Kelly, Desiree – Keegan

Artist: Desiree Kelly
Description of piece: Portrait painting depicting native metro-Detroit personality Keegan Michael Key
Medium: Oil paint, spray paint on canvas
Dimensions: 16″ wide x 20″ high
Market Value: $1,000


About the artist:

Desiree Kelly is an award-winning artist and a native to Detroit. The former Production Manager/Senior Graphic Designer for The Detroit Metro Times weekly is now known for her work as Detroit’s premiere Portrait painter. She was introduced to oil painting while studying Graphic Design at Wayne State University. Raised on the Eastside, she became inspired by the environment and developed a style of storytelling through portraits. Her portraits of public icons are historically immersive & reflect on the narrative of her subjects by including artifacts & phrases within each piece. She is known for her distinctive mixture of “street art” & traditional oil technique.

While at Metro Times she won her first national award for Best Cover illustration featuring a painting of author Dan Savage from the (AAN) Association of Alternative Newsmedia in 2012. In 2019, she was named by Crain’s Detroit Business as a “Twenty in their 20’s” honoree, which highlights outstanding young leaders in business. Subsequently making her the first Visual Artist in history named to the list. She is shortlisted by Complex (magazine) as a “Rising Street Artist to Watch in Detroit” in previous years, now her work can be experienced all over metro Detroit in permanent and temporary public collections.

Kelly’s work can be seen in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building (Mayor’s office), dPoP!, Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles, Eastern Market & the historical Alger Theater in Detroit. Her work is also in Permanent Collections of museums such as Charles H Wright Museum of African American History and Flint Institute of Arts.

She has been commissioned by a growing number of clients which include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Converse, Jack Daniels, Pandora, Kroger, City of Royal Oak(MI), Beaumont Health, Atwater Brewery , FootLocker INC , PUMA and more!

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