Michael O'Keefe


Artist Statement

My drawings, paintings and sculptures are necessarily figurative, not only because they rely on the object portrayed, but because the figure, humankind, as a physical organism and as a complex social creature, is the pivot around which my creative world moves.  If there is a common expressive theme in my work, perhaps it is that I think humanity, harried, debased, and brutalized by a harsh world, is still powerful in creative spur and enduring in the posture of love. 

As a maker and as an observer, I am very interested in the notion that any act of perception is an act of creation.  I strive to create work that has a type of openness that insists on a degree of figuration, but that also allows for the building blocks of the works to exist as distinct entities.  I strive to create a situation where the viewer is able to project meaning on my carefully constructed figures while also considering the beauty, vitality and expressiveness of individual lines, textures, tones, colors, shapes and forms. 



 Michael O’Keefe, originally from New England, currently lives and works in Dallas, TX, working in the fields of drawing, painting and sculpture.  O’Keefe received a bachelor’s degree in Art and Art History from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA after studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the International School of Art in Umbria, Italy.  Following his undergraduate education O’Keefe continued his art education at The New York Studio School.  In 2004, O’Keefe moved to Dallas to receive an MFA from Southern Methodist University. 

Since 2004, O’Keefe has exhibited his work extensively in North Texas and is represented in Texas by Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden.  O’Keefe has work in many public and private collections, has also exhibited his work in Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania,  and is very pleased to now be a part of On Center Gallery in Provincetown, MA.

After several years of teaching in academia, O’Keefe currently teaches at The O’Keefe Studio Center, an independent teaching studio in Richardson, TX, founded by O’Keefe in 2013.