Travis Keller

I paint boxes. I also paint boxes on top of boxes, boxes on top of boxes inside other boxes, and even boxes that don’t really want to be boxes at all.

I am interested in the ways in which a box can symbolize various aspects of human culture. Whether the term is used to describe an architectural structure, a shipping container, or a metaphorical device, there is a common thread woven through each of these examples. Almost every time we discuss a box, we are discussing a relationship to the human body. A box can be a house or building that provides shelter, a small vessel for holding or protecting objects that hold great personal meaning, and even referencing imaginary barriers that keep one from achieving desired goals. This correlation between emotional wellbeing, and the spaces humans inhabit, is a fundamental concept in my work.

My paintings, which feature abstract landscapes inhabited by an abundance of boxes, allow me to visually represent the ways in which individuals hoard physical objects, as well as emotional beliefs. Regardless of race, class, or creed, every human being negotiates a relationship to shelter and their psychological state. This need to find comfort often manifests in the desire to accumulate more things, whether physical objects or memories. Therefore, my painting can be viewed as portraits, which address the ways in which individuals both display and conceal their most intimate desires.