted people, I imagined them as if they had lost their physicality and were more of a remembrance than a reality,” says Brooks.  “I want people to look at the work and feel as though they’re seeing what they’d see if they imagined it themselves. I want them to get a sense of painting as a vessel or a keyhole into another reality.”  Arthouse 429, 429 25th St., West Palm Beach, 561. 231.0429,

– Michael Musquiz


SOLO EXHIBITION: “I Notice People Disappear” ArtHouse 429, West Palm Beach, FL, EXTENDED to MARCH 15, 2014




“I Notice People Disappear”
February 6 – March 6, 2014
Opening Reception: Thurs, 6:30- 8:30 PM

ArtHouse 429 is pleased to present “I Notice People Disappear”, a solo exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks.  The exhibit will run from February 6 – March 6, 2013.  The Gallery will host a reception for the artist on Thursday, Feb 6 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

In Brooks’ latest paintings the viewer encounters a miasmic world of guilty visual pleasures, from opulent clothing and architecture to hazy landscapes and portraits, all seen through her seductively decadent yet playfully loose brushwork.   In keeping with previous exhibitions “Mom’s Friends” and “The Stylist Project,” underlying this evocative at times lavish imagery one encounters the psychology of desire, loss, and the uncanny.

In “I Notice People Disappear” Brooks begins each piece against the backdrop of 18th Century British India.   Borrowing from sources originally used to document historical events, presentations of wealth, and the grandeur of ancestry she twists these images to appear at once familiar and strange.  The viewer finds him or herself in an alternate universe from the Merchant Ivory aesthetic so often associated with this material; Brooks’ perspective of the British Empire seems to come from a fever dream, as rooms careen out of control and ghostlike figures disintegrate into the backgrounds.  Abstraction runs throughout the works, bending spaces, interrupting scenes with non sequitur brush marks, and transforming emblems of power into odd smaller paintings, as seen in “Family Tree” and “The Memory of Banquet”.

As each painting teeters between abstraction and representation, going in and out of lucidity, Brooks’ work touches on her own understanding of how painters see and process the visual remnants of history.  She uses this model as a keyhole to an alternate reality altogether.  The challenge of this particular exhibition comes in part from confronting orientalism and the imagery of empire with the added filter and gaze of the contemporary artist.  By warping familiar historical imagery in this manner, Brooks employs the remaining vessel as a means of accessing a subliminal past and in doing so opens a door to a world of her own creation.

Kimberly Brooks work has been showcased in numerous juried exhibitions including curators from Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, California Institute of the Arts and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Brooks received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and Studied Painting at UCLA and OTIS. Born in New York, Brooks lives in Los Angeles and maintains her studio in Venice, CA.  Founded by William Halliday in January 2013, Arthouse 429 is dedicated to featuring the best contemporary art to the West Palm Beach area.  Curator Bruce Helander is artistic director and the former founding editor of the Art Economist where he featured Brooks as an “Artist to Watch in 2012”.

For more information, contact Mary Coyle at or tel: 561.231.0429.

Exhibition Catalogue

KIMBERLY BROOKS | I Notice People Disappear


January 5

Dear Friends,

I hope your new year is off to a great start.  Despite my perpetually lying on Instagram about my location (like posting pictures from my November trip to India weeks after I returned), I have indeed returned to home to California and have been quietly painting, planning and immersed in life.CityPalaceUdaipur_KimberlyBrooks
I took the above picture Inside the City Palace Museum which is across the water of the Lake Palace in Udaipur, India. There are rooms of walls just covered with Indian miniatures which chronicle the court life of the Mewar family who still rules after seventy six generations — the oldest dynasty in the world. You can spot how the introduction of perspective and portraiture seeped into the way artists depicted events at pivotal moments after the British came and gave art as gifts. *Sigh*

Portrait of Arjun | 20 x 16 in, Oil on Linen

Portrait of Arjun | 20 x 16 in, Oil on Linen

But immediately I must tell you that I will be in NY THIS WEEK, to attend a group exhibition I am participating in curated by legendary feminist artist and writer Mira Schor entitled ‘”A Womanhouse” Or A “Roaming House” A Room Of Ones Own Today’ at the A.I.R Gallery in New York.  A.I.R. Gallery. January 9 – February 2, 2014.  Opening reception is this Thursday, January 9th, 6 – 9 pm.


I hope I get a chance to see you at one of these exhibitions. If not, you can follow me on Instagram where I post pieces of my paintings and lie about my true whereabouts.

Happy New Year!

Kindest Regards,


Broadway World Arts Desk

ArtHouse 429 is pleased to present “I Notice People Disappear”, a solo exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks. The exhibit will run from February 6 – March 6, 2013. The Gallery, located at 429 25th St, West Palm Beach, FL, will host a reception for the artist on Thursday, Feb 6 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

In Brooks’ latest paintings the viewer encounters a miasmic world of guilty visual pleasures, from opulent clothing and architecture to hazy landscapes and portraits, all seen through her seductively decadent yet playfully loose brushwork. In keeping with previous exhibitions “Mom’s Friends” and “The Stylist Project,” underlying this evocative at times lavish imagery one encounters the psychology of desire, loss, and the uncanny.

In “I Notice People Disappear” Brooks begins each piece against the backdrop of 18th Century British India. Borrowing from sources originally used to document historical events, presentations of wealth, and the grandeur of ancestry she twists these images to appear at once familiar and strange. The viewer finds him or herself in an alternate universe from the Merchant Ivory aesthetic so often associated with this material; Brooks’ perspective of the British Empire seems to come from a fever dream, as rooms careen out of control and ghostlike figures disintegrate into the backgrounds. Abstraction runs throughout the works, bending spaces, interrupting scenes with non sequitur brush marks, and transforming emblems of power into odd smaller paintings, as seen in “Family Tree” and “The Memory of Banquet”.

As each painting teeters between abstraction and representation, going in and out of lucidity, Brooks’ work touches on her own understanding of how painters see and process the visual remnants of history. She uses this model as a keyhole to an alternate reality altogether. The challenge of this particular exhibition comes in part from confronting Orientalism and the imagery of empire with the added filter and gaze of the contemporary artist. By warping familiar historical imagery in this manner, Brooks employs the remaining vessel as a means of accessing a subliminal past and in doing so opens a door to a world of her own creation.



‘”A Womanhouse…” Curated by Mira Schor, A.I.R Gallery, New York, January 9 – February 2, 2014


Opening Reception: Thursday, January 9th, 2014, 6-9pm Video Screening: Saturday, January 18th, 2014, 3-5pm Panel Discussion: Saturday, February 1st, 2014, 4-6pm

A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce A “Womanhouse” or a Roaming House? “A Room of One’s Own” Today, an exhibition curated by painter/writer Mira Schor as part of A.I.R. Gallery’s CURRENTS Series of innovative exhibitions that address contemporary issues warranting critical attention. This exhibition will be on view from January 9th – February 2nd, 2014.

The original Womanhouse Project in Los Angeles in 1972 was one of the
most important and famous art projects in feminist art history. It
included some of the first major instances of installation art and of
feminist performance art in the United States. The artists included in A
“Womanhouse” or a Roaming House? “A Room of One’s Own” Today
address questions similar to those posited by the original exhibition, but through a contemporary lens: What is the space necessary for an artist to make art in and for whom? Rather than a “Womanhouse” ought we now to envision a Rooming House or a Roaming House? What are the implications of the gendering of space, who owns domestic space, and is creativity more a private pursuit or a public one?

The exhibition includes forty artists working in all media: video, photography, photographed performance, painting, sculpture and installation, and opens up a discourse, sometimes overt, sometimes oblique about what the home means now for the woman artist and for women at all economic levels of society.

Irina Arnaut, Sharon Louise Barnes, Kimberly Brooks, Pauline Chernichaw, Jacintha Clark, Marcia Cooper, Laura Crosby, Amy Finkbeiner, Parisa Ghaderi, Marita Gootee, Marcie Hancock, Nancy Grace Horton, Sara Jiminez, Jeanne Jo, Natanya Kashan, Alex McQuilkin, Lucy Meskill, Megan Mette, Dawn Nye, Kalena Patton, Dominique Paul, Katarzyna Randall, Kaitlynn Redell, Kara Rooney, Caitlin Rueter, Julie Schenkelberg, Hayley Severns, Virginia Sprance, M. Louise Stanley, Evelin Stermitz, Robin Tewes, Gwenn Thomas, Marianne Van Den Bergh, Rebecca Volinsky, Angela Rose Voulgarelis, Jen Waters, Sasha Wortzel, Jayoung Yoon, Nancy Youdelman, Lu Zhang

About the Curator: Mira Schor is a painter and writer living in New York City. Her paintings combine visual pleasure and painterly craft with philosophical, existential, and political concerns within intimate painterly cartoons, furthering her interest in narrativity and autobiography within a political and conceptual field. She received her MFA from CalArts and has been the recipient of awards in painting from the Guggenheim, Marie Walsh Sharpe, and Pollock-Krasner Foundations, as well as the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism and a Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. She is the author of A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life and the blog A Year of Positive Thinking, as well as the author of Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture and the co-editor, with Susan Bee, of M/E/A/N/I/N/G.

A.I.R. Gallery is located at 111 Front Street, #228 in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. Gallery hours: Wed. – Sun., 11am to 6pm. For directions please visit For more information please contact the Interim Director, JoAnne McFarland at 212-255-6651 or

Image: Kimberly Brooks, “Helen Frankenthaler in her Studio”, 1957, Oil on Linen, 2013
A.I.R. Gallery – Celebrating over 40 years of advocating for women in the visual arts

Cat Art Show LA, Curated by Susan Michals, Los Angeles

'Pumpkin' Courtesy Grace Coddington

101 Exhibit is pleased to present CAT ART SHOW LOS ANGELES, curated by Susan Michals, featuring over seventy artists, the largest exhibition of its kind.

Opening Reception on Saturday, January 25th, 2014, 7-10pm
101/exhibit, 6205 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Artists Include: 
Gary Baseman
Guy Denning
Jill Greenberg
Jonathan Yeo
Kimberly Brooks
Marc Dennis
Marion Peck
Martin Eder
Natalia Fabia
Noel Fielding
Ray Caesar
Shepard Fairey
Tim Biskup
Tracey Emin


This exhibition is both a meditation and a celebration of the feline form. This exhibition goes beyond heralding felines as domesticated companion, and instead explores their role as muse and inspiration. Cats have been part of our lexicon (not to mention our home life) for thousands of years. The Egyptians frequently aligned them with the gods, like Bastet, the goddess of warfare. Later, great artists like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, and Pablo Picasso all created masterpieces centered around cats, sometimes showcasing them as companion, sometimes around something much deeper symbolically.

Partners include 101/exhibitPicMonkeyPerrierPeroni Beer, and The Walker Arts Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival. All artwork will be for sale, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Stray Cat Alliance of Los Angeles.

Saturday, January 25th: 7pm – 10pm
Sunday, January 26th: 12pm – 5pm
Saturday, February 1st: 12pm – 5pm
Sunday, February 2nd: 12pm – 5pm

Susan Michals has written about art and culture in such publications Vanity FairThe Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post. She is an art consultant for clients in North America and Europe.

FOREST FROM THE TREES, White Box Contemporary, San Diego, CA 2013

"Her Majesty" 20 x 16 in. Oil on LInen

is pleased to present
“The Forest from the Trees”
Curated by Chris Trueman and Joshua Dildine
August 10, 2013 – September 10, 2013

Reception: August 10, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

White Box Contemporary
1040 7th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Kimberly Brooks
Kathleen Melian
Elizabeth Anne Sobieski
Erica Stallones

SAN DIEGO, CA– White Box Contemporary is pleased to present The Forest From the Trees, an exhibition of four figurative painters from Los Angeles co-curated by Chris Trueman and Joshua Dildine. The Exhibit will run from August 10 – Sept 10, 2013. The Gallery will host a reception August 10, 7-10 PM.

The artists, Kimberly Brooks, Anne-Elizabeth Sobieski, Kathleen Melian and Erica Ryan Stallones, predominant figure painters –but not in the strict tradition of portrait or academic studies– depict characters which are defined as much by their pictorial environment as the very physicality and treatment of paint that defines their presence within the painting.

The impetus for this exhibition came originally from a conversation between the artist/curators Chris Trueman and Joshua Dildine that began with the questions: What if two primarily abstract artists curated an exhibition of figurative paintings and what would they seek in such work? The answer to these questions turned out to be art and artists who are acutely attentive to the application of the paint and manipulation of materials, and whose choice of subjects were specific and at times extremely personal.

There are several common threads running between the work of these artists. The first is that the application of paint is integral to the content of the work. Much the way abstraction relies on reference, paint application, and material usage to situate the work within an art-historical framework, these artists’ handle paint from precise rendering to loose painterly mark making. The molten passages of Brooks’ and Melian’s lush paintings suggest the intangibility of an image remembered. The clarity of a seemingly insignificant detail in Stallones’ intimate gatherings suggests a clue that defies the photographic reality and blurs the details outside of the focus. Sobieski’s brushwork determines the position in a narrative dichotomy between the domesticated and the wild. By selecting freely from historical styles while presenting intimate subject matter, these artists dissociate the artwork from being strictly representational and tap into larger and broader themes.

The specificity of the depicted subject offers the second main theme that runs among the work of these four artists, particularly in terms of the intimacy of the subjects. Many of the artworks in this exhibition are based on family, friends, home, and pets. Although the subjects of many of these artworks are extremely personal, this is not artwork as documentation, portraiture, or painting as personal therapy. These are artworks about themes such as fragility of home, reconciling personal and cultural narratives, insider and outsider group dynamics, story telling, and the cinematic. It is necessary when viewing this work to examine the whole of the object, the paint, and the style as much as the image and content when deciphering these provocative works.

For more information, contact: Andrew Salazar


Exhibition Catalogues


Mom’s Friends | 2007
Essay by Leah Lehmbeck
Featuring the artist’s mother and her glamorous friends in 70s Mill Valley.
Oil and Gouache Paintings, Original Photographs, Softcover,
7.5″ x 7.5″  36 pages    $29 

*     *     *     TechSummer4

Technicolor Summer | 2008
Remember a summer spent in high definition. 
Essay by Kim Beil
Oil and Gouache Paintings, Softcover, 7.5″ x 7.5″.  40 pages
7.5″ x 7.5″  36 pages    $29

*     *     *

Thread | 2011
Essay by Bruce Helander
Deconstructing, unravelling portraiture.  Also features highlights from previous exhibitions.
Softcover, 7.5″  x 7.5″  42 pages   $20
7.5″ x 7.5″  52 pages    

*     *     *     WholeStory4

The Whole Story | 2006
Oil Paintings,  Photograph Collages, Softcover
7.5″ x 7.5″  36 pages    $29

To place an order, send a check including contact information, a return address and quantity to:

1112 Montana Avenue, #132
Santa Monica, CA 90403


INCOGNITO, Santa Monica Museum of Art, May 2013


Untitled 8 x 10″ Oil on Paper. Kimberly Brooks 2013

SANTA MONICA, CA–INCOGNITO Santa Monica Museum of Art’s highly anticipated annual exhibition and benefit art sale, will return for its ninth year on Saturday, May 11, 2013, accompanied by the second annual PRECOGNITO Gala Dinner and Art Preview event on Thursday, May 9, 2013. Tickets for both events go on sale March 1.  Kimberly Brooks submitted two pieces to the event.

The PRECOGNITO gala dinner and preview on May 9 honors gallerist Margo Leavin (introduced by John Baldessari) and opera and theater director Peter Sellars (introduced by Bill Viola).   In its ninth year, INCOGNITO—SMMoA’s distinctive art sale and exhibition—features original artworks by contemporary artists and music by DJ Eddie Ruscha.  Each 8″ x 10″ artwork is signed on the back and artist identities are revealed only after purchase.

INCOGNITO, Southern California’s legendary annual benefit art sale, now in its ninth year, will feature more than 600 original artworks by more than 500 leading, mid-career, and emerging contemporary artists. INCOGNITO 2013 participating artists include Edgar Arceneaux, John Baldessari, Kimberly Brooks, Mark Bradford, Lynda Benglis, Marco Brambilla, Judy Chicago, Luis Gispert, Mary Kelly, Sharon Lockhart, Kim MacConnel, Rodney McMillian, Catherine Opie, Raymond Pettibon, William Pope.L, Ed Ruscha, Betye Saar, Julião Sarmento, and many, many more. A preliminary list of the fabulous array of artists participating in INCOGNITO 2013 will be available when tickets go on sale March 1 at

All INCOGNITO artworks are the same 8″x10″ size and available for only $350 plus tax. This highly energized evening encourages attendees–from sophisticated art patrons to first-time collectors–to trust their instincts in selecting the works, as each piece is signed on the back and the artists’ identities are revealed only after purchase.

The element of surprise that underlies INCOGNITO reflects the essence of discovery that inspires SMMoA’s exhibitions, education, and outreach programs. One hundred percent of the proceeds from PRECOGNITO/INCOGNITO directly support the Museum.

The Queen 8x10 " oil on paper Kimberly Brooks 2013

The Queen 8×10 ” oil on paper Kimberly Brooks 2013

The Queen 8×10 ” oil on paper Kimberly Brooks 2013

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.


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 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.

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.

HI FRUCTOSE: Mirus Gallery Preview

“Blue Dress”  40 x 32 in. OIl on Linen 2011 Kimberly Brooks

While the percentage of female subjects depicted by male artists is disproportionately high in art history, Mirus Gallery aims to subvert the ever-present male gaze in Western art for the next exhibition, “The Looking Glass: Refraction through the Female Gaze.” Opening February 9, this group exhibition features female painters who depict female subjects in their work. The line-up of exhibiting artists include Kimberly Brooks, Sandra Chevrier, Naja Conrad-Hansen, Mercedes Helnwein, Alexandra Levasseur, Jen Mann, Sari Maxfield, Alyssa Monks, Jennifer Nehrbass, Casey O’Connell, Claire Pestaille, Rachel Walker, Janelle Wisehart and Christine Wu. Rather than portraying the female form as merely delicate or seductive, these artists challenge the norms of depicting the female body, using portraits of the so-called fairer sex to explore both cultural and personal themes. Take a look at our preview of “The Looking Glass,” images courtesy of Mirus Gallery.

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2013 “The Looking Glass: Refraction Through the Female Gaze” Mirus Gallery, San Francisco

Kimberly Brooks Mirus Gallery ARtist

The Looking Glass: Refracting and the Female Gaze. Kimberly Brooks participating in Group Exhibition at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco. Opening night is February 9th, 2013


Media Contact: Danielle Grant | A&O PR
(P) 415.860.0767 | (E)

Mirus Gallery Presents:

The Looking Glass
Refraction through the Female Gaze

Claire Pestaille, Stargate (III), Collage, 2012

Opening Reception: February 9th, 2013 | 6pm – 10pm
Exhibition Dates: February 9 – March 2, 2013

Mirus Gallery | 540 Howard Street | San Francisco, CA

SAN FRANCISCO, January 22, 2013 — Mirus Gallery is pleased to announce The Looking Glass: Refraction through the Female Gaze, a group exhibition featuring works by Kimberly Brooks, Sandra Chevrier, Naja Conrad-Hansen, Mercedes Helnwein, Alexandra Levasseur, Jen Mann, Sari Maxfield, Alyssa Monks, Jennifer Nehrbass, Casey O’Connell, Claire Pestaille, Rachel Walker, Janelle Wisehart and Christine Wu. The Looking Glass is the third exhibition to be presented by the newly opened Mirus Gallery, and will examine contemporary representations of the female form. The Looking Glass reinterprets the presentation of women’s bodies through a variety of mediums and practices unified by subject matter and a solely female perspective.

The artists featured in the The Looking Glass challenge the preconceived notion that the female form in art represents a sense of delicacy and untouchable beauty. Creating a new discourse and exploring the woman’s role in artistic context, The Looking Glass is a celebration of the female form that ultimately transcends objectification through the artist’s examination or association with their subjects. Rather than using the female body as an agenda to reinforce societal norms or assert dominance, the artists are able to identify with and explore the spectrum of their subject’s humanity, often as an exercise in self-examination and exploration. The works of art featured in this show are a contemporary examination of the psychology of art practice and explore alternative realms in which the female body is represented.

Kimberly Brooks investigates the role of women as both artists and subjects of the gaze. By inverting the artist-model relationship her practice aims to breakdown the traditional role of spectator, allowing her model the agency to look out from the canvas and stare back at the viewer. In examining contemporary fashion and style, Brooks addresses the role that women themselves play in the perpetuation of certain cultural tropes, and the significance of appearance in depictions of women in art and media.

The work of Rachel Walker borders upon the abstract and the illustrative, presenting the previously marginalized perspectives of female and queer artists. Her works in gouache support an immediacy and honesty in her subject matter, the rapidness required by the medium lends itself to an art practice based upon intuition and chance. The use of feminine cultural figures, fashion and historical imagery assists in her exploration of depictions of race, gender, sexuality and identity.

Mercedes Helnwein examines the myth of the “normal” through her drawings of women and girls outside of the mass media lexicon. With an outsider’s attention to the seemingly banal, Helnwein draws out the eccentricities, oddities and cultural mash up she finds thriving in the backwaters of American life. The exactness of emotion allowed by her use of pencil bring to surface some of the inner struggles and temptations masked by her female subject’s need to “be good”.

Claire Pestaille’s collages challenge a consumer culture that dictates the relentless pursuit of perfection by examining how advertising, Hollywood and other media inform women’s self image. By focusing on the female form, Pestaille is able to bring awareness to women’s experience outside of standardized art historical portrayals. In promoting self acceptance and understanding, she allows her female subjects to be storytellers for themselves, liberated from societal standards and stereotypes.

Approaching her practice as a dialog between her adolescent self, and the woman she is now, Casey O’Connell paints in acrylic and oil stain as a scrapbook of her life and emotions. Her use of female characters lends itself to greater intimacy and relevance to her personal experience, with imagery meeting somewhere between fantasy and honesty.

Mirus Gallery is a dynamic exhibition space established by entrepreneur, Paul Hemming. The gallery features a program of contemporary artwork by emerging and mid-career artists in both solo and thematically organized group shows. Mirus Gallery will highlight work that emphasizes skill and process and aims to engage viewers on a sentient, emotional and evocative level.

In 2013, the initiation of an artist-in-residency program will pursue the gallery’s values of community and collaboration by providing a live-in/on-site studio space for artists to make and exhibit work in a supportive environment, conducive to creativity.

Gallery Hours
Tuesday – Saturday 10-6

540 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA

Gallery Contact

Media Contact
Danielle Grant

PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF FINE ART, Forum on Race and Gender, February



PAFA’s Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building
128 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia

Ken Johnson,The New York Times, Art Critic
Kimberly Brooks, Artist and Founding Editor of Huffington Post Arts
Njideka Akunyili, Artist
Joyce Kozloff, Artist
Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw (moderator), University of Pennsylvania Associate Professor of American Art

A New York Times preview of PAFA’s current exhibition The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World, written by art critic Ken Johnson, sparked a debate around gender and race in regards to art criticism. An open letter, which focuses on this preview, as well as Johnson’s article about the exhibition Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 (at MoMA PS1), was signed by many artists, art historians, curators and others.

PAFA’s forum brings together members of the art community and the public for a lively debate around these questions:

What role does identity politics play in the contemporary art world?

How do gender and race play into the art we make, the art we collect and exhibit, and the way we talk about the merits of a work of art?

Join the conversation! REGISTER NOW.

LA CANVAS Magazine Profile



download pdf >

On the day of our studio visit painter Kimberly Brooks was just back from Paris and eager to show off a stash of vintage fashion drawings she had unearthed there – the kind with cascading heaps of tailored pink satin and elaborate salon interiors in the background. Also, she was about to host a cocktail party to unveil a just-completed wedding portrait of a friend – a ceremonial monument to youth and surreal beauty in which the bride’s voluminous red dress takes up all the room and tells the story of the picture. Although rendered with a crisp Asian-inflected symmetry, it was also reminiscent of those old Renaissance pictures of nobility where the richly made clothes were overly the focal point of the portrait, even more so than the sitter’s face sometimes. Read More

CULTURAMAS Interview with Kimberly Brooks (Spanish) featured in Spain


Kimberly Brooks: “Los niños deberían ser expuestos para hacer arte y música a muy temprana edad a lo largo de la educación básica”.

Pocos conocen fuera de Estados Unidos a esta artista anglosajona, pero realmente es la persona que esta detrás de la sección dedicada al mundo cultural del portal el Huffington Post, uno de los sitios de agregación de noticias mas vistos mundialmente, quien en esta entrevista para Culturamas, nos habló sobre su llegada al portal de noticias, sus inicios en el mundo del arte, su visión sobre la educación artística mundial, los próximos retos tanto como arista y editora, entre varios temas.

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English Translation Below

 Tell us more about your childhood? It´s someone in your family related with arts?

My great grandmother on my mother’s side, Corinne Werthheimer, was a painter and I have one of her watercolors.  It was a different time and she devoted herself to helping the women get the right to vote in America.  My father, Leonard Shlain, also painted but was a surgeon by profession.  Then he went on to become a best-selling author, the first of which was his seminal book called “Art & Physics” which he dedicated to me and the inspiration for which he attributed to my budding talent and incessant questions about art as a child.  I’ve written about it here:
How did you start with an interest in the visual arts?

I can only answer that by saying that I was just born this way.  I was always looking at the shape of things and trying to see if I could recreate what I saw in my head.  I was always staring at the clouds and drawing on everything.

How´s a normal day in your life? How do you divide your time between your art and the Huffington Post?

I wake up very early, make coffee and walk to the edge of the waves on the ocean.  When I come back, I spend the early mornings responding to emails and getting various gyroscopes in motion.  But I use the day light hours I paint.  While I definitely devoted a burst of time to launching the arts section in June 2010, it is a much bigger operation and it is run by an incredible team mostly out of the New York office.   Now I play a different role and can devote most of my time back to painting.

Do you have any hobbies?
I love to cook. And when I read cookbooks and recipes and I can taste what I read as the words reach my eyes.  I love talking walks by the ocean and spending time with my family.
Do you was inspired by some artist in particular?
This would be a very long list, worthy of its own book.  So let me keep it short by saying that I truly admire David Hockney, Bonnard, Bacon and Fischl.
Which is the technique do you work the most?
My technique is constantly evolving and each new series presents it’s own new challenges of depiction.  One goal is consistent though, to convey the most amount of emotion with the fewest amount of strokes.  I want it to appear effortless.
Why are you interested about fashion in your paintings? How you inspired yourself to make your portraits, do you have a special moment for this?
One of my early solo shows was about my mother and her friends in the 1970s called “Mom’s Friends”.  I wanted to capture the era of when women were really coming into their own.   It fascinated me that the aesthetic language of clothing captured a revolution in attitude.  I continue to explore that idea in “The Stylist Project” by focusing on subjects that are highly articulate in the language of fashion.   I asked famous stylists to style themselves are pose for their portrait.  In my most recent series “Thread” I use fashion as a point of deconstruction.  It was not a focus but a starting point, as if visually I was breaking an egg.
Do you prefer to work as a visual artist or as an arts journalist? 
I don’t consider myself an arts journalist but i do like to think about other artists work and interview them.  Around 2007 I decided that my writing muscle needed flexing so I made writing about other artists’ work a part of my art practice.  After about seventy interviews, this is what led Arianna Huffington to ask me to launch the arts section for the Huffington Post.  At the time, I was one of a handful focusing on the artists whereas everyone else was writing about politics and business.
 Which is your perception towards contemporary art today?
This is such a loaded question I cannot answer it in a paragraph.  But I will say this: I think contemporary art is flourishing right now especially because technology has allowed images to be airlifted out of their geography (studios, museums, galleries, etc) and into the blinking eyes of a world audience.  This is causing the visual language of art to become more sophisticated and to progress more.  Only ten years ago no artists had websites.  Oddly, it was considered taboo.  Now everyone has one.
 If not an artist, which could your other career?
I almost became a doctor like my parents but that profession was not for me.  If not an artist, I think I would like to be a classical music conductor.
Which could be your suggestions to approach young generations, especially children with art?
Children should be exposed to making art and music very young and all through their education.  A big problem in America is that many children aren’t exposed to arts education because the focus is on reading, writing and arithmetic.  This will kill the spirit of a child.  Furthermore, the concept of talent should be destroyed and demystified.  Kids should be taught the truth: that anyone can do anything with the right amount of dedication and passion.
 Which is the best way to use new technologies wisely?
Technology has and will continue to obviously revolutionize our world in so many ways.  However, I think when technology is not used a tool (photoshop, word processing, coding, etc.) but used for communication (email, social networking, etc.) that screens should be limited, especially for children, and people should pursue a life that compartmentalizes such interruptions as much as possible.  I have a timer on my iPhone and I don’t allow myself to be interrupted by email or the phone for hours on end.  People who allow themselves to be constantly interrupted are disallowing themselves to have a fertile creative brain environment.
What are the most concerning aspect with the financial crisis?
I most fear the erosion of the middle class and the polarization of wealth.  It has also had a distorting effect on the art world where more people are seeing art as an investment vehicle and fewer people can afford to buy it.
 Should world governments must give more money to arts and culture?  
I sincerely believe that creating a positive and nurturing environment for art and artists would help heal so many of the ills in our world.  Whether or not the government, per se, should be responsible for the distribution of funds is a complicated question.  If anything is done smartly, it will have a positive impact. For example, In America we have a huge problem with overpopulation in prisons.  In California, specifically, they’ve realized that when children have arts as a part of their eduction they’re less likely to drop out of school.  The term they use for people who drop out is “truancy”. People who stay in school are less likely to get involved in drugs, gangs and violence.  They’ve been able to make a direct correlation between crime rates and truancy rates and now they’re making a concerted effort to bolster arts education programs to solve the problem of crime and the prison population long term.
If you were the NEA director, how you could solve the arts budget for orchestras and arts?
I believe the root cause for the problem of orchestras in our country is that the culture is not doing enough to support classical music to children at an early age.  The exposure is thin at best even though every study in the world shows that children who study classical music will help them in every aspect of their education, especially math and writing.  The NEA created Americans for the Arts which is an advocacy program to promote why we need arts as a part of education.  However, all the funding goes to supporting the concept the goodness of arts in schools, instead of putting the money into arts programs themselves.  I would support creating a better means of supporting consistent funding for arts in education.  If you raise a generation of children who love classical music, you won’t see such a high ratio of grey haired people in the Orchestra.  This a huge part of what is what is creating such a deteriorating condition of the orchestras.  I have been a long time board member of a model organization for arts education called P.S. Arts ( which raises money to provide arts education in the local public school system in Southern California.  We have had a dramatic affect on the over 22,000 children we serve.  I see the results first hand.
Why do you decide to merge arts and culture section at HuffPost?
The Culture section was created to be a parent section of Arts, which I created, and Music, TV and Film which came after the merger with AOL.  What ended up happening is that we were cannibalizing the content we should cover.  It made more sense to have one “Super Vertical” so Culture was folded into the arts section.
Which is one of the special moments during your HuffPost careers? What do you learn each day?
Launching an arts page on the Huffington Post was hugely important to me (, I knew that it was the beginning of something big.  I turned out to be right.  I was so happy to provide a forum where artists around the world could be shown and reviewed in front of such a large audience and such an important part of our popular culture. I believe every artist shares my dream of showing her work to the most amount of people.   Last year I launched the science section, in honor of my father Leonard Shlain.  That was also a truly exciting moment.  The other exciting days were when we launched separate daughter pages including ones for Painting, Architecture, Film, Design, Female Artists and Art Meets Science. It’s been an amazing experience.
What´s next?
I’m focusing on two new bodies of work, one is an extension of what I’ve been doing and another is entirely new.


NEW AMERICAN PAINTINGS Must-See Painting Exhibitions

The art world comes alive again in September, as galleries reopen and collectors return from far flung locations. We reviewed upcoming September exhibitions at more than 400 galleries around the country, and there will be a lot of painting on view.

As is typical, many galleries are bringing out the big guns for the new season – from Agnes Martin at The Pace Gallery in New York to a well structured survey of Bay Area figurative painter, Nathan Oliveira, at John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco. Among the shows opening by emerging artists, it is hard to ignore the trend towards abstract painting that has swept over the art world.

Kimberly Brooks | “The Passage”  40 x 30 in. Oil on Linen 2011

Kimberly Brooks “Thread” * Editors Pick
Taylor De Cordoba Sept 10 – Oct 22
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LACMA “Art, Fame & Fashion” Presentation

photo by Aleji Tenutta

Art Bistro- Review
by Emily Waldorf

The Stylist Project Asks, “Is Fashion Art?”

On Wednesday, April 21, LACMA’s Costume Council featured a brilliant presentation by artist Kimberly Brooks, “Art, Fame, and Fashion.” Brooks recently completed the Los Angeles component of the The Stylist Project, a series of oil paintings that will eventually be turned into a book. The Stylist Project hones in on today’s fashion influences and explores the delicate question of whether fashion is art and whether stylists are artists.

Brooks is represented by Taylor de Cordoba Gallery and her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Art Ltd., The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Elle, C Magazine, as well as at juried shows at the Whitney and MoMA. For The Stylist Project, Brooks researched who today’s top trendsetters are, and asked them to sit for her in her studio in their own clothes. Her creative process includes taking hundreds of images of her subjects and then creating a maquette to work from. She lists the work of Henri Matisse and David Hockney as inspiration, which is clear through the sun-drenched colors and formal composition of her gorgeous paintings.

Brooks’ subjects include bold-faced L.A. fashion luminary names including Elizabeth Stewart, Liz Goldywn, Katherine Ross, Jeremy Scott, Jeanne Yang, Andrea Lieberman, and Rachel Zoe, among others. Part 2 of The Stylist Project is focused on New York’s haute fashionistas and will debut in Spring 2011. During her presentation, Brooks challenged the hierarchy of fine art versus applied arts and asked why hanging something on your wall is different than hanging something in your closet. She concluded that paintings can last hundreds of years but fashion is ephemeral by nature, so stylists are “artists of the everyday.”

Brooks’ presentation concluded with a roundtable discussion with two fashion stylistswho posed for her for The Stylist Project, Jeanne Yang and Elizabeth Stewart.

Life by Me/ Kimberly Brooks Interview by Me

(The following interview is the aggregation of answers to a series of questions posed by Sophie Chiche)

I used to be fueled by independence and artistic freedom. I came out of the gate wanting to shock and be shocked by the universe. But that has transformed into a love of much smaller moments, usually in the studio or with my family and people I love, like hours two through six in my studio, a gorgeous view, and cooking a great, healthy meal for my children when they come home from school.

Because I’m an optimist and want to do everything, I’m always having to dial back. My father used to say, “May your grasp always exceed your reach,” or, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.” I’m always edging toward the next new challenge, but that also means I’m constantly reassessing to get back into balance.

I don’t come from a place of judging whether or not other people’s lives are meaningful, but what I’ve observed is that the biggest obstacle often holding people back is a lack of confidence and courage. People who believe in themselves and are brave move forward. People who follow through and realize their dreams, as I’ve been fortunate to do, seem to experience many deeply meaningful moments in their lives.

I love being surprised. A few years ago, when I thought I’d seen it all, I spent time in India for the first time. There wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t surprised – by the colors, the scents, the beauty of the people.

Being in the studio demands a constant state of innovation, with the subject matter or with the material itself. As a painter, every day I face the challenge of discovering a new way and a new thought in the work.

I’ve been developing a meme called The Left Turn Theory. Whenever I feel totally comfortable in a situation and can see the road stretching before me, sometimes endlessly, I make an unexpected left turn and the world becomes exciting, strange, and new again. For example, I never expected to live in Los Angeles. Now, every time I see a palm tree, I’m slightly shocked and surprised and it makes me smile.

Every day, I care less about what other people think and I become more and more daring. In a few months, I might just do something I never imagined I’d do, something I can’t even guess about now. I might even do it naked. Can’t wait.

– Kimberly Brooks

“Coming Together”: Group Show



FEBRUARY 3 – 18, 2012


James Scarborough: Irretrievable Beauty

Kimberly Brooks’s “Thread” at Taylor De Cordoba is neither about fashion nor the women who bring it to life but about how fashion lives but for the moment it’s worn. It’s about the expectations that clothes elicit, and once those expectations are met, memories of the occasion create attempts to rekindle the irretrievable beauty of, say, a “Sunset Boulevard” Gloria Swanson. As such, the show offers a metaphor of aging: we do, style does, and, as is the case here, specific time spent in the particular clothes does.

The show waxes lugubrious, the result of waiting for something or someone that doesn’t arrive. The faces are bland and featureless. Some appear in shadows and, in certain instances, are shadows. Some appear waxen as if at a wake, their wake, while others appear as if at a macabre masquerade ball. The overall effect is that of a post-apocalyptic fashion show (a nice image for looking back on one’s youth), with art direction by Tim Burton, refracted through Goya or Velazquez, and scripted by Cormac McCarthy.

Not so much feminine as asexual, the farthest thing imaginable from elegant or chic, the women may strike a conscious pose – they know their likeness is being captured – but they all look shrink-wrapped. Their model’s hardly-modeled face epitomizes blah, a state of couture obsolescence and personal irrelevance. The woman in Highrise clearly articulates, while the rest allude to alienation, not just from their clothes, their environment, but from themselves. Hardly comfortable in their clothes, they are even less comfortable in their skin, much less their lives.

Kimberly Brooks | “Highrise” 12 x 16 oil on linen 2011

The portraits feel cartoonish; this strikes a nice dynamic between high fashion and lowbrow culture. The women in The Confidant and Punk History have heads that look as if they’re about to be teleported to another solar system, giving them a sci-fi sense. Though their titles (Punk History, The Victorian) suggest specific eras, these two women in particular and the rest of them in general are not of that time and place or any time or place. They seem like re-imaginings of better days that were never better in the first place and thus have a treacly feeling, a Francis Bacon feeling, as if they’re disintegrating at an atomic level, from the inside out. A female version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream in a Stella McCartney dress wouldn’t feel out of place here.

Kimberly Brooks | “The Victorian” 50 x 30 in. Oil on Linen 2011

Perhaps failed romance brings the women to this state of alienation. The posture of the woman in Bing Theatre suggests that she’s been spurned. The red seatback behind the woman in Soho House suggests a heart, as does the blue shape behind the man in The Passage. The Passage could conceivably be a marriage portrait, if it didn’t look as if someone tried to rub out the image of the man (and which could conceivably have led to the solitary woman in the claustrophobic Edward Hopperesque “Highrise”).


Kimberly Brooks | “The Passage” 40 x 30 in. Oil on Linen 2011

The exhibition reads like a designer’s preliminary sketch laid out on a storyboard, ready to be fleshed out. It offers a keen and incisive commentary on the user-end expectations of fashion: to be escorted by a man, to turn heads at galas, theaters, and commemorative portraits, all of which in retrospect result either in prettified mummies or else in sitters who are a lot more lonely than their attire and setting would suggest.

Review Link

LA Weekly: Events

Someday, art lovers will have the technology to attend 50 receptions across as many square miles in the space of two hours — but not this Saturday, when what seems like half the galleris in L.A. simultaneously present blockbuster season-openers.  Culver City makes this Hobson’s choice [of which exhibition to attend] a bit easier, offering a density of must-see exhibitions within a walkable geography….Kimberly Brooks returns to Taylor De Cordoba with haunting, fashion-forward portraiture.” – Shana Nys Dambrot

Naked Summer Newsletter 2011

In an interview with artist Ethan Murrow, I depicted a spectrum I call “The Nudist and The Chemist”. On one side, there is “The Chemist”, who works in a pristine lab with a Bunsen Burner and the thinnest of pipette; on the other, there is “The Nudist”, who slathers paint with a spatula in one hand, a glass of wine in the other, all- while naked. While every artist’s approach is different, I’m leaning towards “The Nudist”.  I think of the elder Matisse, who worked in bed into his eighties with yards of fabric, a big pair of scissors and sunglasses that the doctor prescribed he wear for fear the colors might get him too excited.

For this recent show I’ve been painting directly on oil primed linen, stapling it to the wall and then stretching it afterwards. All the themes I’ve been working on as a painter — portraiture, narrative, the language of costume– have melted into one another the way meat falls off the bone after it’s been roasting for a long time– no longer recognizable in its former incarnation, but more succulent. Whereas my previous exhibitions revolved around specific subjects, including people wearing specific types of styles (“Mom’s Friends”) or people who wield style altogether (“The Stylist Project”), I now let folds and patterns serve as a vehicle for a kind of abstraction.  I’ve created a series of “unportraits” where the figure no longer serves a purpose like telling a story. It’s a shape, a part of the painting.

Thread by Kimberly Brooks at Taylor De Cordoba

Kimberly Brooks “Punk History” Oil on Linen 40 x 36 in.


PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
Kimberly Brooks: “Thread”, September 10 – October 22, 2011 Opening Reception: Saturday September 10, 2011 6pm – 8pm

Taylor De Cordoba is pleased to present “Thread”, a solo exhibition of new oil paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks. The exhibition will run from September 10 – October 22. The gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, September 10 from 6pm-8pm.

In her latest body of work, Kimberly Brooks continues to explore portraiture, specifically the complexities of representations of female identities. While in her previous series, including Mom’s Friends (2007) and The Stylist Project (2010), the artist used figures to construct narratives, here the female form is part of a broader abstracted landscape. And while earlier portraits boasted an uncanny likenesses to their subjects, Brooks’ style has shifted into something that is simultaneously looser and richer. Facial features have been abstracted and bodies distorted. Fashion and costume, a longtime theme for Brooks, is also deconstructed. Once painstakingly rendered folds and drapes have been reduced to their essential shapes and color fields. In these sumptuous new images, Brooks continues to addresses questions about how we frame beauty, and the phenomenon of fashion as a both pop culture and artistic touchstone.   Taken as a whole, the new paintings create a meta-narrative that contemplates “threads” that define, unite and separate us across different cultures and eras.

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 numerous including the Los Angeles Times, Art Ltd., Daily Serving, The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Vogue, among other publications.

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

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.


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
MOCA Grand Avenue
Ahmanson Auditorium
250 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Date and Time:
Saturday, August 13, 2011, at 3 pm
Admission is free and seating is very limited so please RSVP your request to today. You will receive a confirmation via email by August 4 __if your request can be honored.

MOCA Contemporaries Art Panel, May 3rd 2011

I’ll be speaking on MOCA Contemporary’s Art Panel as the resident artist discussing “The Stylist Project” and much more with Curator Rose Apodaca, Stylists Arianne Phillips and Michael Schmidt. I hope you can join me.

6:30 Refreshments | 7:00 – 9:00 pm Panel | Ray Kurtzman Theater | Creative Artists Agency | 2000 Avenue of the Stars
Tickets $40 at | For more information call 213.633.5348

New American Paintings #103

Kimberly Brooks’ work is featured in the recent Pacific Coast Edition of New American Paintings, Juried Exhibitions in Print.


New American Paintings is the most prestigious Print Exhibitions in North America, Distributed Internationally and receives over five thousand submissions annually. You can pick it up at your local newsstand or order one online here:


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.

2010-11-29-miamibasel.jpg Miami Basel 2008
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!

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.


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 >

I Survived Giving a TED Lecture

What would you do if you had 18 minutes to impart a meme on a stage in front of an audience with three cameras and no notes?   I created a lecture that combined the ideas of three essays I had written in the past, and then added some personal stuff.  They encouraged making it personal in the “TED Commandments” materials that I received when I agreed to strip off my clothes and waltz around in a bikini… I mean talk on stage and be fascinating with no notes… I have done so many things that scare me in one year.  I’m actually getting use to it.  If it doesn’t scare me than what’s the point?  Now I wait while they edit.  Honored to be chosen as the guest speaker.  Still recovering..

Preparing for TED

I’m speaking at a satellite TED conference on Friday in Fullteron about the arts.  I’ve been walking around my neighborhood with index cards talking to myself and people might think I’m crazy.   Rehearse rehearse rehearse!

Seven Rings: Artist Telephone

Today I played 7 Rings, the game created by Rebecca Campbell and Nicole Walker on the Huffington Post.   Each participant has 24 hours to respond to the previous artist’s work.  I was responding to the poem below by Alison Deming called The Mirror.

“Chains for Alison” 2010, gouche on paper, 9″ x 12″ Kimberly Brooks


Once I had a cat who studied himself
in the mirror. He didn’t know
what it was in there staring back at him
but he couldn’t stop looking
because the face never turned away
and eyes meeting eyes
want more seeing. It’s already dark.
No moonlight. No whippoorwill–
the bird that tormented my childhood
refusing to take on the night
without incessant song. That bird
must have been the size of a fire hydrant,
something alarming anyway, I thought then,
but learned later it was just a pip
of feathered life with a voice
insistent as the news, that continuity
of disaster and argument to which
we all belong–bomb in recruiting office,
stoning in public square, crude oil
in everyone’s hair, to mosque or not
to mosque. Don’t turn away. It’s just
the brute world that will outlive us,
the lean hard muscle of it
flexing. But the birds
don’t belong, they are settling
into the night, their feathered quilts
ready-made. Some of them
are rising out of their bodies, whole
categories of bodies, and into
the being of non-being where of course
we’re all headed after a few more parties
and fixations of eyes upon eyes. But first
who doesn’t want to make something
of it, the clutch of childhood’s
solitary rages and the way the face
begins to cave in on itself with age
so that it looks like an Arizona landscape,
all contour and defile, telling the outcome
of its story to everyone, leaving out
a few details, so that a person might stare at
himself and say, Don’t I know you from
somewhere? You look so familiar and yet . . .

Alison Deming was responding to self portraits by Don Bachardy.

Don Bachardy, Untitled,  2010, Acrylic on Paper, Aprox. 24″ x 36″

7 Rings is a game of artist telephone that we launched on August 2nd.  I wrote about the overall concept for the game here.

7 Rings: Artist Telephone

Today I played 7 Rings, the game created by Rebecca Campbell and Nicole Walker on the Huffington Post.   Each participant has 24 hours to respond to the previous artist’s work.  I was responding to the poem below by Alison Deming called The Mirror.

“Chains for Alison” 2010, gouche on paper, 9″ x 12″ Kimberly Brooks


Once I had a cat who studied himself
in the mirror. He didn’t know
what it was in there staring back at him
but he couldn’t stop looking
because the face never turned away
and eyes meeting eyes
want more seeing. It’s already dark.
No moonlight. No whippoorwill–
the bird that tormented my childhood
refusing to take on the night
without incessant song. That bird
must have been the size of a fire hydrant,
something alarming anyway, I thought then,
but learned later it was just a pip
of feathered life with a voice
insistent as the news, that continuity
of disaster and argument to which
we all belong–bomb in recruiting office,
stoning in public square, crude oil
in everyone’s hair, to mosque or not
to mosque. Don’t turn away. It’s just
the brute world that will outlive us,
the lean hard muscle of it
flexing. But the birds
don’t belong, they are settling
into the night, their feathered quilts
ready-made. Some of them
are rising out of their bodies, whole
categories of bodies, and into
the being of non-being where of course
we’re all headed after a few more parties
and fixations of eyes upon eyes. But first
who doesn’t want to make something
of it, the clutch of childhood’s
solitary rages and the way the face
begins to cave in on itself with age
so that it looks like an Arizona landscape,
all contour and defile, telling the outcome
of its story to everyone, leaving out
a few details, so that a person might stare at
himself and say, Don’t I know you from
somewhere? You look so familiar and yet . . .

Alison Deming was responding to self portraits by Don Bachardy.

Don Bachardy, Untitled,  2010, Acrylic on Paper, Aprox. 24″ x 36″

7 Rings is a game of artist telephone that we launched on August 2nd.  I wrote about the overall concept for the game here.

TEDxFullerton, Kimberly Brooks, Special Guest Speaker

TEDxFullerton, “Ideas worth spreading in Orange County”


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2010 “…TEDxFullerton’s special guest speaker is artist Kimberly Brooks, a painter and new media artist who recently conceived and launched the Arts Section of the Huffington Post, a new “vertical”, where she serves as Arts Editor.   Like Ms. Brooks who lives “creative” community through her endeavors, TEDxFullerton showcases other fascinating thinkers and doers, fabulous individuals from the arts, corporate, nonprofit, innovation spaces who also live his/her “creative” community.

TEDxFullerton, produced by ArtspaceOC and hosted by Fullerton College’s Fine Arts Division, will be held Friday, September 10, 2010 from 8am – 6:30pm at Fullerton College’s Campus Theater.  Interested attendees need to apply to participate in this limited space event…

About TED TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then, its scope has broadened to include science, business, the arts, and the global issues facing our world. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives — in 18 minutes. Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, and philanthropists — is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Nandan Nilekani, Jane Goodall, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono…”  for full press release go to

Introducing 7 Rings: Online Game of Artist Telephone

What happens when you invite a group of artists to play their own game of online “telephone,” that is, to create and post a work of art in response to another piece of art, but with only 24 hours to do so?

Kimberly Brooks, artist and editor of HuffPost Arts, an online arts hub, will present this Monday the first installation of “7 Rings,” a collaborative project created by Rebecca Campbell and Nicole Walker engaging a growing list of 60 writers and artists who will create individual works in response to each other.

The project starts on Monday August 2nd, when a painting by Rebecca Campbell will appear on HuffPost. The subject of the picture is Campbell’s two small children, asleep, which the artist painted within 24 hours after spotting a headline, “Wake Them When It’s Over,” that appeared on The Huffington Post about the media’s blasé coverage of recent damning military leaks about the war in Afghanistan. On Tuesday, August 3rd, Nicole Walker, the poet and essayist, will respond to Rebecca’s work, making the first link.

On Wednesday, August 4th, pop installation artist Nancy Kienholz will post a photo of the creation she makes in response to Walker’s poem. Again, Kienholz will have under a day to finish and post her piece. Writer and poet Nick Flynn will have 24 hours to post a response to Kienholz’s piece, on Thursday, August 5th. This game of telephone will go on for 60 days, seven days a week. And perhaps longer, as additional artists sign on to the project.

The idea is to spark a spontaneous online dialogue between artists of multiple disciplines.  7 Rings brings to life the creative process while leveraging the immediacy and sense of community of the web. The results are sure to be surprising and thought-provoking.

Read whole article here:

The Huffington Post Names Artist Kimberly Brooks as Arts Editor

The Huffington Post Launches HuffPost Arts

Online Arts ‘Hub’ Features Wide-Ranging Coverage And Fresh, Unfiltered Voices

New York, NY, June 16, 2010 — The Huffington Post (“HuffPost”), a leading social news and opinion site, today announced the launch of “HuffPost Arts,” a newsection covering all things arts and culture related, including up-to-the minute news and commentary from artists and opinion-makers. The section is an online arts ‘hub,’ covering a wide range of subjects, from fine art and sculpture to opera and filmmaking. HuffPost Arts is edited by artist Kimberly Brooks. Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, made the announcement.

“We think it’s natural to apply HuffPost’s blend of real-time news and unbridled opinion to the broad world of arts and culture,” said Arianna Huffington.  “Kimberly Brooks has long been one of my favorite HuffPost bloggers, and we’re thrilled that she’ll be editing a new section about which she’s so passionate. Her open, inclusive approach to the arts is a perfect match for HuffPost and one which we think our community will be equally as excited about.”
Said Kimberly Brooks: “As an artist, I want to be a part of any effort that helps other artists get more exposure for their art, so encouraging Huffington Post bloggers and readers to share their opinions — and their work — is something I especially look forward to.”

About The Huffington Post:
The Huffington Post ( is a leading social news and opinion site which in four and a half years has become an influential and oft-quoted media brand, “The Internet Newspaper.” The Huffington Post (“HuffPost”) has over 30 million unique visitors per month (source: Google Analytics) and is the most-linked-to blog on the Internet, per Technorati.  Among those who have blogged on HuffPost are Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Larry David, Nora Ephron, Larry Page, Madeleine Albright, Robert Redford, Neil Young, Rahm Emanuel, Albert Brooks, Mia Farrow, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Ari Emanuel, Gary Hart, Edward Kennedy, Harry Shearer, John Kerry, Bill Maher, Nancy Pelosi, Madonna, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ryan Reynolds, Craig Newmark, Alec Baldwin, Donna Karan, Kenneth Cole and Donatella Versace. A comprehensive list of the contributors to The Huffington Post can be found in its blogger index:

Artist Kimberly Brooks Launches Arts Page for the Huffington Post

For years, I have had the privilege of interviewing and writing about over seventy eight artists for a column on the Huffington Post called First Person Artist. During that time I made the process of writing and having a conversation with other artists an integral part of my art practice.  On Wednesday, June 16, I am happy to announce that the Huffington Post will have a section devoted solely to the Arts. The Arts Section will cover the full range of arts and culture – from painting to filmmaking to architecture. We are encouraging artists, curators and critics alike to write about their work, review others’ work, write about anything newsworthy that inspires further thought or a strong opinion or curate their own online exhibitions. Here’s Arianna Huffington’s announcement.  Here’s mine.  Here’s the page:



The Creative Process in Eight Stages
Rockstars, Orphans and Rescue Missions
Art of the Headshot
Why Artists Shouldn’t Have Blackberries
The Macho Art World
The Painting Whisperer vs. The Anxiety of Abstraction
Artist as Exhibitionist
Artist Porn
Michele Obama, Master Colorist and Me
Judging a Campaign by it’s Colors
What Climate Change Might Look Like
Mothers Against Plastic
The Gap Logo, New Coke and The Legendary Walter Landor
If I Were Queen: Kids & Screens
Art & Physics and Me
A Vigil for my Father, Leonard Shlain
Facebook and the Death of Mystery

Selected Artist Interviews

First Person Artist
Nudist And the Chemist: Ethan Murrow
Photography Undergoes a Sex Change: Tom Chambers
Painting Evolution Liat Yossifor
The Wonderful World of Kirsten Hassenfeld
Defiant Iranian Painter Abelina Galustian
Stephanie Schneider and the End of Polaroid
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Dancing With Divorced Men: Allison Kaufman
America Screaming: Liz Markus
Fear & Faith: Rebecca Campbell
Recreating History: Angela Dufresne


Founding Arts Editor, Huffington Post
Highlights & Milestones
Merging Arts with Culture
Introducing Huffington Post Arts

Allison Gibson: The Stylist Project

KIMBERLY BROOKS: The Stylist Project

The history of portraiture is in many ways a history of influence. Most portrait subjects held a certain degree of influence over the church, the state, and the cultural climates of their times—fashion trends of course among the latter. From monarchs to wealthy arts patrons to courtesans lying languidly on chaise lounges, the figures rendered by painters throughout the history of art have served as veritable cover models. To view their portraits hanging on the walls of the Academy was not only to behold the work of the masters but also to check out the latest style trends.

Maybe it’s a stretch to think of the Academy as a proto-Vogue, but the art world has certainly maintained an open flirtation with the fashion industry since long before even Andy Warhol trotted his wacky wigs around Studio 54 with the likes of Diane von Fürstenberg. And while these days there is more collaboration between the two fields than ever before, the most compelling form for illustrating this interplay remains portraiture.


With The Stylist Project, Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks gives us the contemporary answer to this portrayal by painting the those whose newly minted power holds great influence on today’s fashion culture: the stylists.

In her series of oil painted portraits, Brooks shines a spotlight not on fashion’s cover girls but on the industry’s most iconic tastemakers. These are women and men who, while famous by name, rarely find themselves in the limelight: after all, theirs too is the work of the artist rather than the sitter, styling models and celebrities for editorial spreads in high fashion glossies and prepping them for flashbulbs that fire at red carpets. At the end of the day, they influence the trends because they control the fashion world’s visual message.

An avid student of form, Brooks’s work draws heavily on the historical tradition of fine art portraiture. The regal positions of some of her sitters call to mind Renaissance royals, and the sprawled poses of others, such as Emmy Award winning Mad Men Costume Designer Janie Bryant, can’t help but conjure the seductive early Modernist masterpieces of Manet. In this way, The Stylist Project creates a dialog between the editorial and the art historical, between what Brooks calls “the ephemeral nature of the fashion cycle” and the enduring power of oil paintings.

While glamorous on the surface, Brooks’s work also captures an underlying tension that exists between the luxuriousness of the world where these stylists and creative directors work and the suggestion of at least a few of the figures’ unease at being thrust for the first time into starring roles.

In the case of longtime Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington—whose face has recently become as familiar to the public as it’s long been to fashion industry insiders thanks to the popular documentary “The September Issue” and her own recently released memoir—the allure of the portraits lies in their intimacy. Here we have Grace Coddington, not of Condé Nast’s frenzied 12th floor, but as a quiet creative. Painted in her own Prada, she appears as unembellished as she does in the raw photographs that Brooks captured during their one-on-one session at Ms. Coddington’s apartment.

In every piece, Brooks handles the paint with generosity and with restraint. There are moments of vivid realism: the texture of the leopard print rug upon which Grace Coddington lays is as richly rendered as any luxury textile, and the colors are as vibrant as any seen on Fashion Week runways. Other details she’s chosen to soften to an almost impressionistic gesture—especially her handling of this subject’s famous and otherwise unruly red hair.

Each subject in the series has styled herself. And each poses not in the artist’s studio but in the comfort of her own home, taking a cue from the Northern Renaissance trend toward depicting a more authentic tableau. In the same way, each object on the sitters’ bookshelves and console tables reflects the iconography of our time, so that the wedding photo behind New York Times fashion editor turned top celebrity stylist Elizabeth Stewart informs her portrait as much as the ankle wrap sandals she has chosen to wear. The result is an honest look at a fleeting moment in the life of somebody who traffics in the equally as fleeting fashion industry.

Brooks conceived the idea while working on her series Mom’s Friends — an intensely personal project about her mother and her mother’s friends in the 70s.  Pursuing fashion as a language within portraiture, she attended lecture at LACMA about the influence of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli’s fashions on the paintings of Matisse.  Surrounded by unimaginely dressed women of the costume council, it occurred to Brooks to explore fashion’s influence as a subject in and of itself and the people who influence fashion from the top.

As it has developed, The Stylist Project has become both a celebration of, and a study in, the influences that fashion and art continue to have on one another. The work is a time-stamped look at the fashions and tastemakers of the moment, and it is also an addition to the timeless tradition of portraiture.


Los Angeles Times Magazine: Culture(d)


Pop stars have fascinated contemporary artists for years—think Andy Warhol, Richard Prince and Elizabeth Peyton. Painter Kimberly Brooks now trains her eye on those who labor to make them popular. The Stylist Project includes portraits of L.A. tastemakers, including (clockwise from top left) celebrity stylist Elizabeth Stewart, Rose Apodaca (co-owner of A+R) and costume designer Janie Bryant (Mad Men). Through April 3. Taylor De Cordoba Gallery, 2660 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310-559-9156,

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.

WWD – Painted Ladies, Artist Kimberly Brooks Chooses Fashion Flock as Her Subject

Stylists like Rachel Zoe, Arianne Phillips and Nancy Steiner are used to earning top dollar to make celebrities look camera-ready. But recently they had the tables turned on them, posing for painter Kimberly Brooks as part of her new series “The Stylist Project.” And much like her aesthetically attuned subjects, Brooks took a highly detailed approach in rendering their likeness.

A month before the exhibit’s opening, Brooks stands in her Venice, Calif., bungalow studio counting the number of cerulean blue feathers she needs to paint on a Valentino coat wrapped around Zoe’s tiny frame; perfecting the aristocratic stance of Katherine Ross, consultant for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, who evokes John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X” in a black Rodarte gown, and adding final touches to the black beaded necklace and white bracelet in Jessica Paster’s topless pose.

“They are setters of scenes,” says Brooks, acknowledging the challenge of tackling such fashionable muses. “They know what they want. They are very specific.”

“The Stylist Project,” which will be on display at Los Angeles’ Taylor De Cordoba gallery from Feb. 27 through April 3, is an offshoot of Brooks’ first solo show in 2007, “Mom’s Friends,” which portrayed her mother and her girlfriends glammed up in furs and feathered hair in the Seventies. After attending a museum lecture on how designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli influenced the painter Matisse, Brooks decided to document a moment in fashion with the help of stylists. With her easy manner, Brooks had little trouble convincing women such as Elizabeth Stewart and “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant to sit for the hundreds of photos on which she based her painted portraits.

“She’s so down to earth and incredibly kind,” says Jeanne Yang, whose clients include Katie Holmes. “When she takes pictures, she talks to you and makes you feel attractive.”

Brooks studied fine arts at UCLA and Otis College of Art and Design…. Still, she felt a kinship with the stylists. “I see them as artists, too. I use paint. They use Prada,” she adds.

Even with the latest designer looks at their disposal, some subjects still found themselves at a loss when it came to styling themselves. Yang, for one, couldn’t choose a single dress, so she wore three by Marc Jacobs, Leonard of Paris and Sari Gueron (the latter made the final cut for the painting). Andrea Lieberman waited until the last minute to pluck a navy and white striped maxidress from her own fashion line, A.L.C.

Once done with her Los Angeles-based series, Brooks will seek inspiration from New York image makers such as Grace Coddington, Nina Garcia, Brana Wolf, Amy Fine Collins and Lori Goldstein. She hopes to eventually take her project to London, then Paris, and publish a book highlighting the stylish set she’s immortalized on canvas.

“These people are used to styling for a red carpet or an evening out,” Brooks says. “That’s ephemeral while paintings last for hundreds of years.”

“Kimberly Brooks: The Stylist Project” opens Feb. 27 at Los Angeles’ Taylor De Cordoba gallery, 2660 South La Cienega Boulevard.

LATimes: Portraits In Style ~ Kimberly Brooks Captures the Looks of Top L.A. Stylists and Designers on Canvas

Fashion stylists once worked behind the scenes, their faceless names relegated to the credit pages of magazines. But lately some have been stepping into the spotlight (hello, Rachel Zoe), gaining recognition for the important role they play when it comes to trends, the red carpet and popular culture.

Artist Kimberly Brooks became so enamored of stylists that she has dedicated an entire exhibition to the trade. “The Stylist Project” opens with a public reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Taylor De Cordoba in Culver City, and the fashion world will be watching.

Featuring a dozen portraits of L.A.’s top stylists, costume designers and influential tastemakers, the exhibition includes subjects such as Zoe, Andrea Lieberman, Liz Goldwyn, Cameron Silver and Elizabeth Stewart, who styled themselves for individual photo shoots with Brooks. The artist then spent up to 80 hours creating each painting.

“Painting portraits of live people is a huge responsibility,” Brooks said in a recent interview. “You can’t help but to inhale their energy and the mood, and then you have to translate that on canvas with color and body language.”

For one shoot, the Melrose shop Decades opened early so that celebrity stylist Jessica Paster could be photographed nude save for some black beaded necklaces and a pair of panties. “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant was shot draped over a sofa wearing a 1960s emerald cocktail dress and holding a cigarette that was painted in after the fact.

Brooks set stylists such as Jeanne Yang at ease.

“There’s such a confidence in her and I felt like she was an old friend even though I just met her,” said Yang, who designs the women’s label Holmes & Yang with Katie Holmes. “We sat down and had some bagels and then I left it in her hands.” The result is a vibrant and sultry portrait that Yang hopes will end up hanging in her home.

The exhibition challenges the viewer to think about the meaning of personal style and question who is ultimately responsible for trends that take off in popular fashion. A LACMA talk that Brooks attended on Elsa Schiaparelli’s and Chanel’s influences on Matisse’s paintings sparked the idea for the portrait series, which is the first of its kind.

“She really captured the essence of me, and the thing that was so shocking was that I think I look really beautiful in the painting, and it’s not really how I see myself,” said Arianne Phillips, the 2006 Oscar-nominated costume designer (and stylist for Madonna) who wore a faux fur neckpiece and a velvet capelet to pose alongside her dog Lucy. “The woman in the portrait is very intriguing.”

Brooks’ process involved photographing the subjects as well as their surroundings and personal effects for inspiration. “Most of the stylists seemed to feel a bit awkward posing for the camera, which makes for great portraiture because you’re getting a raw image of them,” noted Brooks, who studied English at UC Berkeley and fine arts at UCLA and Otis College of Art and Design in L.A.

As word spread and Brooks made more contacts, she found herself with too many subjects for just one exhibit. In spring 2011, she plans to go to the Big Apple to showcase portraits of New York-based stylists and style makers such as Vogue’s Grace Coddington, Chloe Sevigny, Nina Garcia, Georgina Chapman of Marchesa and many others.

Fashion portraiture is a major change from her last solo exhibit, “Technicolor Summer,” which focused on family, nature and illness. It was inspired by the illness of Brooks’ father, acclaimed surgeon and author Leonard Shlain, who died last year from brain cancer. He dedicated his first book, “Art & Physics,” to Brooks because it was her questions about art as a 12-year-old growing up in Mill Valley, Calif., that inspired the work.

After discovering painting at age 18, Brooks moved to Paris for a year to work on her art and study at the Sorbonne. “I played piano in hotels and restaurants at night,” she remembered. “It was a magical time even though I was starving.” She developed a love of painters such as Matisse, David Hockney and Albrecht Durer.

After she returned to California, painting became a bona fide obsession. “I discovered the golden light of Los Angeles and that’s when I decided to pivot and move here,” said Brooks, who writes about art for the Huffington Post and is a P.S. Arts board member. “The call to paint with oil and canvas became much stronger, and I threw myself into it full time after I had my children.” She is a mother to two children, ages 9 and 11, and is married to filmmaker and actor Albert Brooks. She studiously avoids revealing her age, saying that even her husband doesn’t know how old she is.

Brooks found her Venice studio, which she has decorated with a wall of inspirational photos and tear sheets, nearly six years ago, and it has become her refuge at least four hours a day. She takes rides on her turquoise Electra beach cruiser between canvases and listens to Sinatra and classical music while painting.

With the show right around the corner, Brooks is ready for the fashion set to see her work. And thanks to the exhibition she has learned a thing or two about her own personal style. “Since doing this project I’m much less afraid of mixing colors in my own wardrobe,” she said. “Now I try not to buy black because L.A. has a much broader palette.”

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