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 Pandora (jewelry) , The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Converse, Jack Daniels, Kroger, City of Royal Oak(MI), Beaumont Health, Atwater Brewery , FootLocker INC , PUMA and more!

 

Then & Now: A Retrospective of Portraits

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

 

GALLERY

George Floyd

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The OG's (Grandma and Great Aunti) 4FT X 8FT

Shields 3ft

SOLD; Flint Institute of Arts: on view January 2020

Rodger Will (4FTX4FT)

(My Money) Malcolm x

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Elijah Cummings 4FT X 5FT (5000+ buttons and collage on panel)

Biggie 6ftx5ft

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MLK jr

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Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin

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

Big Sean 4ft x5ft

on display Coleman A Young municipal center

che

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The Belleville 3

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james baldwin

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Travis Barker

ali on sign

RBG

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obama button , Elijah Cummings button

jessye norman

erykah

on display at CMO

Jeff Goldblum

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MIKE TYSON

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Marvin Gaye

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Little Willie John 4ft x 5ft

mac miller

JOHN WITHERSPOON 36"

on display ay Kuzzos Chicken & Waffles

joan jett

on display at Chili Mustard Onions

Knock you out! 5ft x 5ft

miles davis

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johnny cash 4ft x8ft

Paul McCartney 5ft x5ft

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installed on Historical Alger Theater in Detroit

TI

ken

Marilyn Monroe 30X48"

George Clinton 36in

joe louis sign

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JANE BIRKIN

Jimi Hendrix 4ftx6ft

KEEGAN MICHEL KEY

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kimbo slice

Abe in Shades (Tropical) 3x5ft

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JFK 24X30IN

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J Dilla

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OBAMA BEAT YO MAMA

barry sanders

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kahn

COMMON (30in x 40in)

IMG_2256

diana

DANNY BROWN (5ft x 6ft)

Maya Angelou

Louis Armstrong 5ft x 15ft

Aaliyah 4ft x 5ft

J COLE (4ft x4ft)

A$AP ROCKY (18in x 24in)

MARVIN GAYE 4FT X4FT

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BOURDAIN

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DIANA ROSS

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Obama cigarette

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stevie wonder 5x5ft

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Aretha Franklin Mural - Eastern Mkt

TOMMY HEARNS (4ft x5ft)

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JOE LOUIS

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Prince in Charles T Fisher Mansion

ERTHA KITT 30IN x 40IN

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eminem

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The Ramones 4ft x 5ft

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AC/DC 30in x 48in

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Esperanza Spalding 30in x 48in

Snoop Dogg

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Nina Simone

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aretha 4ft x4ft

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Ali

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Misty Copeland 4ft x5ft

JK SIMMONS

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ALFRED HITCHCOCK (5ft x 6ft)

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DONALD BYRD

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TUPAC

HUEY NEWTON

Abe in Shades

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Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 8.28.19 PM

MARVIN GAYE

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marilyn

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Trina

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BB KING (4ft x 6ft)

EMINEM

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Mr. 305 (4ft x 4ft)

STEVIE WONDER

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ABE IN SHADES (30in x40in)

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DJ KHALED (3ft x 4ft)

ANDY WARHOL

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KENDRICK LAMAR

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ABE IN SHADES

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TUPAC

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ISSAC HAYES

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EMINEM

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SARTRE (4ft x6ft)

MADONNA

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BIG SEAN

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JOE LOUIS

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DIANNA ROSS

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KID ROCK

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TY COBB

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Aretha Franklin

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KANYE WEST

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JAYZ

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OBAMA

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TRUMP

JANE BIRKIN

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BERNIE SANDERS

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JOE LOUIS

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JAMES DEAN

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SELF PORTRAIT

BEASTIE BOYS

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RICHARD PRYOR

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MOTOR CITY RIDER

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ALBERT CAMUS

ALI

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HONEST ABE

Einstein (YOLO)

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PICASSO

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ABE SELFIE

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JFK

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CHANCE THE RAPPER

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MILES DAVIS

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DETROIT GOTHIC

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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 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!

 
 

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.

 

"I have been commissioned by anyone from

A-list celebrities to first time art buyers." 

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. 

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

"Faces of Music" exhibition at Atom Art Gallery

FootLocker POWER STORE mural

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

BEAUMONT MURAL

PANDORA

VIDEOS

 

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CONTACT ME!

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MLK jr

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