Kevin Okeith Corley is an Atlanta based painter from Chicago who is known for his distinctive impressionistic paintings. Described as one of the most promising artists to emerge in the 21st Century. His pre-eminent works are large figures, eyes closed, executed with a pallet knife into multi-faceted original paintings.
For him, music and art are inextricably linked. Having played the trumpet when he was young, these two creative disciplines influence not only his life, but also his oil and acrylic paintings. He works only when inspired and the impetus always comes from life and music.
Kevin Okeith was born Kevin Okeith Corley in 1980 in Chicago. As a child Okeith was involved in many activities including basketball, track & field, music and graffiti art. Although Okeith enjoyed them all, music and art resonated in his soul. Upon graduation from high school Okeith relocated to Atlanta, GA in 1999 to attend Morris Brown College and majored in Computer Science. Art to Okeith, at this point, was merely a hobby. After college Okeith entered into Corporate America in 2003 to pursue a career as a computer technician. Filling a void within, Okeith began to explore his talents in art expecting only to relieve stress from the day’s work. It was not until Keith’s mother expressed to him that “art is your talent” that he began to seriously pursue art professionally.
With no formal training in art, books have taught Okeith rather than any teacher. Okeith spent many nights, from the time he left the corporate job to the early hours in the morning, studying technique, composition, color and the masters of art. In 2007, Keith’s original work “Universal” graced the walls of Art on 5, one of the largest African American galleries in the Southeast. Marking the first major milestone in his art career, this simultaneously increased Keith’s confidence as an artist, inspiring him to push himself to new levels. From the relationship formed with gallery owner Andre Thompson, Okeith met fellow artist Gilbert Young and Kevin A. Williams /WAK. Each of the artists, in some capacity, helped guide his career, most notably Kevin A Williams /WAK who later became Keith’s mentor. Since 2008 Keith’s works have been displayed at the National Black Arts Festival, the Home Depot Corporate Head Quarters, Adidas Originals, “My Parents My Sister and Me” on NBC starring Debbie Allen, and in “The Confidant”, an Movie starring David Banner, Kenya Moore and Boris Kodjoe. Keith’s most impressive accomplishment to date was his first solo art exhibition entitled Love Supreme that was on display for 4 months at the Chattanooga African American Museum.
As a lover of music, jazz and other soulful genres in particular, Okeith has created under the artistic influence of John Coltrane and Miles Davis to name a couple. Okeith creates solely off of inspiration and allows the feelings within the moment to guide him. Art, to Okeith, is the materialization of thought and it expresses the spirit through form. Okeith believes the magic starts in the mind, and artists know that whatever they can clearly create in their minds can be made manifest into a concrete reality. Keith’s main goal is to use art as an educational tool that will inspire others to look within themselves and manifest the divine essence of their being. As Okeith grows both professionally and personally in turn his progression will be evident in his creations as well. Keith’s main focus going forward is to produce art that delivers a message. Whether the message is political, social, cultural, or spiritual, Okeith is destined to have a significant place in the history of great art.