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 likeness 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 address 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.
Make sure to catch Kimberly Brooks’ third solo show currently on view at Taylor De Cordoba through October 22nd.