Andrew Grassi Kelaher
Andrew Grassi Kelaher is an artist currently based just north of Sydney (Australia) on the Central Coast. This is an area with amazing scenery, stunning beaches and fits well with Andrews’s love of surfing, the ocean and paintings inspired by his surrounds.
Being an artist has always been a big part of Andrew Grassi Kelaher’s life. As a child he had paintings exhibited in major Sydney art prizes (of the time) and by his early 20’s he had exhibited in galleries across Australia.
The name 'Grassi' with which Andrew signs all of his work, comes from the childhood nickname “Grasshopper”. He names his three great passions as art, sport and the environment. As a teenager he designed, built and raced sail boats, and won several national titles. After graduating with a science degree he travelled through Canada and the United States, skiing and snowboarding. On his return he worked in the Australian ski fields where he began creating super-sized, now iconic snow sculptures which were featured widely across national media.
A back injury and subsequent rehabilitation brought Grassi’s attention to the canvas. He started to create bold, colourful, dream-like paintings which launched his full-time career as an artist. Grassi has developed a unique style of his own – vivid, surreal and bursting with energy and adventure, his landscapes stimulate the senses and invite the viewer to slip away and explore a new and just familiar place from our imagination.
Grassi has won many awards such as “The Year of the Mountains Art Prize” and has made finalist twice for the Gosford Art Prize.
Look for his trademark signature, a tiny nude disguised somewhere within the painting
Over his career he has held numerous solo shows in commercial galleries, exhibited in group shows in regional galleries and been a finalist or won art prizes on the rare occasions he enters them. He has also sold works internationally including Singapore, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the USA.
“I have always been most interested in Australian artists and I hope in my work you can see these influences. Artist such as Brett Whiteley - I just love the way he flattens out perspective and fits so much into the canvas with the slightest brush stroke, Arthur Boyd – and his contrasts and how he draws your eye to features that he chooses as important and Tim Storrier - I love his skies and the crisp way he paints.
Painting is the way I put together the images I gather from my environment. I create my own visualisation of what I paint but with a nod to my hero’s and always it needs to be something that I really enjoy looking at, something that I would hang in my house and look at every day and smile.”