b. 1975, Provo, UT
Though his practice combines painting with printed digital imagery, Michael John Kelly admits that ‘my creative impulses are rooted in my training as a painter’. Certainly, Kelly’s work has a painterly presence: his radiant, gestural abstractions incorporate aspects of Abstract Expressionism, cartoons, and street art. And yet his work is imbued with the immediacy of the Internet age. ‘When I decided to carry a phone that is a camera that is a computer in my pocket’, Kelly writes, ‘my painting practice was never going to be the same.’ In their conflation of digital and analogue approaches, Kelly’s works – most explicitly his Mask series – explore the growing disconnect between our online and offline personas.