Into The Woods: The Melancholy Art of Andy Kehoe

Roamer of the Subterranean Forest

According to his rather strange yet humorous bio, Pittsburgh, PA artist Andy Kehoe was only three years old when his sea merchant father was killed by pirates on an ill-fated mission shipping pickles and kittens to Spain. After being thrown overboard he lived alone at sea for three days before washing ashore on the Galapogas Islands where he was raised by iguanas. He then goes on the recount his experiences living in Romania and witnessing first-hand the battles between Russia and Romania in World War I, even though he was born in 1979.

A Fading FarewellIf his bio sounds like a richly imaginative fable, his work is a reflection of a secret world he has created in his mind. Inspired by folklore, mythos, and a deep love of nature, Kehoe creates subtle, quiet visual narratives through which he explores such themes as love, mortality, alienation, and betrayal. Birth, life, death and rebirth are reoccurring themes in his work.

In his richly detailed paintings on wood panels, Kehoe conjures dark forest worlds, afire in autumnal earth tones, where glowing, ghostlike figures emerge from the darkness or from burning trees. His worlds are populated by part-human, part-animal hybrid creatures with mournful eyes expressing truthful human emotion devoid of irony or sarcasm. Like the creatures of Maurice Sendak’s “Where The Wild Things Are,” Kehoe’s subjects may look cartoonish, but they seem to bear an incredible weight on their shoulders, perhaps the weight of the world.

Part whimsical, part somber, yet always sadly poignant, welcome to the world of Andy Kehoe. See more of his work by visiting his website or check out the gallery after the jump.

About Stephen Kelly Creative

Hi, I'm Stephen Kelly, a writer, editor, photographer and graphic designer living in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA. Amongst the things I love are writing, photography, movies, music, fitness, travel, Batman, all things Australian, food and fun, all of which I hope to reflect in this here blog. Welcome aboard ... now let's get busy!
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14 Responses to Into The Woods: The Melancholy Art of Andy Kehoe

  1. fgassette says:

    WOW! I find his work engrossing. I look at every picture trying not to miss anything and wonder what he was thinking. I see he has a fascination with bear trees, they appear to be in all his work somewhere. Just think he is from Pittsburgh as well as I am and I never heard of him. Guess I have some research to do. Thanks for sharing.


    • hello francine … i’m so glad you like the intriguing work of this really interesting artist … and he’s from Pittsburgh! there’s so much to love here. i find his work operates on many different levels. just really, really fascinating. i could look at his work all day!

  2. Every time you put up another gallery of works, I think I’ve found my favorite, but this is one of my all time big-deal favorites! Andy Kehoe’s trees make me think of the mystery that humankind has always found in wooded areas and clearings and nature. I’ve now got to show this to my ten-year-old nephew, who really liked the picture of the undersea river you had up not long ago. I think he would love this as well.

    • I’m glad you said that, Victoria, because this gallery is one of my favorites ever. i just find so much of interest in his work … in many ways, he captures my imagination. i love the sense of imagination, and a very thin underlying sense of fun. please, share this excellent artist’s work with as many people as you like.

  3. The Guat says:

    These are awesome I’m loving the moon with two mountains. Very cool.

  4. Angeline M says:

    This artist is fantastic!

  5. Paula says:

    His work reflects a person of boundless imagination, and creativity. I like his sense of humour just as much as the melancholy in his work 🙂 Thank you, Stephen 🙂

    • hi paula … i’m glad you mentioned his sense of humor. there is a real underlying sense of humor is his work, sometimes in very subtle ways. but i’m glad you picked up on that and mentioned it because i think it’s an important part of his work.

  6. viveka says:

    This I like very much … love the intensity and the fairy tale feeling.
    My favorites is the wolf’s face and the trees … and oak acorns.
    His art is in some way likeness … our painter and illustrator John Bauer,

  7. patriciamoed says:

    I love these illustrations. Fanciful and charming! Thanks for another great post.

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