Troy Brooks

    • Oil on Canvas
    • 11 x 14 in. 
    • © 2016
  • For me it’s always been important to see and hear dissonant women within the culture. My attitudes about women were formed when I was made to feel humiliated for being a “girlish" little boy. To me, THAT is a very engrained heritage of misogyny that goes unnoticed for the most part. I have a theory that gay men are fascinated by powerful, flamboyant women because it’s so validating to see that feminine principle we identify with rise up and command reverence. In this painting I wanted her to be a symbol of power and discordance, so I mixed some elements of the Virgin Queen, the Salem Witches and punk. I wanted her to be defiant and fearless of burning for her authority. So I thought it would be a good idea to have her mouth somehow resemble a smoking gun.

    Known for his surrealistic portraits of elongated women with stretched oval faces and simplified features, self taught artist Troy Brooks once joked that, had he gone to art school, it would have “fixed” his work’s most defining characteristic. “One thing that used to drive me crazy was that I always made the faces too long. It was something I used to have to go back and fix in my drawings. When I began creating my own characters I decided to just accentuate it,” Brooks says.

    Influenced by classic Hollywood films from the 20s, 30s and 40s particularly, the women that he paints have a timeless glamour about them, lit dramatically to give them a sense of eerie seductiveness and intensified emotion. On why he paints women, Brooks relates the subjects in his oil paintings to his own feelings and expereinces as a gay artist who was bullied as a child for being “like a girl”: “The women in my paintings were confrontational and in charge. They had access to everything I felt was out of reach for me. They faced my fears in cryptic tableaux and conquered,” he says. Their androgyny implies their uncompromised sexual identity, where the woman is creating chaos and embracing it with courage, in Brooks words, “completely visible and not backing down.”

  • This piece will be available for pickup after the closing of the exhibition on October 8, 2016. Any shipping costs will be invoiced separately at the time of shipment for this piece.

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