PERCEPTION & HALLUCINATION, Meditation and Mescaline: Kelsey Brookes @ Quint Gallery
What happens when you paint drugs. Not on drugs, but the actual compositions of chemicals that open your mind. Or, how do you paint meditation? These have long been the concepts of Southern California-based painter, Kelsey Brookes, who has explored "meditative abstraction" in his works for years. Or as we have read, "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."
Brookes is now back at his home gallery, Quint Gallery, in La Jolla, California for his newest exhibition, PERCEPTION & HALLUCINATION. The show features two bodies of work: the Veil series and Form Constants.
Brookes says of his Veil series; "These paintings represent my first departure from empirically derived concepts in the last 5 years. The Veil paintings were inspired by my first hand, experiences with Insight Meditation, which at first had me very confused, and mostly still does. I found myself contemplating and feeling things that as a scientist and a materialist I was not totally comfortable with. Questioning my existence each morning was a new perspective to say the least. So I decided to make art about it."
Also on view will be paintings from the series Form Constants, a concept developed by Heinrich Klüver, a psychologist who systematically studied recurrent patterns observed by users of mescaline during hallucinations, near-death experiences and other altered states of consciousness. There were four basic patterns of visual perception that emerged: tunnels, spirals, lattices and cobwebs. Rooted in our collective unconscious, these Form Constants have become templates for Brookes to overlay with the exact shapes of drug molecules (mescaline, psilocybin, etc.), and grant access to such visual experiences. With these new Form Constant paintings, Brookes presents the primordial brain at work, zooming down to a microscopic level where mental cobwebs have never looked so good.
Please join Quint Gallery on Saturday, January 11th at 11am for an Artist Talk and Walk-Through with Kelsey Brookes to discuss his current solo exhibition, Perception and Hallucination, which ends on January 18th.