On Saturday afternoon, artists Bryson and Holly Hein Brooks showcased their work at “Glam, Bam, Thank You Ma’am” for Contemporary Art Month (CAM). The stylish event, hosted at John Speegle and Leandra Hernandez’s urban San Antonio Riverwalk Space, featured iconic artwork ranging from $50 to $5,000—with a twist. The silk-screen and fully-painted works of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor (as Cleopatra), Elvis and Iggy Pop are actually self portraits. “I just slightly changed a little 10% of something,” said Holly Brooks, who lives at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center with her husband, “They’re all kind of self-portraits in a way. I always add something of me within these iconic people.”
While Holly creates art inspired by some of the most fashionable pop-culture icons in history, Andy Warhol—and herself— she was influenced by the work of Franco Mondini Ruiz early in her career. Ruiz taught her and her husband how to make work at all levels for all populations and social spheres. “For instance, with this group of paintings here,” Holly announced, grabbing a small silk-screen of Marilyn, “if you want a $50 piece, but let’s say you want four of them, I’ll make you a deal; things are always negotiable and we want everybody to walk away happy. Everybody can afford a piece of art and curate their own collection.”
It is the “something-for-everyone-art” that keeps the Brooks working, as well as the personal touches that not only reflect themselves, but their customers. Hostess Leandra commissioned Brooks for a Marilyn Monroe table after noticing that they both “loved the Rocky Horror Show and glitter.” If you're thinking about commissioning the artists for your own table, or if you missed the event, enjoy the slideshow above!
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