What happens in Las Vegas may stay in Las Vegas, but not when it comes to the artwork of leading Nevada artist, Martin Kreloff. Kreloff, whose work is held by the New York Museum of Modern Art and dozens of other galleries, museums and corporate collections, sparkles with contemporary themes, often built around classic art references, bits of whimsy, stars of yesteryear and even geisha girls and sumo wrestlers.
Kreloff first sprang onto the American art scene in Miami, Florida, in 1976, when he captured Miami residents involved in the arts, expressing the passion and emotion of the word “ART” in his first museum solo show, MIAMI SAYS ART. Captivating the community, it brought together every facet of the city to celebrate and promote the arts, as well as to help the city understand the role of the arts in its life, and to take its place on the cultural stage. The opening was attended by more than two thousand people. Kreloff helped to define a community, and that acknowledged and energized community continued to grow.
Two years later, he went on to create the hugely successful exhibit, MIAMI WORKS, with large paintings that featured the people who made Miami function, including the mayor of the city, a popular local anchorwoman, a local policeman, and even a Burger King counter girl. Kreloff’s edgy, colorful, pop-art style brought together all aspects of city life into a celebration of art. Suddenly Kreloff was seen as the cultural, urban definer of his day. The exhibit and ensuing publicity catapulted his career and continued Miami’s trending role in the art world. Today, Miami plays host to the most important art show in the U.S. – the annual Art Basel on Miami Beach. Both MIAMI SAYS ART and MIAMI WORKS provided a most profound launching pad in helping a city to find its cultural voice.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Kreloff started painting when he was only 12. He began studying formally at The Brooklyn Museum and continued on at the famed Parsons School of Design. At The University of Miami, he garnered both a BFA and MFA, securing his future as a respected, well educated and accomplished artist of our time.
Kreloff’s eventual move to Los Angeles soon inspired him to capture the essence of Hollywood and the stars of film. Many of his paintings have found their way into the personal collections of some of the most accomplished celebrities of the 20th century, from classic film stars Cary Grant, Joan Crawford, Ann Miller and Esther Williams; to TV star Estelle Getty and clothing designer Gloria Vanderbilt.
With more than 25 solo shows to his credit, Kreloff has been commissioned to create artwork for such corporate clients as Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Burger King Corporation, Nielsen/ National Research Group, Intercontinental Banks, Harley-Davidson, Bloomingdale’s, Calder Race Track, American Civil Liberties Union, The Miami Design Preservation League, The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Veolia Transportation.
Since moving to Las Vegas in 2004, Kreloff continues to engage and impact the community through his art. The City of Las Vegas commissioned him to create a suite of banners for the Cultural Corridor. Unveiled in 2011, his POLE DANCERS series brightens a dozen blocks of Las Vegas Boulevard North, and offers a striking visual guide to the areas cultural institutions. In 2012 he was honored to receive the prestigious Mayor’s Urban Design Award for his contributions to the city. In addition, two of Kreloff’s vibrant canvases adorn the walls of Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s office in the new Las Vegas City Hall.
Most recently, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts welcomed a large sculpted, three dimensional heart, painted by Kreloff, for an exhibit benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His classic art referenced painted heart, HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS, will be exhibited throughout the city over the coming year.
Clearly the art, taste, imagination and style of Martin Kreloff have found a new canvas in the city he now calls home. His Las Vegas studio is featured in the book AMERICA AT HOME by Running Press Books. For more information on Martin Kreloff, visit www.martinkreloff.com.
Kreloff is currently working on creating LAS VEGAS SAYS ART, as well as the upcoming MIAMI SAYS ART / THE RETROSPECTIVE, which will be presented by the JW Marriott during Art Basel Miami week, later this year..