Mikey Kelly creates his drawings 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 the process-driven practice is a 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 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 the 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.
About the Artist
San Francisco Bay Area-based artist Mikey Kelly earned his Masters of Fine Art from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. During the fall of 2015, his work was featured in a solo show at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary in Oakland, where his is represented. He has participated in group exhibitions at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, Cranbrook Art Museum, and Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburg. Kelly’s work is found in the permanent 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, Board President and Founding Director of MOCA Detroit.