by Ariadna Zierold
San Diego-based Kelsey Brookes has shifted his focus to explosive, kaleidoscopic paintings that fuse his fascinations with microbiomes, Buddhist philosophy, exotic plant life, and human desire. His meticulous compositions include bright colors and repetitive patterns resembling abstract mandalas, psychedelic tessellations, and energetic fields.
“The brain and its product, the mind, are a fascinating subject; I question existence, both philosophically and scientifically, and because of my background, a good place to start my interrogation of life is through the material science of the brain.” Kelsey Brookes
Brookes masterfully melds a deep knowledge of cognitive science and art to create bright, intensely detailed paintings that abstract drug compounds, molecules, atoms and hallucinogenic states to heighten a viewer’s sensory perceptions and reactions. His two main bodies of work — molecules and aesthetic abstractions — are created with a rigorous process of attentiveness. A process of focusing awareness on the paint that is lost from the brush as it is applied to the surface of the canvas, then refocusing attention as the mind wanders away; which provides visual evidence of both an artistic process and meditation in practice.