Khleo Morris

Khleo Morris

Chicago, IL, United States

About Khleo Morris

During a previous exhibit, a young lady came up to me to compliment my work. She told me that a friend who had accompanied her was greatly inspired by one piece in particular. She took pause at Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix portrait), simply stated “this gives me hope” and then disappeared into the crowd. We joked about her running off to save the world but this really resonated with me because it spoke to my purpose as an artist. With my portraits, I aim to capture the human condition in a way that inspires us to overcome all obstacles. Our personal battles can tend to feel lonesome at times but it’s something that we all share and have the power to defeat.

My work portrays aspects of the physical and spiritual self through pairing developed imagery with its inverted counterpart. This allows me to create a more wholistic portrait of my subjects. The composition explores the nature of duality and driving forces of life, looking deeper into ones being. This technique takes on many facets. It speaks to our demons, dissects pain behind a smile, and taunts the latent warrior within. Yet, the element of contrast tells the tale of greatness that awaits on the other side of perseverance. We all have some form of suffering that lies hidden but there is beauty in its unveiling. It exposes a deeper understanding of who and what we are and the strength we gain through conquering our hardships.
Working in black and white grants a certain simplicity while further representing the idea of duality. It is accompanied by a singular hue tied to the emotions that I aim to evoke with each piece. Working with wood is preferred because it is a product of nature, allows beautiful imperfections (as found in us all) and best represents growth and strength. My subjects are usually of celebrity status because though we tend to see them with rose colored glasses, they are only human, share the same struggles (if not more) and in need of the same understanding. Their lives are forever judged but very few know their story. I’m here to not only to honor their story through my art but to tell one that is universal and can be felt by all.


Chicago Vocational Career Academy
Commercial Arts

Harrington College of Design
Bachelors in Fine Art


Conception Art Show 2018
Chicago IL

The Other Art Fair LA 2019
Los Angeles