Exploring the art of Forest Wolf Kell
With the extended closure of almost 100 days, several Bishops Portland shops took the opportunity to refresh and remodel their locations. Bishops commissioned Forest Wolf Kell, a muralist, illustrator and designer based in Portland to refresh murals at the Pearl District (pictured above), NW 21st (mural pictured below), and NE 28th locations. Kell’s large-scale work can be seen up and down the west coast and parts of the midwest. His illustrations and murals typically consist of collections of objects, symbols and people constructed into thought provoking compositions.
Forest’s own comments regarding his work with Bishops:
“The recent large scale works that I have been given the opportunity to create for Bishops Barbershop here in Portland has been a refreshing and highly positive experience. I have been on a WFH basis for some time now in my daily design job, which has been a difficult experience for many reasons. My art practice, particularly murals add a lot of balance to my life and provide a much needed outlet. When things began to close as a result of the pandemic I assumed that much of that flow of large scale commissions would dry up, however I have been continually surprised by the multitude of businesses investing in artwork and artists in this period of downtime, despite the uncertainty. I feel incredibly lucky to have had this string of projects with Bishops during this time to maintain that balance and challenging creative outlet. Bishops has been a dream to work with, and give me complete freedom in the design and execution of my artwork in their spaces. And it has been great to contribute to multiple locations around the city I call home. The most recent piece, consisting of the large floor to ceiling faces, I think was particularly impactful to me considering the times, being Pride Month and immense uprising against injustice and discrimination. It felt very pioniont to be painting something that aims to celebrate the beauty of diversity in race and gender in a time like this.”
Mr. Kell is additionally owner, head artist and co-curator of the Portland arts collective and clothing company, Last Bus Club who have organized, curated and presented many unique art exhibitions and events around the Pacific Northwest including work for Pabst Blue Ribbon and the Portland Trailblazers. Bishops is excited to see what’s next in store from this great emerging artist. More information about Forest Wolf Kell can be found on his website here.