We sit down with USA artist Kelsey Montague in our latest portrait of the artist.
Tell us how you first got into street art, what was the scene like where you grew up and how many years have you been painting?
I’ve been an artist since I was a kid. My Mom, Uncle, Grandpa and Great Grandpa were/are all artists. I grew up in Colorado and spent a great deal of time in my family’s various studios.
I didn’t get into street art until I moved to London to go to school. I loved learning about Banksy in school and then being surrounded by street art in London was really inspiring. When I moved to NYC after school I was determined to get into the New York street art scene- which was and continues to thrive.
What has been your favourite place to paint and why?
My favorite place to do a big street street art piece is NYC (so far). The people there have a huge respect for art and street art. They also aren’t afraid to interact with and interpret art.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in your work? Do you have any favourite writers or artists?
My family and their work is really inspiring to me. My grandfather included a bird in every painting he ever did (it was a sign of faith for him) and I only realized later that that is probably why I have always been so drawn to creating wings and winged pieces.
Beyond that I am obsessed with vintage movies and movie stars from the past, such as Catherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Carry Grant, and Ingrid Bergman. I think their work is iconic and I think the feeling I get when I watch older movies inspires my creativity.
What city do you live in now? Has this affected your style, medium or technique in any way?
I live in Denver now but I am on the road about 75% of the time and traveling to new places is really what I draw from to create new ideas, new pieces and techniques.
We’re very excited about having you at Waterford Walls 2017, What attracted you to the project? And what are you most looking forward to?
I am so excited. I think what most attracted me to this project is the fact you all are working hard to not only beautify spaces but also create community. I’ve seen how street art can motivate and inspire a community. I’m honored to be part of that in Waterford.
How would you rate Waterford Walls in terms of artistic quality standard?
It’ll be an honor to join the Waterford Walls ranks of artists. You have curated some beautiful walls with stellar artists.
The theme of Waterford Walls 2017 is “Renewal & Regeneration”. What do you see as being street arts role in this?
Street art has the power to completely regenerate neighborhoods. Take the Rino area in Denver for example. What used to be a rundown area of Denver is now a thriving, artistic neighborhood due to street art. I have seen over and over how art has the power to renew and regenerate neighborhoods around the world.
Do you have any projects, trips or shows coming up that we can look out for?
Yes! After this I am traveling to the following countries for street art projects:
June 30- July 3 – UK, Manchester
July 4 – 9 – Spain, Castellon
July 9 – 10 – Netherlands, Breda
July 14 – 20 – Wroclaw, Poland
July 20 – 23 – Sweden, Gothenburg
July 27-29 – Greece, Mykonos
August 7-19 – Johannesburg, S Africa
Any shoutouts, thanks, links or comments?
Huge shout out to Waterford Walls for having me! You all are awesome to work with!
Follow Kelsey on Facebook here for all her latest work.