"I produce work based on the inefficiency of memory's ability to maintain narrative. My work aims to develop formal sensory triggers that precipitate nostalgic responses from the viewer, in an effort to develop narrative participation from the viewer. These formally ambiguous objects, which act as surrogates for lost entities in my personal experience, become tactile markers for memories which have broken down over time. Continually accessing memories, we continue to break down the proteins that help store their information. Like a jpeg that is averaged and deteriorates each time it is accessed, these scenes are averaged time after time and gaps are filled to create clarity. I am interested in this type of systematic failure, a beautiful disaster of sentimentality. Engaging that element of the human experience is an essential part of my practice. Keeping my objects formally ambiguous allows the viewer to engage on their own terms." 2017
Kelly's work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and throughout Europe. His work has been included in multiple exhibitions, most notably in the survey of abstract painting "The Painted World" at PS1 MoMA. A full professor in Visual Arts at Mercer County Community College, Kelly is also the director of the college's gallery. In 2016, Kelly joined the Philadelphia curatorial collective AUTOMAT. Kelly holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and a MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts.
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