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Kevin Rolly

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Birth year

Lives in
Los Angeles

Works in
Los Angeles


exhibition/performance, conceptual, figurative, abstract, photography, traditional, surrealism, performance, Oilgraph mixed-media realism



"I have always been interested in the hidden being revealed, both in people’s personal journeys and in my own. Everyone has a story. What I concern myself with is telling those stories with honesty and dignity. In each of us there is both darkness and light. To tell our stories without one or the other is to be disingenuous to our nature. In the end, however, it is the light that breaks through the darkness that I search for the most. Yet, the darkness still needs to be present. It reveals the need of the light while we are still in this painful theatre of our humanity.

For me photography is listening. If I do my job then the story is written in the image and ultimately tells everyone’s story. The process of revealing the image through the oil only extends the journey of the light breaking through. It illuminates what I believe is the world both seen and unseen. In the performances where the work is created in front of an audience, it simply gives the audience the opportunity to experience that journey and each is an act of faith."


Kevin Rolly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied film production at the Pennsylvania State University where he won the Student Emmy for his film "An Early October.” Kevin has been published in such magazines as ELLE, Mirabella, W, Detour and many other national and international publications. His works are in numerous private and corporate collections both in the US and in Europe and divides his time between his commercial and fine art endeavors.

In 1994, when struggling to find a way to extend the photograph beyond it's traditional means, he developed a technique of creating a hybrid of darkroom photography with oil color. He called the new technique “Oilgraphing” which has become his signature style. In 1997, on a dare, he was asked to demonstrate the new technique during a lecture series. The dare turned into a performance and since then nearly a third of his work is created live.

His first museum exhibition "Until the Road Forgets" premiered at the Pasadena Museum of California Art in 2003. He is currently shooting and painting the 60 panel series “In the Time of the Judges;” his follow up biblical series to his 2005 “Tributes for Kings – The Stations of the Cross,” and with partners Christine Nash, Kenny Abney and Dan Dass Man, is developing Big Art Labs in downtown Los Angeles into the largest complex of art workshops in the city.

Recent Exhibits

Kevin Rolly participated in these exhibits:

Mar, 2013 ICON
Hatheway Curatorial
Jan, 2013 Holiday Art Boutique Closing
Syrup Loft
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