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ABOUT ME

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 (Painter) 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 was resident artist in cycle 5 of Red Bull House of Art (now RedBull Arts) in Detroit- Eastern Market in 2013. Since she has traveled the US featuring her work in numerous Art Fairs such as Millennium Art Fair (Chicago), DIY Street Fair (Ferndale, MI), South Haven Art Fair( South Haven, MI) and opened a Pop Up Gallery during Art Basel (Miami) 2017 in Wynwood.

 

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

 

PRESS

Then & Now: A Retrospective of Portraits

exhibition on view DEC 2019-March 2020   at Detroit Public Library (read more)

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GALLERY

Take a look at my portfolio of art!  Click view more to see entire catalog or  SHOP for prints of selected works

CORPORATE PROJECTS & MURALS

Not limited by canvas; my work has been used to collaborate with corporate and commercial campaigns. Providing a unique way to visually capture the audience and convey a message. My murals are personalized for your organization, creating an experience that is vibrant, full of energy and incomparable. I have collaborated with PEPSI, Converse, FootLocker, Beaumont Hospitals, VH1 Black Ink Chicago, DMC Sanai Grace Hospital , Atwater Brewery and the studios of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. No project is too big or too small!

Contact me to discuss your a potential project and let me bring your ideas to LIFE!

 
RBG CROWN 3x4ft

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jessye norman

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Louis Armstrong 5ft x 15ft

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HONEST ABE

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Pharrell on deck

SOLD

NWA 3ft x 3FT

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JOHN WITHERSPOON 36"

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Whitney 3ft x 3ft

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joan jett

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KOBE CROWN 5x6ft

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Travis Barker

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Jack White

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Aaliyah 4ft x 5ft

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Lanston Hughes

SOLD

TUPAC

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Misty Copeland 4ft x5ft

SOLD

Tyler (the skate deck)

SOLD

web dubois
erykah

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childish (SKATE DECK)

SOLD

NEIL ARMSTRONG 4FT X 4FT

SOLD

John Lennon 4ft x4ft

SOLD

Marilyn Monroe 30X48"

SOLD

ALINE LOCKE

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BB KING (4ft x 6ft)

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J COLE (4ft x4ft)

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Dizzy

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kahn
George Clinton 36in
diana

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Little Willie John 4ft x 5ft

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HUEY NEWTON

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mac miller
Redd Foxx

SOLD

Jimi Hendrix 4ftx6ft

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TI

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Knock you out! 5ft x 5ft

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Mr. 305 (4ft x 4ft)

SOLD

johnny cash 4ft x8ft
JayZ #1 on leather

SOLD

dave chappelle_skate deck

SOLD

COMMON (30in x 40in)
Elijah Cummings 4FT X 5FT (5000+ buttons and collage on panel)

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bob dylan_leather

SOLD

joe louis sign

SOLD

ELLA BAKER

SOLD

Nina Simone door

SOLD

stevie

SOLD

jACKIE o
Baldwin (on door)

SOLD

tONY sOPRANO

SOLD

RBG

SOLD

Basquiet

SOLD

kimbo slice
Obama Buttons 4ft x5ft
Meet The Beatles

SOLD

George Floyd

SOLD

Rodger Will (4FTX4FT)
The OG's (Grandma and Great Aunti) 4FT X 8FT
Shields 3ft

SOLD; Flint Institute of Arts: on view January 2020

(My Money) Malcolm x

SOLD

JOE BIDEN IN SHADES
Biggie 6ftx5ft

SOLD

MLK jr

SOLD

Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin

SOLD; Charles H Wright Museum of African American History: on view April 2020

kobe buttons

SOLD

Big Sean 4ft x5ft

on display Coleman A Young municipal center

ken
che

SOLD

The Belleville 3

SOLD

james baldwin

SOLD

ALI on sign

SOLD

obama button , Elijah Cummings button
Jeff Goldblum

SOLD

MIKE TYSON

SOLD

Marvin Gaye

SOLD

miles davis

SOLD

Paul McCartney 5ft x5ft

SOLD

installed on Historical Alger Theater in Detroit

OBAMA BEAT YO MAMA
JANE BIRKIN

SOLD

KEEGAN MICHEL KEY

SOLD

Abe in Shades (Tropical) 3x5ft

SOLD

JFK 24X30IN

SOLD

J Dilla

SOLD

barry sanders

SOLD

DANNY BROWN (5ft x 6ft)
Maya Angelou

SOLD

A$AP ROCKY (18in x 24in)
MARVIN GAYE 4FT X4FT

SOLD

BOURDAIN

SOLD

DIANA ROSS

SOLD

Obama cigarette

SOLD

stevie wonder 5x5ft

SOLD

Aretha Franklin Mural - Eastern Mkt
TOMMY HEARNS (4ft x5ft)

SOLD

JOE LOUIS

SOLD

Prince in Charles T Fisher Mansion

SOLD

ERTHA KITT 30IN x 40IN

SOLD

eminem

SOLD

The Ramones 4ft x 5ft

SOLD

AC/DC 30in x 48in

SOLD

Esperanza Spalding 30in x 48in

SOLD

Snoop Dogg

SOLD

Nina Simone

SOLD

aretha 4ft x4ft

SOLD

Ali

SOLD

JK SIMMONS

SOLD

ALFRED HITCHCOCK (5ft x 6ft)

SOLD

DONALD BYRD

SOLD

Abe in Shades

SOLD

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MARVIN GAYE

SOLD

marilyn

SOLD

Trina

SOLD

EMINEM

SOLD

STEVIE WONDER

SOLD

ABE IN SHADES (30in x40in)

SOLD

DJ KHALED (3ft x 4ft)
ANDY WARHOL

SOLD

KENDRICK LAMAR

SOLD

ABE IN SHADES

SOLD

TUPAC

SOLD

ISSAC HAYES

SOLD

EMINEM

SOLD

SARTRE (4ft x6ft)

SOLD

MADONNA

SOLD

BIG SEAN

SOLD

JOE LOUIS

SOLD

DIANNA ROSS

SOLD

KID ROCK

SOLD

TY COBB

SOLD

Aretha Franklin

SOLD

KANYE WEST

SOLD

JAYZ

SOLD

OBAMA

SOLD

TRUMP
JANE BIRKIN

SOLD

BERNIE SANDERS

SOLD

JOE LOUIS

SOLD

JAMES DEAN

SOLD

SELF PORTRAIT
BEASTIE BOYS

SOLD

RICHARD PRYOR

SOLD

MOTOR CITY RIDER

SOLD

ALBERT CAMUS

SOLD

ALI

SOLD

Einstein (YOLO)

SOLD

PICASSO

SOLD

ABE SELFIE

SOLD

JFK

SOLD

CHANCE THE RAPPER

SOLD

MILES DAVIS

SOLD

DETROIT GOTHIC

SOLD

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CUSTOM PORTRAIT SERVICES

Creating a portrait for yourself or someone important in your life is an incredibly personal experience. Capture that moment in time that will last for 100's of years. Not only to be celebrated in life but to leave a legacy for family and friends. An oil painted portrait is something that has been a long standing tradition that traces back as early as the twelfth century. Oil painting is also perhaps the most dominant and popular art medium used in the history of art.

Let me create your MASTERPIECE! I can create a one-of-kind painting from ANY photo in my unique style. Most of my work uses a combination of oil paint, spray paint and collage. This allows me to not only depict the subject but to tell their story. My historically immersive style allows milestones, statistics and accomplishments to be included within a piece of art. 

"I have been commissioned by anyone from

A-list celebrities to first time art buyers." 

A custom oil portrait is the best way to preserve your memories in a unique way. 

*As a rule, I do not share your painting with the world. I respect the privacy of my collectors and clients.

I will not post commissions to my website or social media unless granted special permission.

 

Detroit Performs interview in the studio

Unveiling of "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin painting at Charles H Wright Museum of African American History

Exhibition at Atom Art Gallery

Beaumont Mural

FootLocker POWER STORE mural

PANDORA

HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEMS - PORTRAITS

VIDEOS

 
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Desiree Kelly © Copyright 2020

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