Villazan is pleased to present Glimpses of Infatuation, the New York debut solo exhibition for American artist Jared Brook featuring a suite of new paintings.

Brook’s exhibition unveils ten acrylic paintings on wood that quietly but forcefully examine phases of obsessive love. Looking through Brook’s gaze and via his various methods of composition, each viewer confronts figures wrestling with nearly tangible emotions of isolation, lust, longing, desire, and self-reflection, becoming a voyeur to these intimate scenes, which make it easy to imagine the thoughts of the living main figures. All the paintings are loaded with intimacy due to the action they show and the closed perspective where we will never see beyond the subject represented.

The emotional rawness of the depicted figures—from their positions to their gazes to even the way their flesh is caressingly but decisively rendered—demands a conversation with the reclining figures throughout so many centuries of art history. They invoke a sense of fraternity amongst figures from classical times, but this time imbuing the scenes with a firm and unabashed queerness. This clear manifestation may be related to Brook's harsh adolescence, always repressing his sexual identity due to the tough religious education he received from his family in Central Europe.

His color palette is wide in lighting and darkness, and his brushstrokes are received as loose and carefree, but its magic is that they can also look like movements of anger. Despite the abstraction, the painter makes sure that each character is recognizable; for example, "Messages" is a clear self-portrait.

In Glimpses of Infatuation, the strongest feeling is loneliness. Even though some paintings include two men, the emotional distance between them creates opposite contexts; the companion is reflected like a shadow, a simple ornament, or a distant reflection. As novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie said, "Love, it is said, is blind, but love is not blind. It is an extra eye [...]”.

Jared Brook (American, born in Hungary 1997) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020. At only twenty-six years old, Brook’s work has been the subject of solo and group presentations nationally and internationally. Brook lives and works in Chicago.

( Text by Tania Fer)