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Kelsey Brookes in Switzerland

Written by Kelsey Brookes   
Monday, 30 July 2007 05:22
This amazing San Diego artist blogs up his travels to Milieu Gallery for his first solo show.
We love Kelsey Brookes. He's an awesome guy and an amazing artist based in San Diego. This July he was invited to Milieu Gallery in Bern Switzerland for his first solo show. We're very pleased to bring you his blog of his travels! -Trippe

I have been alive for about 29 years now, and in those 29 years I have found three things that I really love to do with my time when I'm not eating or sleeping; paint, surf and travel. Each of these is usually visited on an individual basis...but every once and a while you can pair two of them up which usually leads to an overload of "radicalness." I just experienced this overload whilst traveling to Switzerland (Cheeseland) for my first solo show. Below is, at best, a sub par account of the experience that was Switzerland, the art show and a post art show cool down in Italy.

P.S. If you dont like bad photography and half witted jokes but like paintings you can view all the art I brought to the show here.

This is the first thing I saw when I got off the plane in Zurich.....made me feel right at home. I can't tell if this geriatric beach bunny is trying to throw a shaka or motioning me to call her....either way.....stoked.

This is the second thing I saw when I got off the plane and instantly knew I was in for a really good time in Cheeseland.

This is the first thing I saw when I got off the train in Bern (where the gallery was located)....which totally related to the second thing I saw. This is also the first of many photographs I took that perfectly illustrate the super fun subject of mistranslation. These translational difficulties are one of my favorite parts of traveling. "Dick" is the name of a Swiss department store.

Translational Difficulties Photo #2: This sign is apparently a warning to the presence of bicycles and very long armed and long torsoed, top hat wearing, tiny leg having men walking with little girls.

I didn't know anyone outside of California ever said "gnarley". Plus isn't it so fun to "pick your nose and different probotchi"

We finally made our way to the gallery located in this really old historic building in a really old, historic part of old, historic Bern which is older and more historic than our entire United States.

This is the gallery door. Apparently in Swiss German, Milieu has a double meaning... something like habitat and also describes people with shady intentions. The gallery on the other hand seemed like a nice place with no ill intentions despite its name.

Flash forward past a few days of hard work painting, re-stretching and drinking...to the opening of the show. (Possibly helpful tip: I have found that the cheapest and easiest way to transport canvas paintings across the world is to take them off their stretching bars roll them up into a big tube and take them on the plane with you...this saves loads of money.)

This is the only photo I have of the entire inside of the gallery.

This is the outside of the gallery. And the following are some more detail photos of the inside of the gallery. For better detail of the images you can check here.

The Swiss dude at the top of the Swiss people pyramid is Dave, the curator of Milieu, and his mother and girlfriend....Ill leave you to decide which is which. Huge thanks go out to Eva, Dave's mother, for putting us up while we were there....and the entire Milieu crew for showing us such a incredible time.

My two new Swiss/Italian buddies Lorenzo and Campari (the later tastes way worse than you would think...I really wanted to like it too after watching The Life Aquatic.)

And these were my trusted travel companions on the trip Zach, Lauren (my girlfriend), Me and my little sister Keir....well tossed from our first meeting with Campari and ready for the after party.

The guys from Milieu also run a club in town called Wasserwerk which hosted the after party and where the Dutch rocker Parra and his Parra Sound System were playing.

We did a lot of this that night...lots of this until about 5 in the morning. Haven't done that in a while.

The next day we left Cheeseland for food paradise a.k.a. Italy.

My new best friend gnocchi. I grew up eating my grandmothers gnocchi and decided I would become an expert on the stuff while I was in northern Italy. I consumed it almost exclusively for a week or so and think I gained about 20 pounds .....but they were 20 happy pounds.

Saw this mural while we were in Venice and recognized the art from Italian artist Recal....super stoked on his work.


Translational Difficulties Photo #3:

This is the place we stayed while we were in Verona. It is a working winery, making 7 different types of wine, grappa, honey, olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar etc...you know just the run of the mill type stuff. Best place ever. One of my Italian friends knew the owner and set the whole thing up....3 days of total relaxation and indulgence.

Much needed rest after 2 straight months of 15 hour days.

This is the Balsamic Vinegar aging to perfection. They age the stuff for 12 years in these open barrels until it is a sweet thick oil like substance that barely resembles what we know here in the states as balsamic vinegar.

Shack time in Italy....just outside the Duomo in Florence. Totally barreled miles from the ocean.

Florence panorama...

This is hands down, 100 percent the best mojito I have ever had and I would say the best mojito in all of the world but I haven't been to Cuba so, we'll just say the best in Europe for now. If you are ever in Florence and like to drink go to The Art Bar (Put this into Google maps; Via del Moro, 4r, Florence, Italy) you'll be stooked you did.

This is Vernazza in the Cinque Terre...we stayed here for a few days...one of the most beautiful places I have ever been....Cliff jumping, snorkeling, eating, drinking...go there.

Might be kinda hard to see what is going on here. But this is Lauren cuddling her new Poo collection.

These are the poo....properly called Mini Winnies and are located in gum ball dispensers all over Europe. I'm not really a big fan of the whole vinyl culture thing but these little guys are great....I'm sure they will be here in America soon enough.

Translational Difficulties Photo #3: While not technically a translational difficulty when I read this I see "Paper Hand Douche"

And that's it...that's what its like to have an art show in Cheeseland and then go to Italy after.

For more on Kelsey Brookes, check his website: kelseybrookes.com. And to see some of his work in person here in San Francisco, be sure to come on down to 111 Minna on Thursday August 2nd as Kelsey is showing some work alongside 39 other amazing artists for our 7.5 Year Anniversary Show/ Party. DETAILS HERE.


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