Jonathan Brooks is an award winning photographer, whose
work has been exhibited in Art Basel Miami, New York City,
Amsterdam, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Brooks graduated magna cum laude with a BS degree from
the University of Miami with a Communications Double
Major (Advertising and Fine Arts: Photography) and a minor
in Marketing.

He is a rare Miami native, who is bilingual and has a line of
Bilingual Teach&Greet Greeting Cards on

In 2013 he finished his first short film 5 SKULLS as a Top
Ten Finalist for Digital Photo Pro and HD Video Pro
Magazines' 7th Annual Emerging Pro Still and Motion
Competition. The competition was sponsored by RED
cameras, Zeiss lenses, and Adobe. 5 SKULLS can be
found on his website and YouTube.

Some of his work will be exhibited at Artscape 2015, a
fund raising event for the National LGBTQ Task Force
during Winter Party in Miami.

How and why did photography become your passion?
I always had a passion for art and started out loving to draw.
There wasn't a minute I wasn't doodling on something.
When I started Miami-Dade Community College, as it was
called back then, I enthusiastically began to study
architecture. But after two and a half years of rigid and
precise assignments, it kind of ruined drawing for me.
I quickly developed an aversion to it, stopped doodling,
and changed my major to Graphic Design. I was obsessed
with the ads and photo spreads in Vogue magazine, and
became a big photography buff. I adored the work of Herb
Ritts and met a fashion photographer where I got a taste
for the process. I then began taking classes while studying
Advertising and Fine Art at the University of Miami. Soon
photography became my main form of artistic expression.

Does South Florida inspire your work, and how.
Being born and raised in Miami and of Cuban heritage, I've always been inspired by South Florida and what it has to offer. The region's
natural beauty has inspired both my botanical and palm series, and is evident in much of my work. I've been surrounded by our tropical
beauty for almost half a decade, and it has always been a reminder of my birth place and ancestry. Miami's Cuban connection has also
been a big inspiration, whether it be in my photography or writing. I recently released my book The True Cuba, which was inspired by the
controversial book Vamos a Cuba that was pulled from the Public Library shelves by the Miami-Dade County School board in 2006. It is
available at many of our great local book stores.

Tell us about your involvement in ArtScape.
I've always tried to use my work to try and support LGBT issues. I've participated in a few ArtCenter/South Florida and Miami Beach
Community Health Center's World AIDS Day related events and submitted to Visual Aids' Postcards From the Edge for years now.
While participating in an exhibit at the Cuban American Phototheque Foundation last year, I met fellow photographer Carolina Bonnelly
who works closely with the community. On the heels of winning Best In Show 2014 Photo Of The Year at the inaugural Miami Photo
Salon during Miami's prestigious art week, Carolina contacted me about the Artscape fundraiser that she was curating and I jumped at
the chance to submit my work.

What advice would you give a young LGBT artist just
starting out?
The world is a much different place than it was when I was
growing up. I would encourage embracing our newly found
acceptance, but to not forget about those who forged the way.
Persevere, be patient, network, and stay true to yourself.
And never give up.

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