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Brooks Shane Salzwedel received his B.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, in 2004.
Salzwedel graduated with honors, quickly landing a solo show with NewSpace Gallery, Los Angeles. His unique process is published in the book, Read This if You Want to be Great at Drawing, presented in conversation with iconic artists such as, Ed Ruscha, and Paul Noble. During the start of his career Salzwedel also designed a high-end line of handmade belt buckles (Common.Saalt), winning him the title of Best Belt Designer in Los Angeles by Los Angeles Magazine as well as being included in LA Times Magazine West’s list of LA’s top five accessories designers. In 2015, Salzwedel won Denali National Park’s visual Artist-in-Residence program, then two years later in Aspen, White River National Forest, Summer 2017. He won the Los Angeles Metro poster project for 2016. Salzwedel spoke about his work and career at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA 2018. His work has been displayed at renowned museums worldwide, including a solo show at MOAH Lancaster Museum of Art and History, CA (2018), with groups shows at Honolulu Museum of Art, HI (2017), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010), MOCA, Los Angeles (2010), and San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (2009).
Brooks currently works out of his home studio in Los Angeles, CA.
Many of us take solace in nature; the sky, the mountains, the trees, the ground we stand on. Nature has control in its order and chaos that we intrinsically connect to, yet, we often try to alter the landscape and take control with dams, roads and buildings, but, without constant human effort, nature finds a way to take rule once again. Like an elder, there is something comforting in nature having control, knowing what’s best for itself and demanding the respect it deserves. My work often focuses on natural and unnatural landscapes, disconnected from their usual surroundings or places in time. I want to evoke feelings of desolation through these terrains. Ancient trees, decaying flora, and icy mountains obscure long forgotten places and objects, at once familiar and unrecognizable, creating a space for rumination that challenges the relationship to their meaning. In my most recent work, I present landscapes, some imagined, some inspired by our national parks, touched by man. In many pieces I’ve enclose the landscapes in a border of negative space by use of graphic shaped rectangular boxes mimicking a foundation, more specifically the borders we put on land; from national parks, city parks, backyards, gardens, to countries and states. This was the best way for me to represent people putting a limit on natures' edges and growth.
Within the pieces are moments that are personal to me as well, hidden within the trees and brush one will find oil rigs, fire pits, pills, rainbows, animals, palm trees, and other various curios make the piece personal to my experiences and create a greater narrative when pieced together. When I was a child my father died working on a drill ship hence the use of oil derricks, drill ships and other iconography of oil. Through the years I’ve had my share of medical issues and a myriad of medication thrown at me also creating a dependance on some of these drugs which I represent with pills and sometimes drug and medical paraphernalia. It took a long time for me to represent my own sexuality, I also didn’t want my work to be about sexuality but now I will use the well known rainbow in my work. The list goes on and all within a landscape.
Using a self-created process involving materials such as graphite, india ink, colored pencil, pen, acrylic, tape, spray paint, collage and mylar layered in resin, give an even further feeling of land’s depth.