Kellie Orr’s highly realistic oil paintings use nuanced symbolism to reflect contemporary societal expectations, consumerism, and popular culture.
Although Orr presents primarily still life paintings in her most recent exhibition, ephemera + apparitions, the figure is omnipresent. Both figures and objects are afforded the same amount of attention, time, and detail. If we regard Orr’s paintings as portraits taking the form of still life, we can begin to unpack the intention behind her work.
Orr’s compositions, although playfully nodding to the tradition of still life painting, are decidedly contemporary. Her paintings reference prevailing contemporary Western values with particular emphasis on the importance of presenting a perfected identity to the world, whether in person or on social media. Flowers, makeup, mirrors, and balloons with reflective surfaces allude to these phantom personas and constructed façades.