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Kayla Mahaffrey’s Stirring, Surreal Portraits

Chicago-born artist Kayla Mahaffrey crafts portraits of subjects enveloped by pop totems and surreal elements. Her works are rendered in watercolors and acrylics, each oozing with vibrancy and candy colors. Her practice moves between illustration and fine art.


Chicago-born artist Kayla Mahaffrey crafts portraits of subjects enveloped by pop totems and surreal elements. Her works are rendered in watercolors and acrylics, each oozing with vibrancy and candy colors. Her practice moves between illustration and fine art.

“Living in our society can be tough and most of the time we have to make the best of it,” she says. “A wild imagination can take you so far, but at the end of the day we need to realize and observe the world around us. And the world around us is where I find my inspiration to paint. Colorful paintings that contain hints of whimsy and realism that tell a story of inner thoughts and personal issues that sometimes go unheard.”

See more of her work below.

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