For me art is like a religion. It is a powerful love to house. It heals.
It is a gift from whatever God is. .John Patrick Kelly
Already regaled at one of South Florida's best artists, Colorado native John Patrick Kelly has been seriously creating art since the age of six when he first discovered art by Michelangelo. Kelly's realism, fantasy, and nature-themed works are products of a fine intellect but bizarre inner landscape. The surreal and the hyper-real have become the trademark of the modest intuitive painter. He is capable of transcendent spiritual beauty within a context of oftentimes disturbing detailed imagery. Like the master surrealists Dali, there is always an edgy mystery to every work of art, even in Kelly's most strait-on subject matter.
Oil is the medium of choice for Kelly. "The colors are amazingbecause of the depth and the way light reacts to the paint," he says. Kelly likes to work small as well as large format -- so long as there is some manner of narrative flow. Sometimes obliquely referencing classical artistic modes or the dusky lighting of between- the-Wars American masters like Benton or Hopper, his works have a nostalgic feel within a thoroughly timeless context. One may not always understand the underlying story that nevertheless tugs the heart and soul.
In addition to cryptic paintings on canvas, board, or hand-made objects, the artist produces wondrous museum-quality bronze sculptures far more beautiful, complex, and sophisticated than expected from someone without advanced degrees in the medium. The self-taught artist feels that a formal art education sometimes produces standardized work without individuality or personality, featuring form over essence. Life' essence is always present in his art. He chooses to reference personal history, complex human characteristics, or inherent natural change and does so with a completely unique vocabulary.
Kelly's works have been selected for prestigious shows at the North American Sculpture Exhibition, Loveland and Denver Art Museums in his native Colorado as well as the collections of several Hollywood celebrities. His work is featured at RaZoO GaLLeRy of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
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