Brooke Harker

Artist Statement

The paintings I create are about connections between people. Within the hustle of any city or relaxing coastal scene there is a silent cooperation between people, whether to negotiate their paths on a sidewalk or in the selection of where to place umbrellas in the sand. I’m fascinated by the idea that a moment exists only once and will never occur again. It amazes me how the lives of many people throughout history contribute to the current moment and a person’s minor choices have the ability to impact infinite people throughout time. In some ways, my paintings are time capsules, and I’m a historian of the ordinary.

It becomes a bit of a hunt for me when taking photos or sketching live on location to find moments of unknowing collaboration between strangers. I track the stride of pedestrians, the flow of traffic and the position of the sun in illuminating these interactions. This fascination with synchronicity reflects in the compositions I choose. I sort for pops of color that relate to each other in the same moment. When a pedestrian’s pants match a nearby taxi or a bus coordinates with the traffic light it brightens my day. These seemingly insignificant observations ignite a sense of wonder about the way everything in life fits together. As most people don’t want to hear how excited I am to see a grocery bag match a street sign, I let the joy fuel my art.

As I associate places and people with color, the drippy acrylic backgrounds represent the energy of a place. The ink strokes, whether fluid or defined, mirror the structured world we live in and are a place to tame the wanderings of the mind. The pure colors in thick oil paint texture applied with knives express a desire to feel a sense of flow in life. The stories of many people I’ve met and learned from along the way are layered into the process of creating these scenes. Painting allows me to share my life visibly and are private journal entries at the same time. The lessons I learn in life embed in the paint and help transform my perspective and experiences. I believe that as each person connects to themselves and heals, there is a potential for the thread of our impact to open this world up to more compassion, understanding and love.

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