Painting the Stylist

To say that art is subjective is an understatement, to say the least. While you worship Jeff Koons, your neighbor may be Edward Hopper’s most staunch supporter. Then again, you’re always happy to invite new artists and their work into your inner sanctum of taste, especially when their latest series is called “The Stylist Project,” and when that artist is none other than Kimberly Brooks.

There’s nary been a time when stylists have enjoyed as much spotlight as they are now. With The Rachel Zoe Project and The September Issue, we’ve all learned an enormous amount about how crazy “bananas” their jobs can be. In all seriousness, though, would you watch Mad Men if the costumes weren’t as perfectly on point or ridiculously gorgeous? Likely not—the show would be largely sleep-inducing if it weren’t for those clothes. Would the Oscars be as much of a display of spectacular designs if it weren’t for fashion-mavens paving the way? No, instead the fashion police would be an incredibly lucrative industry. Fashion, as determined on screen and off by designers and stylists, is one of the most relevant forms of art and is often the most significant to our daily lives.

Kimberly Brooks, a local painter based in Venice, has captured the essence of these people perfectly for her upcoming show “The Stylist Project” at Taylor de Cordoba Gallery in Culver City. She’s painted such modern day fashion icons as Grace Coddington, Rachel Zoe, Elizabeth Stewart, Liz Goldwyn, and Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant. Each stylist is depicted truly in their element—some seen sitting very relaxed in their homes, one in a bright green dress lounging on a chaise, and some still in stark black dresses against colorful backgrounds. The paintings are easy on the eyes and show all those people who’ve made a name for themselves by making our world a little more stylish and beautiful.

Kimberly Brooks’ exhibit opens February 27 with a reception at Taylor de Cordoba Gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. It will run through April 3, 2010.