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Unsettling New Portraits of Women by Troy Brooks

During the late Italian Renaissance, ‘Mannerist’ artists had technically mastered the nude and began playing with her proportions. Toronto based artist Troy Brooks uses the same visual language in his figurative paintings of elongated women. The ‘women of Troy’ are characteristically fashion forward and emotionally indifferent; caught between moments of boredom, rebellion, and transformation. Often, his blonde ‘heroine’ is compared to Psycho’s Norma Bates, which might cast her as a manipulative she-devil. She is posed in weird environments of soft colors that match her pale white skin. Her abnormally stretched limbs are almost torturous-looking and unsettling, complimenting Brook’s bizarre themes.

During the late Italian Renaissance, ‘Mannerist’ artists had technically mastered the nude and began playing with her proportions. Toronto based artist Troy Brooks uses the same visual language in his figurative paintings of elongated women. The ‘women of Troy’ are characteristically fashion forward and emotionally indifferent; caught between moments of boredom, rebellion, and transformation. Often, his blonde ‘heroine’ is compared to Psycho’s Norma Bates, which might cast her as a manipulative she-devil. She is posed in weird environments of soft colors that match her pale white skin. Her abnormally stretched limbs are almost torturous-looking and unsettling, complimenting Brook’s bizarre themes. His latest oil paintings (which we first posted in December) seems to abandon this technique in favor of simpler compositions. “The next bunch of my girls are starting to move like a walking bass line,” he shares. In “A Certain Sacrifice”, a temptress slouches against a white backdrop with a glint in her eye and lipstick smeared across her face. Brooks, who has no formal training, is also experimenting with glazing, which he admits is a tedious process. As he focuses on transformation thematically, his visuals also transform. Take a look at some of his recent work below.

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