Gillian Keller



I was born in the Bay Area in 1987. I spent my childhood in Montana and in Spokane, WA. When I was young I wanted to be a cartoonist. And today I would say, I did it.

I graduated from the University of Idaho, whose campus perhaps looks more prestigious than it actually is, in December of 2010. I had a standout thesis show that turned a lot of Idahoan heads. Promptly afterwards, I packed my numerous, unnecessary possessions into a uhaul and headed south.

I now find myself near San Francisco. God bless it. I work in an art gallery in Union Square. I am looking to live somewhere.

My grandfather, who was an artist, was a major influence for my pursuing art early on. Professors at Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane WA really helped me figure out what it meant to express the things I wanted to. And now, artists like Squeak Carnwath, Stefan Thompson, and Cody F. Miller (some of my favorites) have been very influential… Most recently I’ve been experimenting with what art is, or what it means. I’ve been considering the very things I see in the everyday to be a work of art. Using normal materials to create metaphors. And here I continue on.


There’s something really beautiful about creating. God created, and made us in his image. And so, we create. We connect, we imagine, we add and subtract and we name our creations. We spend time on a painting, adding layers and layers and layers, then finally we step back and look at how all the colors and all the lines and all the shapes work together. Then we smile and say, “this is my art, in which I am well pleased.”

My stuff is about my then and my now, what happened to scare me away from life and how I got back to it. It’s a push and pull between innocence and morbidity. It’s an excuse to laugh about the darkness. It’s a measure of what makes our hearts beat fast.

I create feeling. I create a representation of something that is inner- something that we can all relate to, because it is at our cores. What I make is what I’ve seen and heard myself, my hills and valleys and trails leading off…
“gillian” means “youthful.” And my work is about a violent push and pull between youth and naivety and cynicism. Sometimes bad things happen. I think my work is trying to figure out how to laugh about that.

Let’s not be afraid.