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Kelly Tunstall  San Francisco, CA

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Kelly

The strength and assurance of femininity, in both a sarcastic and reverent sense, are the driving force behind Kelly Tunstall’s body of work. In her studied portraits, Tunstall renders stylized, leggy, female figures, and their pets, prey, powers, dreams and whims in acrylic and ink on panel or canvas.

Also working in illustration, installation, and multimedia projects, Tunstall plays with the contrast between the formality of opulent form and the revelation of method. The patina of age and calligraphic drawing methods lend a contemplative atmosphere to her story-filled worlds.

Common themes reflect the contrasting dualities of Tunstall’s imagined ladies: interior and exterior realms; innocence and mischief; concrete reality and the dreamscapes of the supernatural. The resulting body of work is a comprehensive study of the modern and sometimes not so modern woman.

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10 of 12 reactions displayed

"really splendid ................................i wonder how ur hands can be so creative...........i really loved it..................."

"As an artist myself I can say that art is art. There is no undoubtful statement of what art is. One may say several things about a piece; what they feel, what is the 'supposed message', what the artist 'supposedly' wanted to say, etc...but only the artist himself knows everything about his work, and in the end it may mean nothing but art. The pleasure of creating it. What is good or what is bad is in the eye of the beholder. If it was created from within, it is art, no matter what people say."

"Kelly, while the majority of this work does not appeal to me personally, there are a few peices that I think are compositionally, great. I really liked the contrst and simplicity of the B&W ink washed woman with the swirling hair, I also liked the B,W,&R reclining woman with the black hair. That piece, along with the gold tryptich, and the long horizontal painting with the woman, beige waves and fantasy elements reminded me quite a bit of the work of Kay Neilson. If you don't know his work, you should look it up. The piece with the five woman---some standing and some seated--- inexplicably reminded me of some of Gaugin's island paintings. Stylistically, the pieces featuring the B&W "card" king were quite cute and quirky. Overall, I must say that you would probably make a terrific illustrator. In my opinion,the weakest part of your work (and by weak I mean lacking in originality and both collector and commercial appeal), are the faces of the female figures. To be blunt, they are too kitsch to allow your work to have much of a chance of becoming enduring works of art."

"It seems more like commercial art than fine art. Nice and easy."

"I do actually like these works as visual stimulation. Does art have an obligation to carry a message? Or must it be informed by tradition, narrative, literature, mythology, etc? It is, of course, a question much considered in greater depth by many artists much more educated than I am on the matter of "art for art's sake". I am certainly more drawn to art with a message, and a feeling of connectivity is something I seek out when considering visual arts - some social bond that lends a much deeper appeal to a painting or any creation. So. On that note, Ms. Tunstall's paintings do seem to lack a certain depth. At the same time, they are sort of interesting to look at (one person said "soothing"), and I find that is worth some of my time as well. Usually I think Roger Sadler's critiques are slightly mean-spirited, but I do have to agree with his point about the escapism in these paintings. Constant escape during these times seems dangerous, really, and certainly it turns the wide wide world of concrete and tangible into something ugly, something not to be looked at - and that truly is dangerous. People seem to need escape, though, and take it in heavier and heavier doses every year; while I can see why, it still seems that in dismissing the horrifying world around us we also miss the sweeping dusty beauty of it as well. (And so ends my uneducated, long-winded commentary.)"

"I like the feeling that is provoced by this work. Not to overpowering, but it does feel good. Pretty simple."

"I like the way the lines in the painting blend with the lines of the wood. It is a very soothing piece, nothing intellectual, but nice."

"I think the ones on your site are better, they're richer with more detail. you should add more photos- other than that I love these..I'm soooo in love with whimsical stuff."

"i love it i think alot of people should see what u have (done )"

"love it!"

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