Brian Kelley



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I am a figurative painter who often paints still lifes and landscapes with no figures present.  I am just as happy to make drawings and prints.  In all my work, I continually explore balancing the abstraction of color shapes with a sense of real, observed places and things.  These are places that I have lived in or visited, and things that I collect both for their visual interest and often because they have a backstory.  I like art that has a backstory.  Even more, I like art that prompts the viewer to imagine a story all of their own.


I make work that documents a building before its destruction; that imagines what a space was once like long ago; that explores what it might be like far in the future; that considers the cycle of life and death through bicycle wheels and the blooming and wilting of flowers; that uses strange light sources including black light to consider the limits to human perception; that turns the painting studio into an allegory for the entire world.  Painting can be about looking for the profound in the simple. The way light and space can awaken a mind.




I have a new short essay about a show at Linda Matney Gallery.  You can find it here:


"The Task That Is The Toil - Sharing Our Dreams And Nightmares," Brian Kelley, 2021, for Linda Matney Gallery