Kyle Selley (b. 1992) is a Kansas City-based artist best known for his Firework Residue Paintings which explore ideas surrounding nostalgia, spirituality, and the sublime. KC Studio Magazine has referred to his flatwork as “naturally celestial” and “suggestive of infinite space.” Selley builds composition playfully and intuitively, reminiscent of abstract expressionism and artists such as Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky. He references artist Cai Guo-Qiang, but his materials and processes are entirely different. Selley’s Firework Art utilizes mediums such as videography, digital imagery, performance, ceramics, works on paper, works on canvas, and works on glass/plexiglass. His work set a new precedent in artistic techniques incorporating firework residue. Selley has been nourishing a relationship with fireworks since early childhood. He was using them in creative and experimentative ways long before he felt compelled to create traditional artwork.
I am studying why we are drawn to spectacles of light, specifically fireworks and cosmic phenomenon. Whether it is a shimmering, shooting star, or luminous fireworks display, these rare bursts of light ignite a part of the human spirit which innately captivates and temporarily mesmerizes.
My Firework Residue Drawings create an expansive, celestial realm. I seek to render a three-dimensional experience within a two-dimensional canvas. Through the immersive image field and vast space created, filled with an almost overwhelming amount of visual information, I hope to provide the viewer with a similar feeling of the sublime as I experience while creating the work.
I approach composition in an exploratory, playful way that is based on moment-to-moment intuitive responses. The spontaneous and erratic nature of my process requires constant engagement through consideration of composition, which leads to a form of meditation. The results simulate abstracted explosions, frozen in time.