Ben Keys



Ben Keys earned a degree in Marketing at Virginia Tech and worked for a startup during the dot-com bust of 2000 before changing course to pursue his passion of painting. He went back to school to study at the Torpedo Factory, the Art Institute of Chicago and the International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture in Umbria, Italy. While in Chicago, Keys apprenticed at Tres Jolie Studios creating murals & interiors. In 2005 he moved to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina to begin a commissioned series of architectural portraits.

Keys’ paintings include a pop series depicting a humorous world of media-obsessed, technology-laden people with product-garnered identities. He creates this surrealistic realm with a visual language derived from such diverse sources as advertising, computer iconography and art history. Each piece is layered with color, texture and symbolism. Keys also works in a more traditional style inspired by French Impressionism. He enjoys the adventure of taking his easel outside to capture the changing moments of light in paint.

After six years of making art in North Carolina, Keys is represented by prominent galleries throughout the country and collected internationally. Painting on the sidewalks and exhibitions has given Keys plenty of media exposure including the cover of Encore Magazine and features in Metro Magazine, Exhibit C Magazine, Raleigh News & Observer, Wilmington Magazine, Wilma and The Lumina News.