While growing up on a farm in Kansas, Jamie Kelty developed a strong connection to the earth and to the hand-made. Now that the artist is living in New York, this connection remains visible in her work.
In Kelty’s oil paintings, colors appear as though dragged through the soil, giving them a visceral quality and textural depth, at once urban and elemental. Tearing, scraping, and sewing the canvas imbue the paintings with a palimpsest- like effect, often leaving traces of a previous incarnation. Recycled and assembled objects embedded in the fabric act as props in a visual drama.
Guest Spot is delighted to present six watercolor-collages by Jamie Kelty, from the winter of 2010-2011. Here’s the good word from Ms. Kelty: “Looking at them now, I realize that I must have been searching for the sun. These characters seem to be in warmer climates. The bits of paraphernalia are collected from gift wrap, old dictionaries, ticket stubs, and magazine ads. I like to use these bits to imbue a sort of personality for the painted figures, and to add color and texture to the surface of the paper.”
Kelty’s distinctive portraits bring a splash of color and vivid personality to 6 x 4-inch sketches inspired by people in her neighborhood. In a dexterous combination of painting and assemblage, she teases out each character’s attitude and emotions, inviting us to imagine their stories. And to share in the warmth of her vision.