The Long Beach Museum of Art is showing a new exhibit by Brent Estabrook

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LONG BEACH, CA – Creature Comforts, an exhibit by playful and acclaimed artist Brent Estabrook, is now on view at Long Beach Museum of Artstarting from October 23rd to February 12th opening reception was held Oct. 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. to celebrate Estabrook, 37,’s new exhibition alongside Tony Marsh’s collection of ceramic sculptures, “Shining Earth.”

Catures Comforts is Estabrook’s first museum exhibition, highlighting typical elements of his well-known works, such as the childish imagery seen in the paintings with piles of bright and colorful stuffed animals, as well as new works. Although he has the ability to create clear images in his paintings, most of the time spent creating his works is related to finding the perfect colors.

“I tell people I spend 80% of my time mixing colors and 20% of my time painting,” Estabrook said. “I’m a big colorist if you will, so I like oil paints because there are so many beautiful colors.”

The exhibition also features three sculptures. They are formed from oil clay, turned into molds, and then turned into bronze. Two feature his four-and-a-half-foot, one-foot teddy bear, Smile. Another sculpture is called “Unican,” a glittering, multi-textured unicorn, another aspect that Estabrook’s work is known for.

Estabrook recalls growing up as a “freaky kid” and then got his bachelor’s degree but decided to go to dental school. His creative drive continued through his studies at the dental school. When he finished school, he decided – art or dentistry? The choice he made is completely understandable.

He has what he calls a “sentimental history” with the Long Beach Museum of Art. In 2012, the museum gave him a chance. Estabrook recalls creating his first gallery-worthy piece, which was shown at the Long Beach Museum of Art. They decided to show his piece at a charity auction and it sold for far more money than he thought any of his paintings could sell for. That moment showed him that he could have an artistic career that began in Long Beach and returned in the form of Creature Comforts.

He likes to experiment with different styles and still has many paintings of skulls that he was inspired to paint when he was in dental school. He noted that dental school makes students experts in head and neck anatomy, so they send students home with a skull. She became his muse.

Since then, his style has evolved, which is evident in his latest works, which he calls “quilts”.

For Estabrook, his artistic and personal progress are one and the same.

“Unlocking the feeling of love for me made me just appreciate and be grateful and love everything that I do more and more,” he said.

Estabrook has taken on a new sense of love for everything he does, something he has imbued his new exhibition with. His growth has been aided by his fiancee, Tara, whom he calls his “secret weapon.”

“I knew I was on my way when I could get a 3-year-old and a 90-year-old to pay attention, stop and look at my work,” he said. “When I saw it, I realized that it had a kind of childish spirit, and I noticed that it brought back that childish spirit in a lot of adults who watched it… They weren’t worried about all the emails they had to check and all this and that and the stresses of life. You can tell they were in the moment and a lot of them will say it reminded them of their childhood, you know, some people just say it makes them happy.”

Estabrook radiates positivity. He admires Impressionist painters such as Monet and Van Gogh for the beauty and active element of their work. Estabrook points out that Monet’s paintings did not contain any political message, but simply a pleasing look.

“I hope my work is easy to understand,” Estabrook said. “I don’t want people to be confused, or I want them to enjoy it the way they want to enjoy it, and if they want to enjoy it just for the aesthetic beauty, that’s fine by me.”

He hopes that his bright and youthful work will ignite positivity in those who interact with his art and inspire people to create themselves, especially children. Estabrook believes that the psyche of children is special because they have not been influenced by society. It echoes a quote by Picasso that says, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” Most of all, Estabrook just wants others to follow their dreams and listen to their passions like he did.

“It’s rare for me to be really excited in a museum,” he said. “There’s great artwork, but there’s a lot more, for lack of a better term, I feel like there’s a lot of boring art out there. And I want to create a show where when somebody goes, they go home, they go to their friend, and they say, “Hey, you’ve got to go see it.” Like, you have to go see it in person.” I hope that the families that go will tell other family friends, like, “Hey, go over there and make sure you take the kids.” Because I know the kids will love it. The kids go crazy there, which I really like. I think about my niece and nephew… They’ve seen my work, but they’ve never been to my art studio down here, and they’ll see it for the first time in a museum. Their heads will explode. I can’t wait.”

Estabrook is looking forward to having his “Caforts Comforts” exhibit at the Long Beach Museum of Art. He is especially glad that he has the space to really showcase his great works and make it a real experience.

“Come in, attend and enjoy it,” he said. “I like people taking pictures of it, but I would suggest leaving the phone in the car.”

Written by Leila Freeman

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