Kelly Walker grew up in Evansville, Indiana, St. Louis, Missouri and Raleigh, North Carolina before moving to Baltimore, Maryland in 1994. A self-taught artist, Walker was influenced by artists Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Basquiat, Cindy Rehm, John Waters, and Sheppard Fairey. Walker’s recent works are self-referential, from experiences with addiction, personal relationships, tattoo and street art and religious ideology. Creating art has become not only therapeutic, but an outlet for physical and emotional release from her dependencies.
Walker creates to show respect and appreciation for those who have influenced and inspired her, both in a positive and negative sense. Her works are drenched with mature mixed media usage, (risqué at times) extreme color, collage and uncommon tactile materials. Most of her works are composed while following strict themes; all her works are intentionally sealed or become sealed shut in relation to religious, sexual, or emotional tensions.
Walker’s work is a true juxtaposition to her personality. It celebrates the boisterous synergy of the untrained artist and the beautiful chaos of living in the city. Contradictions between the oppressed and bold imagery, subject matter and color usage are seen throughout her works.