Brendan Kelly

Brendan Kelly was born in Edinburgh in 1970 and now lives and works in London. He studied at the Slade School in London for a BA (Hons) in Fine Art.

His work is held in a number of national collections in the UK including The National Portrait Gallery where he has two portraits, the UK Parliament and the Bank of England.

His portrait of the current Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, hangs in the Speaker’s State Rooms at the Palace of Westminster. He was commissioned to go to Afghanistan as a war artist in 2006.

He has won a number of awards including at the BP Portrait Awards and at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, of which he is a member.



My work has always varied in style and approach, from my interest in the accidental and painterly qualities you can achieve with paint, to experimentation with lighting, atmosphere and narrative.The use and effect of both restrained and bold colour also is important to me.My theory is that the painting style `I employ to paint a particular sitter should be executed in an appropriate and unique way for them. This is why in some paintings I’ve worked in a way whereby the paint explodes all over then canvas in a picture of one person, yet at the same time whilst painting a separate sitter I might have been painting a in a highly restrained quiet way.I have never seen myself as an artist that paints in one way.



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