Kelsey’s figurative paintings draw influence from Hindu and Buddhist deities, exotic animals and sex, as well as rustic American quilts. Each figure is adorned with ghostly representations of the natural world… animals and plants that unfold from the body into the surrounding canvas. His chimeras are frozen with animalistic intensity in explosive and sometimes tortured positions. Kelsey blames his raw, anxious form on the U.S. university system which refuses to teach its scientists how to draw.” In 2006 he told the Art Blog “Most of my influence comes from a desire of beautiful women (me and every other bi-pedal ape with a twig and two berries hanging between his legs), a childhood love of the discovery channel, and a more recent interest in Hindu Folk art. Funny how when that all comes together it looks like pop.” Kelsey as stated that his album art images have been influenced by a number of artists. “Almost all of Santana’s albums are great, but I especially liked Abraxas and Amigos…just stunning work on both albums. Tommy Guerrero has worked with a bunch of really amazing artists, too. Barry McGee, Stephen Powers, Margaret Kilgallen, and Thomas Campbell have all done covers for him. Beck did a cool collaboration with Marcel Dzama on his Guero album, which I liked a lot. With bands, right now I’ve mostly just done Grand Ole Party. We have set up an exclusivity agreement…I think it’s cool when you can have a specific artist associated with a specific band: think Raymond Pettibon and Black Flag (punk band) and Minutemen. We wanted to set up that type of relationship.”
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