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These Surrealist Caricatures Were Inspired by Medieval Portraiture

Troy Brooks's removes the veil on a new set of portraits in his 'The B-Girls' exhibition.

The elongated eerily bewitching women in surrealist painter Troy BrooksThe B-Girls show look as though they could be close relatives of that scowling food critic from Ratatouille. Even though each character has more or less the same expression on his or her face, the collection conveys a variety of different emotions and ideas. The Toronto-based painter places each of these stretched faces in overly exaggerated environments with surrealist adornments that allow each figure to tell a story.

“Bumble Sonnet For Saint Lucifer” (oil on canvas, 20” x 24”)

Brooks’ caricatures find their stylistic roots in a combination of different genres. The Corey Helford Gallery says Brooks draws inspiration from “medieval portraiture, Cindy Sherman’s disturbing take on centerfold iconography in 1981, the 1960s sexploitation films of Russ Meyer, and Lisa Yuskavage’s erotic paintings.”

“Black Vein Honey” (oil on canvas, 16” x 12”)

The B-Girls show stems from a previous series entitled Veiled Hearts, in which the artist explores the veil as a metaphor and what lies beneath it. While working on the second volume of the Veiled Hearts show, Brooks felt he needed to listen closer to the subjects in his paintings. So he decided to change the concept of the show entirely: take his subjects out from the shadows of the veil, identity the misfits of the group and put them under the spotlight. The show is thus called The B-Girls, as they are the B-sides of his Veiled Hearts series. 

“Rid of Me” (oil on canvas, 16” x 20”)

Troy Brooks In Process - “Bitter Rose” (oil on canvas, 16” x 20”)

The B-Girls show is on at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles from December 17th to January 14th, 2017. Be sure to check out more work by Troy Brooks on his website.

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