Dennis Keeley has worked as an artist, photographer, teacher and writer for more than 30 years. His portraits of musicians were utilized in hundreds of projects. He began his career as one of an established group of photographers in the field of music portraiture. Some of his clients included Warner Records Group, Sony Music, Geffen Records and the Universal Music Group. He also worked with many music and entertainment related publications and was included in Rolling Stone’s book “Images of Rock and Roll.”
Over the years he has worked with such diverse artists as Neil Young, John Cage, Tom Petty, Richard Thompson, REM, Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner, Steve Reich, Tom Waits, Little Jimmy Scott, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, Beck, Alice Coltrane, Ozzy Osborne, Lou Harrison, Sarah McLachlan, John Luther Adams and Don Henley.
Paralleling that work Mr. Keeley’s photographs have been exhibited in numerous one person and group shows and he is published internationally in books and studies concerning urban circumstance and condition. His photographs have also been included in books, journals and periodicals dedicated to art, architecture, design and urban circumstance. The book “You Are Here” by Phaidon Press features Mr Keeley’s photographs of the Bellagio Hotel/Casino and Freemont Street Complex in Las Vegas and a book for Monacelli Press “Everyday Urbanism” deals with the subject of multi- culturalism in Los Angeles. In 2005 D.A.P. published a book using photography,” Looking at Los Angeles,” that featured his work and recently his work was included in the second D.A.P. volume about Los Angeles entitled, “Both Sides of Sunset.”
His photographs are also featured in books on Architects such as Franklin Isreal, Frank Geary and Jon Jerdes. In 2004 he was commissioned by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art to make works for an exhibition and publication about automobile designer J Mays. The book “Retro/Futurism featured his original photography of the Volkswagon and Ford Thunderbird. The exhibition featured murals of his highly stylized photographs of automobiles at carwashes.
His art practice includes commissioned works such as the one by the California African American Museum at Exposition Park in Los Angeles with one of his large digital works entitled ”Not for my People”. The show “Through the Gates” focused on the “Brown vs. Board of Education” decision and ran through June of 2004 commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the desegregation of schools in America. His piece was featured in the L A Times Arts section and he was asked to speak on the radio about the show. He has works in the permanent collections at LACMA, MOCA, the J. Paul Getty Center Trust, Conservation and Research Institutes among others. His photographs in the book "Looking for a City in America: Down These Mean Streets a Man Must Go" by Getty Publications designed by Bruce Mau won numerous awards and in 1998 he was engaged to document the creation of the J. Paul Getty’s Central Garden by Robert Irwin.
Mr Keeley also dedicates his energy to Photographic Education. He taught Art and Photography at California Institute of the Arts, University of California at Irvine, Santa Monica College, The Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Santa Fe Workshops and in the UCLA Extension program. He was the director of the photography program at the Watts Towers Art Center through The California Arts Partnership for six years and and was on the advisory board at Santa Fe Center for Photography. He also wrote a monthly column in a Photographic Magazine about portraiture for more than five years.
Keeley is a much sought after speaker concerning Photographic Education and was one of the keynote speakers at“Push Pull- The Artistic Engine of Innovation” for the National Conference of Arts Administrators in Savannah, Georgia. He has been a speaker and moderator in the annual Photo/Plus Conference in New York for more than five years speaking about “Teaching in the 21st Century,” Art & Design College Admissions,” and Street Photography and was included on a panel last year about Photography and Advocacy. This spring he was a featured speaker at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas. His talk, “The Rise of the Visual Strategist,” was based on research from a grant he received from the Wallis Annenberg Foundation.
In addition to being the current chair of the Photography and Imaging Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he is a member of SPE, CCA, NCAA, and has been on the boards of the Los Angeles Music Center (Spotlight Awards), a juror for numerous national photography competitions, a juror for the Public Art Selection Panel for the Port of Los Angeles and has been on the board at the Angel's Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, CA for more than ten years. In 2005 Mr. Keeley spoke at the United Nations NGO Conference about utilizing photography as a tool in peace building and non-violent conflict resolution.