I enjoy his work thoroughly but must admit a preference to his pieces that predate this chapter of his work, best way i can word it is that I find his newer pieces a little too lose in their execution or composition as compared to his work from say 3,4 years ago.
You know in a lot of ways I agree with you. The first work I saw struck me deeply. It was very powerful and spiritual and had a high degree of representational craftsmanship. The recent looser style (especially a lot of the work at the new image show) had a transitional feel. He is moving towards something else. The reason I purchased the piece I did had a lot to do with it appearing to build a bridge between those two styles.
Many contemporary/lowbrow/street artists appear to find a style and stick quite closely to it. I personally like to see growth and change over the course of an artist's life and encourage it with purchases that challenge my previously held aesthetic.
I think Jeff Soto's work over the past few years has also shown that and was happy to purchase a work that expanded upon his initial style.
These two new prints are very similar to the work from Kelsey's most recent show at New Image Art.
He posted two new works on his website, "Feast" and "Tiger Tiger". I think this is a very exciting direction for him. These pieces feel grand, while staying true to the detailed brush work he did for the New Image Art show.
I love Kelsey's new work. I'm pretty sure he was initially going to be taking part in a group exhibition at Quint. Don't know what happened, but it's great that he got a solo. I'm really looking forward to seeing the preview when it's out.
Kelsey had a great review in the June issue of ARTnews
ARTnews – National Review – Kelsey Brookes: Bigger, Bighter, Bolder by Robert L. Pincus
Kelsey Brookes intricately assembles large iconlink images from countless minute paintings of beings and things that maybe related to the central subject or may not. Inside the form of a trumpeting elephant’s head or a dancing female figure, the viewer may come upon cartoonish creatures with boxy mouths and big ears, snippets of text, eyeballs with links to Buddhist and Hindu iconography, and a wide assortment of other curiosities. The overall effect is pleasingly maximalist.
Brookes’s technique suggests affinities with Ryan McGinness and Shepard Fairey. And like those artists, Brookes is a crossover figure. Straddling the worlds of graphic design and art, he has attracted a fan base from the surf and skate cultures for his illustration work. But this exhibition, “Bigger, Brighter, Bolder,” with 12 large paintings and an assortment of tiny ones, demonstrated that Brookes isn’t content simply to adapt his established style to canvas. The imagery here was looser, more painterly and the array of symbolic forms more expansive.
There were three broad categories of paintings on view. Most numerous were the animal portraits. Each creature depicted looked a bit generic in contour and pose, but the cornucopia of little forms within supplied a seductive energy. By contrast, the tondo paintings, all with slender rays radiating from the center like a cosmic pinwheel, were forceful and polished. Tiger, Tiger (2009) by itself constituted the third group. It’s imagery is derived from William Blake’s poem “The Tyger,” but Brookes’s palette verges on the psychedelic, and the picture incorporates Blake’s text into its landscape with a dreamlike effectiveness. If this work signals a new, higher ambition to bring together concept and form, background and subject, detail and grand design, then Brookes is an artist worth following.
Some new work from Kelsey at New Image. Kelsey experimented with a couple of new things - my favorite being the spinning explosion pieces and the puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces are great and as you can see from the picture, the rings pop out and can be interchanged. The only problem with them is that one has to purchase both pieces (or know the other collector who purchased the accompanying piece) to fully appreciate the work.