Bufotine,  2017 Acrylic on canvas; white floater frame 84 x 60 inches

Bufotine, 2017
Acrylic on canvas; white floater frame
84 x 60 inches


A former biologist, Kelsey Brookes has shifted his focus to explosive, kaleidoscopic paintings that draw from his fascinations with microbiomes, plant life and molecular structures. Brookes states that “The brain and its product, the mind, are a fascinating subject; I question existence, both philosophically and scientifically, and because of my background, a good place to start my interrogation of life is through the material science of the brain.” Through both meditative abstraction and a conceptual examination of the hallucinogenic properties of certain molecules on the brain (LSD, mescaline, ritalin, MDMA to name a few), Brookes grounds his work in the relationship between consciousness and physicality. Such grounds are rife with possibilities for abstraction, but it is the connection his imagery has to scientific study that makes it so fascinating.

Each piece begins with a singular atom or molecule - a series of connected atoms - and from there grow into intricate and vibrating kaleidoscopic patterns. The artist finds his process to be extremely meditative, and discovered his signature style while taking a break from figurative work. The symbiosis of his physical practice, the psychological effect it has on him, and the resultant radiating aesthetic is not lost on Brookes, “I want to paint the edge of human consciousness.”

Brookes has had solo exhibitions in Detroit, La Jolla, Los Angeles, New York, London and Berlin. His work is included in private and public collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation.

B. 1978 in Denver, CO, lives & works in San Diego, CA.

Contact the gallery for available work HERE.



EXPO CHGO – Library Street Collective | Chicago, USA

Dazed & Confused – Eric Firestone Gallery | East Hampton, USA
Miami Project – Quint Gallery | Miami, USA
Untitled – Eric Firestone Gallery | New York, USA
Wynwood Walls Miami – Library Street Collective | Miami, USA
State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art | Bentonville, USA

Works on Paper II – Quint Contemporary Art | San Diego, USA
Art Los Angeles Contemporary – Quint Contemporary Art | Los Angeles, USA
Miami Project – Quint Contemporary Art | Miami, USA

Reality Bites – Post No Bills | Venice Beach, USA

Survey Select – Wonderbread Factory (curated by Mark Murphy) | San Diego, USA
Come As You Are – Prism | Los Angeles, USA
Art San Diego – Quint Contemporary | San Diego, USA
Here Not There: San Diego Art Now –
Museum of Contemporary Art | La Jolla, USA
Total Eclipse: Kelsey Brokes, Kime Buzzelli, and Albert Reyes – New Image Art | Los Angeles, USA

Retrospective – Laz Inc | London, UK
RVCAX LODOWN – London Gallery | Berlin, DE
Homing In: 50 San Diego Artists – Quint Contemporary Art | La Jolla, USA
Quint: Three Decades of Contemporary Art – California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum | Escondido, USA


Position – Library Street Collective | Detroit, USA

Psychedelic Space – Quint Gallery | La Jolla, USA
Plants of the Gods – Eric Firestone Gallery | East Hampton, USA

Sleep: The Science and the Mystery – Library Street Collective | Detroit, USA

Better Living Through Chemistry – Judith Charles Gallery | New York, USA
Recreational Drugs – Valmorbida | London, UK

Serotonin: Happiness and Spiritual States – Quint Contemporary | La Jolla, USA

Desires of the Soul – The Outsiders | London, UK

Kelsey Brookes: Caped Creatures – Circle Culture Gallery | Berlin, DE

Bigger, Brighter, Bolder – Quint Contemporary Art | La Jolla, USA

Kelsey Brookes – New Image Art Gallery | West Hollywood, USA