Week 52: Kelly McKernan
“The Oracles” (2016)
Kelly McKernan’s website describes her work as always having “a woman and a world” at the core of every piece. Her works, a mixture of watercolor and acrylic mostly, usually include said woman in an ethereal time and space, her photo-realistic eyes haunting and poignant. Most of them also feature clear inspiration from art nouveau a-la Mucha, whom I’ve already featured at the beginning of this year. (So, clearly, I was meant to fall in love with McKernan’s art.)
Her sense of flow, color choice, and composition skills leave me enamored with her work. Her gradients of color fading off gently are so surreal and subtle, like a dream. Her subjects look so knowing, so emotional, so real.
The art nouveau influences in her work make for streaming pieces of hair that create brilliant negative space. To me, one of my favorite things about McKernan’s art is this interplay of negative space with the subjects of her photos; the hair tapers off to whites, while the background is so vibrant and brilliant. It makes for some truly stunning visual juxtaposition that I just can’t get enough of. McKernan’s art is decadence, honestly. Pure and simple.