'I’ve always liked those paintings by Degas that were sketchier around the edges, where he painted something beautifully but hadn’t felt the need to paint right up to the edges and create some very laborious hard-won work that was entirely resolved. I like the brevity of his painting. There’s always one element in any painting I’ve done that’s always the most interesting thing for me, one that activates everything else, and beyond that I start to get a bit bored, and I’ve never been frightened of letting that dictate where I stop.'

Born in Stirling, Scotland, Diarmuid Kelley grew up in the north of England. He studied Fine Art at Newcastle University, graduating in 1995. He was the youngest artist ever to win the prestigious Nat West Art Prize at the age of 23 and later completed a Masters at Chelsea College of Art.


Kelley has been represented by Offer Waterman since 1998. He's had nine solo exhibitions with the gallery and in November 2019 we showed his work in New York for the first time. An exceptional painter of people, he has been commisioned to paint Dame Anne Owers for the National Portrait Gallery; Sir Richard Thompson for the Royal College of Physicians; and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke of Devonshire for their private collections.


Follow Diarmuid on Instagram @diarmuidkelleymustdie