Local Artist Profile

A Houston-Based Contemporary Artist You Should Know: Bradley Kerl

Visual artist Bradley Kerl shares the people and places that inspire him to create.

By Amarie Gipson November 25, 2022 Published in the Winter 2022 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Artist and educator Bradley Kerl.

Image: Jessi Bowman

Self-Portrait (Specchio Convesso), 2020; Oil Based Media on Canvas; 110" x 68".

Image: Bradley Kerl

Artist and educator Bradley Kerl is known for painting crisp and vibrant botanicals with a David Hockney-esque approach to light. His source material comes from photographs of everyday life, including landscapes, gardens, and skylines, which he then reinterprets and elevates in his own fresh style. Kerl’s recent work consists of large-scale paintings of windows and doorways that capture a viewpoint of inside looking out, juxtaposing nature’s lush splendor with the tension of confinement and introspection. In 2022 Kerl presented In & Out, an exhibition of new work at Art League Houston, and Sunspots, his first show in New York City. A native of Southeast Texas, Kerl earned his MFA in 2014 from the University of Houston. He teaches at the MFAH’s Glassell School.

Five Things Bradley Kerl Loves

  1. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston “I’m interested in silicone’s inherent corporeality. It looks and feels like flesh, and it’s used within overlapping economies.”
  2. NTS Radio “I love music. I have a background as a musician. NTS is such a great resource. It’s helped me find more ambient music that’s helped with self-care. You can turn it on and let it take you away.”
  3. Cox Hardware Store “I have a workman-like approach to the studio, so I love a good hardware store. I think many artists do, but they never talk about it. It’s another version of an art supply store.”
  4. Francesca Fuchs “She’s been a mentor and colleague of mine. Her work is amazing, and she’s a person I draw a lot of connections to. She’s been a great model to me of how to live in Houston as an artist.”
  5. Heights Grocer “It’s my go-to place for a bottle of wine. You can’t go wrong when you’re in there. The triangular, blue brick building is also really cool.” 
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