Gary Kelley is a well-known American Illustrator with a long list of impressive clients, including Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and numerous agencies and design firms.
He has received 27 gold or silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York, and was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2007.
He created the two 70-foot murals for the dramatic Barnes and Noble bookstore at 5th Avenue and 48th Street in New York, has lectured at numerous art schools across the U.S. and is joining the faculty of the Hartford Illustration MFA program.
Kelley has illustrated several picture books, including classics like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, and Poe’s Tales of Mystery.
Kelley does not maintain his own web site as far as I can tell, but he has a portfolio on the Richard Solomon site. Unfortunately, the new Solomon site is designed in a way that doesn’t permit the bookmarking of individual artist’s sections (What were they thinking?), so I have to direct you to the home page, and tell you to click on “Illustrators” link at top left, that just looks like a heading (What were they thinking?) and pop out the hidden menu (What were they thinking?) and find him in the list to see his portfolio (What? Were they thinking?).
There is a sort of pop-up menu of thumbnails at the bottom that you have to do some mouse gymnastics to get out of your way so you can see the whole picture. There are links at the top to a bio and case study.
Kelley has a strong geometric style, obviously informed by an admiration for Cubism in general and Picasso in particular. He has a remarkable ability to handle complex scenes with multiple figures and faces; and not only fill them with expressive human qualities, but focus your eye unerringly to the particular face or faces that he wants you to see. He does this without overt tricks of lighting, or blatant splashes of color; but instead using subtle control of value, color and composition, all within his intricate grid of geometrically defined shapes.
His palette varies from muted to bright, depending on the demands of the subject, and his colors are augmented with the deft application of texture, both in subjects and backgrounds. He also has a great knack for creating portraits that are stylized without being caricatures.
The Illustration Academy has a page devoted to Kelly, with a short bio, some (unfortunately small) images, and two interesting slide shows of demos he gave at the Academy, one in colored pencil, the other in pastel.