Kelsey Brookes is a former biochemist who attributes his raw style to an education system “that refuses to teach scientists to draw”. He abandoned biochemistry because “I thought I was going to be there for a few months to get myself some money. Three years later I was left wondering if I had become what I always despised – the funny guy at the water cooler … except not so funny. I was the confused not so funny guy at the water cooler.” Science’s loss is art’s gain and Kelsey’s powerful canvasses attracted due attention when he showed in London for the first time at Santa’s Ghetto last year. The work’s potency arguably lies in the way its clash of ancient and ultra-modern references even drown out the sex and death which also features heavily. He describes his art as “an unrefined and some would say unskilled mix of sex, comedy and animals which is derived from a true passion for all three, except not necessarily at the same time.”
Kelsey’s work is also embraced by the California surf scene that devours his free time. He’s produced designs for several forward-thinking surf clothing labels including Ocean Pacific and Insight51.
Ahead of his solo show at Quint gallery in California later this year, this Friday we’re turning over the entire Greek Street basement to confirmed hair-farmer Kelsey Brookes, presenting a host of fantastic new original works on paper from only £100, many of which were created during a recent trip to land-locked Berlin (Kelsey spends up to 8 hours a day surfing in and around his native San Diego; keeping him well away from waves allows the webbing between his fingers to recede just enough for him to hold a pen and brush) alongside a retrospective of his canvas paintings to date, with selected pieces on sale from £1000 + VAT.