Los-Angeles painter and jazz-singer Jessalyn Brooks paints the contours of the female form with blocky, colorful abstraction. Her paintings are informed by the romance of industry: machinery, shape, volume, and movement.
Brooks paints strong, angular and mostly full-bodied women. Rather than focus on supple breast or peachy behind, the artist prefers to paint the distinctive but almost subliminal contours of the female form that we sometimes neglect. This includes the arch of the foot and palm of the hand, the cleft between the hip and thigh, or the space between the underarm and breast. Inspired by the geometric lines of Cubism, the early-20th-century art movement made famous by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, Brooks’ paintings have a vibrant and modern female-focus; bringing forth an important question of beauty ideals, body shape and gender. “The female form has lived and gone dormant in art so many times throughout art history”, she notes in an interview. “I do believe women are having a moment right now. This is the most powerful we have been in human history. I want to document that.”