"Island Chums" by Leo Brooks (1911-1993)
Watercolor 22 1/2" x 30 1/2" on heavy rag paper
Signed bottom right
Solid cherry frame
Leo Brooks has become one of Maine's most easily recognizable artists for his unique signature style.Though using the same subject matter as many of his peers, beach scenes, fishermen, landscapes etc., he imbued them with a lyrical simplicity that has been mistakenly referred to as "naive". Strictly speaking, a naive artist is one who has never been schooled or exposed to "fine" art.
It is true that Brooks did not start painting until he was 60, but he worked at the New York Times as a typesetter until then. He read the art and theatre reviews and discussed them with the critics themselves.
In the 1930's worked as a society photographer, then as a documentary photographer for the WPA, depicting the suffering of The Great Depression. Many of those photographs were collected by The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Art, and The Shomburg collection. After retiring from The Times, he studied with Mario Cooper at The Art Students League and with Edgar Whitney. He wasa member of the Maramoneck Artists' Guild, The Salmagundi Club in Manhattan, The Hudson River Contemporary Club in Yonkers, and the artists aggregate known as the "Thirty Artists".