Paul Kelley is an Inland Empire-based artist in southern California. He utilizes and often combines photography, video, digital images, light projection and found objects to create illusionistic installations, spatial art, animation, short film and performance. His primary driving force is to take ordinary items and materials that make up a portion of our everyday surroundings and turn them into subjects for focus and attention. The work is built on the idea of observation—playful observation and documentation that are at times interactive as well as performative. He is interested in the idea of expanding perception and much of his work is an attempt at that—an effort to challenge viewer’s expectations, routines and way of seeing—allowing for a slowed down experience with the work and surrounding space. This element of attentiveness is at the heart of his practice.
Paul received his BA in Studio Art and a Minor in Religious Studies from the University of California, Riverside and his MFA in Visual Art from Claremont Graduate University. He is a recipient of Claremont Graduate University’s Joe Sonneman Photography Prize and contributes to the University’s STEAM Journal—an academic publication that bridges Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Paul has exhibited work throughout southern California at such venues as Barbara & Art Culver Center of the Arts, City of Brea Art Gallery, Orange County Center of Contemporary Art, Torrance Art Museum and California Museum of Photography where he also worked as a videographer and editor. He and his wife, Mayte Escobar have collaborated on multiple projects, including a performance at a PØST Kamikaze exhibition in Los Angeles and exhibited together alongside Formation Gallery—a public art collective from Orange County, CA. Paul has also installed artwork in alternative spaces like the historic Villa Riviera in Long Beach, CA and Redlands Visitor Center in Redlands, CA.