Georgia native Kelly Breedlove is not a photographer, but he uses photo-based mixed media work to explore memories, emotions and relationships.
The studio: Breedlove’s studio is in The Cotton Mill in Cabbagetown, an historic Atlanta neighborhood.
The artist: Grew up in Covington, surrounded by a unique southern cowboy culture and inherited a love of snapshot photography from his mother. Much of his work starts with photos from her private collection.
Breedlove graduated from Georgia Tech, where he originally majored in architecture before switching to a management program.
The Georgia native worked in commercial real estate, but didn’t pick up a paintbrush until the 2008 recession when he needed to do something productive to fill his time. He continues to do his art while working as a senior director of real estate for a large restaurant company.
Art & materials: Mixed media, collage-style photo work using old photographs, paint and wood panels ($4,000 to $24,000).
- Takes old snapshots, blows them up really big and transfers the image to a wood panel.
- Adds paint and collage elements to convey a specific mood or message.
“Physical deconstruction is a huge part of the work, so I always work on a wood panel so I can scrape and sand and carve into the surface,” said Breedlove.
“Like the emotions I’m trying to convey, I’m always very interested in what lies beneath the surface.”
- Themes of sexuality and various symbols of masculinity.
- Vintage photos of cowboys, horses, airplanes and bodybuilders.
- Multiple photos on a single canvas. “I like the interaction and conversation between multiple images in a single painting.”
Fun or special commissions: Many, including a current work featuring a poolside image from 1968 of a client and her mother. It was commissioned as a tribute to the mom who died in 2022. Commissions start at $4,000 for 36-inch by 48-inch piece.
Inspirations: Artists, including: Robert Rauschenberg, John Baldessari, Richard Prince, Christian Boltanski and Damien Hirst
- One of three Georgia artists selected for a 2022 exhibit, “Growing Up Queer in the South,” at the Greenville (NC) Museum of Art.
- Selected to show in the 2022 Mayor’s Pride Exhibit Celebrating Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ art and artists.
Where to buy: Kellybreedlove.com. Also through Atlanta galleries:
Get social: Instagram: @BreedloveArtist