Desiree Kelly is an award winning artist and a Detroit native. Known as Detroit’s premiere Portrait artist and muralist who's work features historical and public figures. 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 style of painting which is mixture of “street art” & traditional oil technique.
She was resident artist in cycle 5 of Red Bull House of Art (now RedBull Arts) when she created "Abe in Shades". A portrait of 16th president Abraham Lincoln cropped face wearing kaleidoscope sunglasses.
Her work has granted partnerships with PEPSI, Detroit Pistons, Atwater Brewery as well as having created a hand painted billboard for the MGM movie "RESPECT" depicting Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin.
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. Her work can be experienced and seen all over metro Detroit in permanent and temporary public collections like the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building, Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles, Eastern Market & the historical Alger Theater in Detroit.
She has been commissioned by a number of private collections and public corporations which include: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Pandora (jewelry), Detroit Pistons, Meijer, Converse, Jack Daniels, Kroger (stores), City of Royal Oak(MI), Beaumont Health, Carhartt, FootLocker, PUMA and more!
Then & Now: A Retrospective of Portraits
exhibition on view DEC 2019-March 2020 at Detroit Public Library (read more)
Washington Post, Insider, Crain's Detroit Business, The Michigan Chronicle, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, RollingOut, BLAC, Detroit Home, HOUR, MLive, MetroTimes, Gander, CBS Detroit, Deadline Detroit
Take a look at my portfolio of art! Click view more to see entire catalog or SHOP for prints of selected works