Andrew Kelly


Location: London

I studied drawing and painting at the Leith School of Art in Edinburgh, Scotland.Growing up in Ayrshire during a resurgence of Scottish art, I was inspired by local stars including Peter Howson, the official UK war artist. A human rights lawyer turned painter, I have lived in and absorbed the artistic heritage of New York, Geneva, Brussels, Venice and Edinburgh. I’m now based in London, where complex cityscapes and diverse individuals are a constant source of material. Revered painters include Frank Auerbach, Gillian Ayres, Howard Hodgkin, Leon Kossoff and Paula Rego. In my oil paintings, confident use of colour is an important element, normally building on a charcoal under-drawing. I use strong brush strokes in an impasto method and paintings are often completed in one sitting, which allows for a fresh, vibrant finish. My intention is to convey emotion while maintaining a sense of ambiguity. My work is held in a number of private collections in the UK, USA, France and Belgium.


Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2018

Selected by Kate Bryan (Head of Collections, Soho House), Kathleen Soriano (former Head of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy and the National Portrait Gallery) and Tai Shan Schierenberg (winner of the BP Portrait Award and Head of Painting at the Art Academy, London) to appear as a competitor in the televised contest at the Wallace Collection, London. Hosted by the journalist Joan Bakewell and comedian Frank Skinner, it was broadcast in January 2018. The self portrait was described by Kate Bryan as, "a really, really arresting bit of painting." Kathleen Soriano commented, "I like that sort of delicacy."

70th Annual Open Exhibition of the Chelsea Art Society 2017

Selected by jury for the prestigious 70th Annual Open Exhibition of the Chelsea Art Society, Chelsea Old Town Hall, Kings Road, London - sponsored by Wedlake Bell LLP.