"My Muse are Stiletto Shoes …Stilettos Evokes the Imagination. For two decades, Stilettos have constantly inspired my oil paintings. For me, they are an alter ego; a metaphor: for pain and beauty; a muse, that continues to amuse. My mission is to amuse you."
Kelly O’Neal was educated at Toronto’s OCAD University. She began her artistic career in Los Angeles, producing one-of-a-kind apparel. Her flamboyant designs found their way into several popular television shows, adorning both pop stars and movie actors. She worked with rare and antique fabrics, combining new materials with exotic Japanese kimonos.
Kelly’s transition from wearable art to drawing and painting began in the mid-1990s. Since then, her work has been influenced by iconic women’s clothing in contemporary pop culture, traditional forms of Japanese figurative woodcuts, medieval French architectural details, the emotionally-charged colours of Mexico and, the richness and abundance of Africa’s animals and foliage.
Kelly has worked from studios in California, Mexico, France, and Kenya. Currently, she is painting in the mountainous area of Nevada and soon will be working in a studio overlooking the French Alps.
Her work has been exhibited at galleries in the U.S., Canada, France, and Switzerland. Halde Galerie, in Switzerland, has represented her for nearly two decades.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist