Mikey Kelly earned his Masters of Fine Art at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2003 after studying at San Jose State University and earning a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts at the University of Oregon in 1996. His work has been exhibited in New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and throughout California. It is in the collections of the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art, and the private collection of Burt Aaron, trustee MOCA Detroit.
Mikey Kelly lives and works in Napa, CA
Mikey Kelly creates drawings and paintings through a repetitious network of hand drawn lines. A mathematical framework provides the basis for each piece, while a quiver or smudge belies its human touch. Eye-bending patterns recall Op Artists like Heinz Mack and Bridget Riley, while process-driven constructions nod to Minimalists like Sol LeWitt.
Kelly’s monochromatic ink drawings of countless fine lines appear woven like fabric or metal mesh. Overlapping marks within angular geometric compositions create moiré patterns, illusory shifts in value, and other engaging optical effects. In his enamel paintings, multi-colored lines are densely layered, recalling the tight weave of tapestries. Straight lines superimposed at slight angles appear rippled and intertwined.
In this age of digital design, Kelly chooses a more painstaking method of construction. Like flaws that only enhance beauty when seen through the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, subtle “imperfections” in Kelly’s works bring a richness that would not be possible with the unswerving regularity of a machine. While a viewer’s first assumption may be that these works are achieved with the aid of modern technology, they are in fact reminders of the rewarding possibilities of fastidious and patient handwork.