Kai Brooks

Coventry born artist Kai Brooks is currently living and practicing as a painter in Leeds. He describes painting as a labour of love and wants his relationship with the paint and process to be felt by the viewer. 

In his recent figurative works featuring dogs, Kai explores the role of gesture and the contrast of motion and stillness within painted spaces. He believes facial expressions to be sentimental and definitive, whereas bodily gestures are more open ended. 

Laid To Rest is the final painting in a series of dramatic paintings that depict ambiguous figures of dogs; space and line are used to imbue the scene with a sense of stillness that’s not seen in subsequent works from the series. The painting challenges the way we sympathise with animals through the head, by leaving it out of the frame and drawing attention to the figurative aspects in the dogs’ restful state. The ambiguity of partially incomplete animal figures has become a recurring investigation in Brooks’ paintings. 

Kai’s paintings have a contemporary sense of self-awareness that can be attributed to their own undone-ness. The raw canvas remains as the background and is even seen through gaps in the body of the subject. He allows the viewer to step into his shoes through a series of gestural and material references to the process of painting and alludes to how the painting was constructed. 

The underpaint highlights a looseness in approach to the painting, leaving traces of his own decision making as he works the image out. The translucency of paint in parts of the piece allows for a textural diversity that adds to the ambiguity of the image and calls upon the viewer to resolve the work internally.