“Kelly can take listeners into the interior life of a song with little more than his supple range and performer’s imagination.” – The New York Times, June 17, 2013, Tim Murphy
John Kelly is an acclaimed performance and visual artist whose multi-faceted career spans three decades. His performance works stem from autobiographical, cultural, gender and identity issues, realized through the theatrical, visual, movement-based, and vocal delineation of character. Subjects have included the Berlin Wall, the Troubadours, the AIDS epidemic, and Expressionistic Film, and character studies based on Egon Schiele, Caravaggio, Antonin Artaud, Joni Mitchell, and Jean Cocteau. These works have been performed at The Kitchen, Lincoln Center, The Andy Warhol Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, PS 122, BAM’s Next Wave Festival, and the Tate Modern.
Kelly’s many honors and awards include 2 Bessie Awards; 2 Obie Awards; 2 NEA American Masterpiece Awards; an American Choreographer Award; a CalArts/ Alpert Award in Dance/Performance; a Visual AIDS Vanguard Award; and the 2010 Ethyl Eichelberger Award. Fellowships include The American Academy in Rome; The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard; The Guggenheim Foundation; The Sundance Theatre Institute, The New York Foundation for the Arts; and Art Matters, Inc.; and a 2013 USA Artists Fellowship. Recent residencies include The Park Avenue Armory, and the LMCC Process Space Artist Residency.
Kelly’s visual art has been exhibited at Alexander Gray Associates, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; PS 1, Long Island City; Art In General, New York; MACRO Museo d’arte contemporanea Roma; the Coreana Art Museum, Soeul, Korea, and Harvard University.
As a singer he has collaborated and recorded with composers David Del Tredici, Richard Einhorn, Laurie Anderson, and The Jazz Passengers. He has frequently performed the work of John Cage, including: James Joyce, Marcel Duchamp, Eric Satie: An Alphabet (Narrator); Report On The Weather; Aria With Fontana Mix (with the San Francisco Symphony); and The City Wears a Slouch Hat.
Writings include JOHN KELLY, a visual autobiography, published by the 2wice Arts Foundation in association with Aperture; and essays for Movement Research Journal, Inside Arts, The Italian Journal, and Performing Arts Journal.
His first solo recording Beauty Kills Me has just been released on Strange Troubadours. He is currently working on 4-channel video and single channel film versions of Escape Artist Redux; and a new performance work Time No Line, based on 30 years of handwritten journals and self-portraits.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Billy Erb