Khaleb Brooks is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and writer exploring blackness, transness and collective memory. Meshing the black queer figure with surreal environments in paintings, using printmaking to question the politics of desire, and entering transcendental states in performance, they force their audience to confront the literal and social death of black people globally.
As Artist in Residence at Tate, Brooks used the museum’s collection to create workshops and artwork around the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Pushing the boundaries of art as a tool to politically engage, the artist performed at the 2019 Venice Biennale, and exhibits their practice globally: ICA, London; Schwules Museum, Berlin; Gazelli Art House, London; GlogauAir, Berlin; 198 Contemporary, London; WE-DEY, Vienna.
Originally from Chicago, Brooks is inspired by the perseverance of black families in overcoming poverty, addiction, abuse, and gang violence, alongside drawing upon their own experience of being transgender. Prior to taking up art as a full-time occupation, Brooks was an International Development practitioner, having graduated from SOAS with an MSc in Violence Conflict and Development in 2015. In this role, they worked with the United Nations and a multitude of NGOs throughout Africa, Latin America, and Asia. They unwaveringly seek innovative ways to bring their passion for social justice to the creative sector.
The Artist recently undertook a six-month research residency at the Liverpool Museum of Slavery, where they explored the archives to conduct a broad research project on the history of slavery and their personal story. This experience culminated in the solo exhibition, Jupiter's Song (2022) exploring ideas of perspective, exchange, narrative and identity, and the ways in which the past manifests.
Brooks most recent solo exhibition with Gazelli Art House Can I Get A Witness (2022) depicted the artists childhood within a black, female-led home, weaving together themes such as femininity, girlhood, queerness, family, and the black church.