Celeste Keller is a Toronto based artist, a figurative painter who focuses on the connections between the figure and the space that surrounds it. She is particularly interested in the portrayal of “urban moments’, finding the extraordinary in the ordinary and then expressing it through paint. Celeste received her formal training at the University of Guelph from 1989-1994. Studying under Tony Scherman, Margaret Priest, Ron Shuebrook and Greg Murphy, she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In 1995 she attended the Ontario College of Art to further her Painting and Drawing skills. She later attended George Brown College where she became certified as an Interior Decorator and a Feng Shui Practitioner. In 2003, Celeste began a small business incorporating her Fine Art skills with Interior Decorating. Her services include Paintings, Murals, Designer Wall Finishes, Colour and Feng Shui consultations. Celeste began exhibiting her paintings throughout Ontario in 2007. Her work is held in private collections in Canada and has been shortlisted for numerous awards, the most recent being the Edward Jones Award of Merit for her subway portraits in the Neilson Park Creative Centre’s 16th Annual Juried Competition.
In her own words:
Historically, portrait paintings have primarily memorialized significant contributors to history and culture. They have depicted Religious Icons, political figures and members of Royalty. I am a contemporary portrait painter dedicated to capturing a moment recalled with a person, rather than a statement of ambition for their distant future. Unlike traditional portraiture which was used to project the aspirations of their subjects, I focus on “observing” the subject, rather than “projecting” them into the future. I paint family members and close friends, people I am directly connected with. My paintings aim to convey my loved ones with an air of the present, an immediacy instead of an implied legacy. I prefer to create a sense of a contemporary time capsule, a futile attempt to stop time rushing past, where the nameless subject gets to stand still, to be in his/her moment, whatever that may be.
This is a sample of her work
All images © Celeste Keller