Thomas Keeley’s Everyday Surrealism
Thomas Keeley is an illustrator-turned-sculpture artist who puts a surreal twist on everyday objects. “I’ve always been interested in objects,” the Brooklyn-based artist told Woosta. “They have a unique ability to be very subjective while maintaining impartiality… they can be deeply personal for the individual while remaining unbiased… so they leave a lot of room for interpretation.”
From a brush with fingers for bristles to an actual eye on a camera lens to a toothbrush with “Honey I Shrunk The…”-sized people at the head, Keeley, a Rhonde Island School of Design graduate, continually re-imagines our world through his sculpture creations. Because of the subject he works with, Keeley stays out of the controversial realm that many artists enter while still making a statement. He has the freedom to make his sculptures strange yet not offensive and doesn’t title any of his work, leaving people to interpret each creation in their own way.
What is most striking about Keeley’s art is the subtle way he changes these objects so that, at first glance, one might miss that there are ears on a radio or bat wings attached to a wooden black chair. As he recreates these rather mundane things, he offers a new perspective on objects we often ignore or only have for utility.
There is a sense of humor in Keeley’s art that is refreshing in today’s art world. Instead of stuffing, a panda stuffed animal loses pink stringy guts. This is a funny and heartwarming project that continually gets better. Keeley gives personality to these otherwise stagnant objects, helping his audience to relearn how they perceive articles they use all the time.