I met Brooke Reidt during the Warsteiner Art Collection Event in Berlin in August 2013. I haven’t heard of her before and was a bit suprised as I suddenly stood in front of this small woman. Was it really her who did these amazing giant paintings? Brooke Reidt is a Los Angeles based female artist. Luckily I had the chance to get a slot for a talk.
Let me introduce Brooke Reidt
Brooke, How long are you doing art?
I work as a professional artist for a little over ten years now.
How old are you now?
Have you been doing art since you were a child?
Yes I have been creating since I was very young. I always had paper and colors to keep myself occupied and keep myself company at adult dinners or in situations where children are expected to sit still and be quiet without many acitivites to keep them entertained.
What was the tipping point for you to decide to do this professional?
It’s a bit strange feeling when you asking me this, cause I myself don’t really feel like I’m a professional artist but yes it’s true it is my profession and how I make a living. It wasn’t a conscious decision it’s just evolved naturally. There are always times in between projects when there isn’t a lot of work. I begin questioning if I should be doing something else more practical to support myself. Something with a more substantial stable income, but instead I paint to pass through these lulls of work and as soon as I let go of the idea of pursuing a different path the next artistic project falls in my lap. It reassures me that this is what I am meant to do and really the only way I know how to make a living. During each project I get and each year that goes by I ask myself how long this luck will last. It’s been over ten years now.
I guess that’s normal when you work as a freelance
Exactly, and it´s always the same and I’m asking myself often “I guess I am doing this professionally”
„I always need to create, otherwise I get depressed„, Brooke Reidt
Can you tell us why you are doing art?
It’s my natural intuition. If all these scales of success and achievements did not exist in life. If there was no currency, responsibilities or any expectations to do anything but float through life and enjoy it, I would still be making art. It’s meditative. It fulfills me and completes me.
If I don’t paint then its like for any other artist or musician, it feels that there is something wrong, something missing. And I’m not the type of person who can go out every evening or watch TV where there is no meaning to me. I always need to create something otherwise I get depressed.
Do you only produce images when you have an order or exhibition?
A lot of artists only create when they have an order or exhibition where they can show their work but for me it’s not only producing and making money. Even if I don’t have a place to show my images I would do it anyway.
How many exhibitions did you already had?
A lot can’t count, I had a lot in L.A., Seattle, New York, Italy, I had a show in Paris, Tokyo, Australia but mostly in the United States. But this is my first exhibition here in Germany.
How would you explain your technique? The images look like a kaleidoscope.
I’m always working with layers and layers and then it becomes this look automatically. But it’s not intended.
How do you start with an image?
When I start I make a bunch of marks with different parts in different color paints and then slowly all these parts melt together into one shape and repeat it. But even when it looks symmetrical it’s not planned or made on the computer, it’s organic.
How would you define your art?
I would not say that it’s abstract because its not an abstraction from something realistic. It’s kind of more imaginative and expressive because it’s free and when I feel I put something here and there. I think it’s a wider field of abstract art, an emotional one.
„I like to listen to music of my friend, cause it’s my way of feeling spending time with them“, Brooke Reidt
Can you describe your cosmos of life?
I have a passion for travel, seeing new things, meeting new people. I read a lot. I like narrative biographies about other people’s processes in life . I like to watch documentaries whether it’s an artist or musician or any other kind of creative people because its easy to relate. I wouldn’t be able to create without music. I like different kinds of music. Currently a lot of my friends produce electronic music. I like to listen to their music cause it’s my way of feeling spending time with them even when I could not come to their concert or event. It’s my way of knowing that they are just as committed to working and creating their art. I listen to all kinds of music, play records, audio books or stream shows example like “This American Life” it’s a radio show and I like slight storytelling like that.
Where do you find your inspirations for the images?
Could be places I visit, music I listen to, fashion, textile. As I said, painting is really meditative for me and my images are maybe similar like mandalas with the repeating technique, imaginary and designs. But its not about the outcome like I want to paint like this, its more about the process.
This is collaboration with Warsteiner. You designed a bottle of beer. What was the inspiration for it?
Just take a painting, digitize it and transform it on the shape of the bottle.
Did you made collaboration with other brands before?
I did some collaboration with designers, created artwork for album covers, work with architects and doing a couple of restaurants in the States and branding the artwork and the logo individually for it. And I did collaboration with “Stance Socks”. I have already worked in the skateboard section and designed a special line for them and I’ve done some swimsuits already.
Whats up next?
I am currently in Bali working on some canvases and doing a mural here and also painting the interior of a restaurant
Thanks for this nice talk!