Identical twin brothers take a blue-collar approach to making blue-collar sculptures

Staff Pick

Kelly and Kyle Phelps. - COURTESY OF PEWABIC
Courtesy of Pewabic
Kelly and Kyle Phelps.

Twin brothers Kelly and Kyle Phelps, the youngest of eight children in a family of factory workers, have been portraying issues like working-class struggles and race relations through ceramic sculptures for more than two decades. Not only do the two brothers work together in a shared studio, they reportedly dress alike and even have the same tattoos, describing themselves as “one person in two bodies.” If they sound like their own miniature factory, they are: The Phelpses utilize industrial skills like welding and mold-making to combine handcrafted cast forms with found objects from abandoned factories. You can see their work at Kelly and Kyle Phelps: Blue Collar this weekend.

Opening reception from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, at Pewabic; 10125 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-626-2000; pewabic.org. No admission. Exhibition is on view through April 27.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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