Known in part for her fashion illustrations, Beeman’s style is characterised by freedom: clean black lines, fields of colour, flat perspectives, forms simplified to the extreme with only a few finely wrought details. Beeman fills her canvasses with scenes from everyday life, inspired as much by childhood memories as they are by her aesthetic predilections from classical sculpture to Japanese woodblock prints, from the New Objectivity movement to the Wiener Werkstatte.
For her Louis Vuitton Travel Book assignment in Russia, Beeman instills finesse into a Saint Petersburg full of momentum. Her recurrent protagonist, an androgynous, long‑limbed brunette, explores the historic Russian city with her diaphanous, shadowless face and engaged yet faraway gaze.
In the fall and for three weeks, Kelly Beeman tirelessly roved from theatres to dance schools and candy-coloured palaces to golden onion-domed churches. From the Winter Palace to the Peter and Paul Fortress, she crossed the drawbridges over the Neva and pushed open grand entrance gates, making her way into hidden courtyards cloaked in silence.
After returning home to her Brooklyn studio, she worked from memory, sifting through her mental notes. “St. Petersburg is a young, vibrant and elegant city.”, says Kelly Beeman.
The Louis Vuitton Travel Book series sends renowned artists and promising young talents from around the world to destinations previously unknown to them. Through whatever form of expression they choose, and whether exploring remote wildernesses or cities that never sleep, each artist confronts an unfamiliar place sharpened by the surprise of the unknown or stimulated by the pleasure of rediscovery.