The past seven years have been a time of significant change and growth for Scott Brooks, as the gay artist adjusted to his new life in Baltimore, where he moved in 2015 after roughly 25 years of living in D.C.
In Charm City, Brooks has found a smaller, more accepting, and more supportive scene, which he credits with helping push him to go further in developing the type of slightly edgy, colorful, and surreal paintings that have long been his signature, centered around caricature-like figures chiefly drawn from pop culture and politics.
Over the next three months, an eclectic mix of works created by Brooks since 2020 will be on display at Baltimore’s Gallery Blue Door. Solitude is one recurring theme among the works on display at the boutique contemporary fine art space, located in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood and owned by artist Scott Philip Goergens with his husband Scott Howard.
Some of the paintings in Self Contained: Pandemic Era Works are focused solely on lone figures — from the confident young hunk “Isaac,” who strikes a thoroughly relaxed pose to the startled bug-eyed boy clearly not ready for his zoomed-in closeup in the aptly titled “Shockwave.”
Other paintings depict figures from the fringes of mainstream society, including one who is quite literally self-contained. Yet “The Marriage of Bubble Boy” is even more striking and intriguing given the larger context, specifically the world-building narrative scene of a royal proceeding in which no one looks even the slightest bit happy about all the pomp and circumstance, least of all the purple-hued, ennui-riddled titular figurehead.
The opening reception is Saturday, April 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. On display through July 9. 833 Park Ave., Baltimore. Call 410-802-6665 or visit www.gallerybluedoor.com.