In my creation for ONESIXONE, I was inspired by the idea of human connectedness, closeness, and collision in a series of artworks in which fragments of faces, bodies, and nature form an abstract representation of unity – each entangled, touching, and overlapping, indistinguishable from the whole.
The human condition is a contradictory one, riddled with antagonistic impulses. As individuals we drift between a deep awareness of our collective being, and the self-important demands of our egos – alone, detached, and differentiated.
Together our dissimilar experiences can also create a delicate harmony when transformed into a desire to connect with someone else, to practice empathy.
Music is the pulse of collective existence, and the soul of this collection. Exploring the various applications of the golden ratio, I investigated ancient Greek musical theory, discovering that Greek theater evolved from Dionysian rituals in which music was a vital part. Using choral music composed in specific harmonic modes (dithyrambs), participants would dance in wild abandon to achieve a state of unity with each other, nature, and the gods. Yearning for oneness evolved from ritual to art form; creative expression is one way to traverse the boundaries between one person and another.
In the collection artwork, my concern was primarily with the internal and collective, and the possibility of a human essence which is constant, unchanging, and present in all of us. My intention was to create continuity from one figure to the next, resulting in a dynamic pattern – the fabric of humankind. We then adapted this artwork to the collection using embroidery, a technique that also happens to have a powerful metaphoric significance; to be alive is to be interwoven with other living things.
I enjoy this thought – that there is a thread that runs between us and from our singular lives a magnificent tapestry is sewn, filled with different complimentary forms, shapes, colors, expanding infinitely. Occasionally we have momentary glimpses of its splendor, maybe even recognizing ourselves within the threads of this extraordinary fabric.
Contemporary life can be the most extreme example of alienation, and yet art flourishes as we long for new ways to reach one another, to find common ground and understanding. Our attempts may at times be desperate, floundering, and with flawed and fleeting results, but this inexhaustible quest is the permanent foundation of beauty, and that the results are imperfect is beauty at its most profound.
Kelly Beeman is a self-taught artist and fashion illustrator based in New York City. Her diverse body of work consists of simple, black and white contour drawings of nudes that evolve into fully-rendered watercolor paintings portraying a vivid world composed of clothing, everyday objects, nature, and interior spaces.
Beeman is interested in the relationship between fashion and culture, and inspired by fashion as an increasingly-important feature of everyday life. By “dressing” the characters in her paintings, she uses fashion as a tool to create personalities, narratives, and context, and explores the significance of trend and personal appearance in modern culture.
Her work has been published in Vogue China, Vogue Korea, Marie Claire Italia, InStyle, Interview Magazine, and Numero Toyko and her clients include J.W. ANDERSON, LOEWE, TORY BURCH, ELIE SAAB and now ONESIXONE.
“Kelly ́s creative impulse, through mechanisms of distortion, introspection, reversal and further significance of her world ́s insight, makes her artwork offer fresh emotional forms that exceed sense and desire – an excess impossible to reabsorb, and constantly open to interpretation and possibility.”
Adrián Salvador Candela, creative director