Kevin Keul, Bio
Born in 1972 in Fairfax, Virginia, Kevin Keul was raised by a housing developer in the foothills of North Carolina at an early age. As a child, he developed a deep relationship with the land formations viewing his terrain through a lens of shapes and colors. Through his father’s business endeavors, Kevin repetitively witnessed its transformation from their natural states into suburban constructs. Through the eyes of a boy, an engrained systematic approach towards reconstructing nature was nurtured in his mind.
In 1996, Kevin was honored as the best sculptor in his class from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. After graduating with a BFA in Sculpture, Kevin moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he continued to work on sculptural projects and began to work as an art handler and installer. He became proficient in specialty surface treatments and unique building techniques as leading to the development of his “Constructionalism” series in 2000. Working with objects from his West Oakland neighborhood and responding to juxtapositions as well as the dilapidation of the old mixed with new glossiness of gentrification hat existed in his new Bay Area landscape, Kevin pushed his mastery of techniques with resin and material referencing the larger context of the built environment around him. Embracing various media including photography, his work evolved from purely compositional based works into narratives touching upon the human experience in a new series “Happiness”.
In 2002, Kevin acquired the well-known Bay Area Stretcher Bars where he personally grounded himself within the arts community with everyone from artists to collectors to dealers. While integrating himself, he was also experiencing a sense of isolation from his practice balancing out the demands of the business with his studio time. Two series resulting from photographic experiments resulted over the next few years, “War Asylum Series” and “The Rabbit Visit”. It was also during this time that another photographic series “Over Time” unfolded as well as his first painting series “No Where Man”, both narratives that were then investigated and deconstructed one level further.
During all these year, Kevin continued to reflect upon his interest in Land Scarification. Classes at the Peralta School System helped him developed new skills including Tig welding and digital printing launching into a graduate program at Mill College in 2013. In 2015, Kevin earned his MFA and presented a new body of constructed paintings at Incline Gallery in San Francisco and Bridgemaker Arts in Richmond, CA. He was also nominated that year for the Headlands Center for the Art Graduate Fellowship. Kevin currently lives and maintains his studio practice his studio practice in East Oakland.