Brooke McGowen: “The Other Side of the Mirror”

Artist name: Brooke McGowen

Featured Work 1: Melting Point


Vibrant and fluid figures meet and merge in Brooke McGowen‘s paintings. Her description of this method:

“At the present I am working on “squirt painting”, attempting to create a figurative situation by squirting paint directly onto the canvas. The uncontrollable fluid motion of the paint facilitates a personal interpretation of the scene.”

Featured Work 2: Ancestors


Characters, limbs, and splashes of color overlap in this vivid, dreamlike scene.

5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

“I think art has an inherent prerogative to challenge our outdated mode of thinking and help us see ‘the other side of the mirror’. My painting obeys the laws of nature, flowing and dripping as it will, but working to establish unseen forms and figurations. The natural impulse of the swirling paint speaks to our unconscious allowing personal associations and interpretations of the figurative scene.”

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

“I founded Radical Art Initiative in 2008 to assist artists in providing visual materials such as signs and posters to people’s movements such as Occupy Wall Street and Implementing elements of street theater, we created critical “tableau vivants” concerning themes such as Wall Street corruption, money in politics and economic oppression. I feel that artists should apply their skills to increase awareness in the public.”

3. What are you making now, and why?

“I am presently working on a series of “squirt paintings” in an attempt to synthesize the wildness of the abstract paint with the intensity of a concrete image.”

4. What are your hopes for the future?

“I really hope that we will change society for the better, and that people learn to love and share and enjoy the greatness and beauty of nature; smelling a flower and walking in the woods. I also hope that America learns to take better care of their woods and natural environment.”

5. Do you want to add anything?

“Thank you so much for giving artists a chance to speak up on their work and their take on things. When society hits a brick wall as it has now at the demise of the selfish profit-based thinking of Capitalism, then artists can point the way to a society based on love and mutual appreciation that can get us on the right track.”

Artist Supplied Background: Brooke McGowen was born in Chicago and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before leaving the country to study painting at the Art Academy in Vienna. There she got to know the Viennese Actionism movement and their wild use of color in Action Painting. This freedom enticed her to give up traditional painting and favor the material quality of paint. Returning to New York in 2008, she founded Radical Art Initiative with the idea of using art to increase awareness of problems facing our society and possible solutions. Participating in group shows in Brooklyn gave her a chance to learn new techniques like working with stencils and fluorescent paint.

Photo by Mandy Demuth

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers



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