“Buona Fortuna: Paintings by Brooke Harker” opened at Michael Hayden Gallery in Los Angeles on Saturday May 7, 2022. If you missed the opening art party, you can still catch this stunning show through May 28, 2022. The exhibit features colorful depictions of Italian towns along the sea from the famous cliffs of Cinque Terre. One of the paintings in the exhibit, titled “Cliff Notes,” speaks to the idea that paintings of such places along the cliffs only begin to capture a bit of the magic in the culture of Italy.

“Buona Fortuna,” translates to “good luck” or “good fortune” and reference’s Harker’s experiences in Italy, made possible by saying yes to the magic of life and being open to possibilities. Anyone who has experienced the tastes, sounds and sights of Italy may find themselves transported from these paintings into their own memories or into dreams of future places to soak in the beauty of life.

Brooke Harker with Manarola Memories, 60 x 82 ink oil and acrylic

This exhibit is dedicated to the over one hundred and seventy individuals and companies who supported Harker’s initial painting residency in Italy in 2015. It was on that trip that she gained the reference images for this exhibit, although it wasn’t her first trip to Cinque Terre.  Harker made her first original sketch of Manarola, in Cinque Terre, as a college student working for the U.S. Military for the summer in Vicenza, Italy. Over two decades later this exhibit shares the realization of a dream and the progress made along the way.

In particular, Harker credits the fruition of this exhibit to the Italian curator, the noble Alfio Borghese of Rome, who said to her, “If you want to paint Italy, you have to know the heart of Italy and the heart of Italy is in the people.”

Harker first met Borghese at the Oceanside Museum of Art in 2014 after he hosted “California Dreaming: An International Portrait of Southern California,” at the Palazzo della Provincia di Frosinone in Italy. Upon seeing Harker’s art, he invited her to create a solo exhibit of Los Angeles paintings to share a different perspective with the people of Italy.  “An Eclectic Perspective/Una Prospettiva Eclettica” featured twenty paintings created during her five month residency on his farm south of Rome. These artworks toured various galleries in Italy from 2015-19.

In the years that Harker and Borghese have been friends, they have collaborated on many projects that have provided exhibition opportunities for American artists in Italy and for Italian Artists in California.

Most recently Harker’s artworks exhibited at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and can be found in prestigious collections around the world including: The Chase Center in San Francisco (home of the Golden State Warriors), with the Prince of Morocco in the Royal Palace in Rabat, in the cultural heritage collection of The U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Japan in collaboration with the U.S. Department of States Office in Art in Embassies, and in the residences of multiple Hollywood creatives. 

To see “Buona Fortuna,” open in person at Michael Hayden Art Gallery is an opportunity to be part of an epic story of friendship and experience what has grown from knowing the hearts of Italy. Find out more about the artist on her website – https://www.brookeharker.com/

On view: May 7, 2022 – May 28, 2022

What: “Buona Fortuna: Paintings by Brooke Harker”
Where: Michael Hayden Gallery, 4413 West Jefferson Blvd #B, LA, 90016

Phone: (310) 613-6626
Website: https://www.michaelhaydenart.com/