In our post-media age, it’s not uncommon for a conceptual artist to make paintings or a photographer to create sculptures. At the art school where I teach, most of the students in the painting & drawing department currently make installations. Timothy Brooks, who takes digital photographs, manipulates their original elements, and then prints the resulting image on textured watercolor paper, finds himself right at home in this new world. Brooks is a painter who uses the tools of contemporary photography to make what amount to traditional paintings. It isn’t always worth sticking with medium-based categories today, but in the case of Brooks it allows the key qualities of his work to be isolated: color, texture, brushwork—yes, brushwork. In works like “The Beat Goes On,” Brooks takes photos of nothing special and turns them into something brushy and impressionistic, full of gestures that reach to the edge of the composition. Camera lenses don’t see this in the world, but the painter’s eye sure does.
—Lori Waxman 11/13/16 12:34 PM