Patrick Kelly is an American artist whose work uses a repetitive and laborious process to create images that challenge visual perception and serve as an observable record of passing time. Patrick Kelly was born in 1979 and received an MFA in 2005 from The George Washington University in Washington DC and has been showing work in Portland, Seattle, and New York.
The works are influenced by themes from science fiction and geological processes such as ‘deep time’, a theory used to explain the length of time needed to create the surfaces of the earth. The biomorphic and terrestrial shapes that comprise these images do not reveal their origin. They pull viewers into the rich passages giving cause for contemplation. Upon closer look the works reveal each individual line that comprises them. Following the path of each line shows the method used to create these forms but only to convey the vast amount of time that was taken, further eluding the viewer. To create these drawings cut out shapes are used as jigs, or guides. The contours of these shapes are traced with a pencil, then slightly shifted, then traced again. This process is repeated countless times, recording the movement of the shapes across a page.
The book ‘Aionios’ was constructed in a similar methodology, each contour was a cut out from a page, with each subsequent page and cut out the jig was shifted. The book was hand cut by the artist and then bound and distributed by Publication Studio in Portland, OR. With his works, Kelly gives viewers unique experiences with traditional practices. The drawings offer many vantage points as they reflect and absorb light, leaving no single image, unlike most two dimensional work. A sculpture as a book invites viewers to pick up the work and flip through the pages.
Kelly’s work has been written about by John Motley for The Oregonian and is included in collections at the MoMA Library, New York, NY and the Bieneke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale, New Haven, CT. He was awarded a commission through Oregon Arts Commission to create work for Eastern Oregon University in their newly renovated Pierce Library.
Patrick Kelly lives and works in Portland, OR.