Kelly Reemtsen: Michigan Native and Amazing Artist

I am a sucker for Michigan paraphernalia. In fact, just the other day I bought another Michigan shirt at Sam’s Club, of all places. Do all U.S. citizens love advertising their state as much as Michiganders? Is it because we’re shaped like a little mitten and scarf? Because we get ten cents for every returned can? Because we have more freshwater than we know what to do with? I don’t know, but from Copper Harbor to Paw Paw, Michiganders really love getting our state “out there.” Shirts are the least of it. Car stickers, pillows, hand towels… my kids have little chapstick holders covered with Michigans, for pity’s sake. We are all about this state of ours.

Just a couple Michigan-themed items we have around.

You can imagine my delight when I stumbled across Kelly Reemtsen. I fell for her artwork, like November leaves along Michigan’s Route 22. Her work is darling and powerful, fun and meaningful, lovely and important. It’s not easy to find all these adjectives all in one artist, but she nails it. And she’s from Michigan.

Reemtsen was born in Flint, and went to CMU (Fire up, Chips!). These days she lives in LA, raking in her millions (is that true? I hope so.) Her paintings are celebrated for their bright colors atop light backgrounds, the headless subjects, and of course, the feminine models with their axes, sledgehammers, or shovels. A stark contrast with the sparkling high heels and polka-dot dresses.

Here are some of her pieces. What do you think? Should she feature a model in a Michagangster shirt, yay or nay?

I vote Yay.

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