Kayla Mahaffey

, b. 1994

Born in 1994 and raised on the South side of Chicago, since her first solo show only a few years ago Kayla has been painting her own chapter in the area’s rich cultural history. She has quickly become a leading light of a new artistic movement emanating from chicago which includes the likes of Hebru Brantley and Max Sansing. Throughout her work she offers us a window into a childhood full of colours, cartoons and the whimsy of youth. Yet each work, in its own unique way conveys an underlying message that points to a form of struggle and unease. This duality in meaning is only amplified by her unique blend of pop art cartoons with masterful photorealism. Kayla reminds us that the rose tinted glasses of youth do not blur the fraught reality of growing up Black and female in the United States. Kayla has stayed loyal to her roots and is represented by two Chicagoan galleries Line Dot Editions and Vertical Gallery. Her other gallery Thinkspace Gallery, is based in California and is showing her biggest solo show to date this September! Kayla has long been one of our favourite artists and she is just getting started. Kayla Mahaffey: “I continue to further my technique, and creativity in my field in order to paint a beautiful picture of a new world for those around me.”