Brooks is perhaps best known for his portraits, mostly of women, with titles like Portrait of the Artist Entering Her Blue Period, Surf and Turf, and Natural Instincts. More recently, since he has felt more comfortable having come out as gay, his models have included more men, often queer men in colourful costumes and settings.

Brooks’ 2023 solo exhibition in Baltimore was called Common People, which as he explains neatly sums up his work – ‘I called it Common People because, for you and me, they are common. We see these people every day, they’re our neighbours and people we work with, our friends. So I think it’s a very appropriate title.’

When this exhibition opened Brooks was interviewed by Metro Weekly, who asked him about the models for his paintings. ‘A lot of the models I’ve worked with are friends of mine, including women, men and trans man. Most of my models are very flattered. I have some very colourful friends who are a lot of fun to be around. It started with the burlesque performers, and of course they have great costumes. Now I have a mermaid who lives upstairs, so she’s on my list, and also some people who do the Renaissance Festival, I’ve got people lined up from that. I had a model recently who was Mr Maryland Leather – that was fun!’