Adam Kelly – Piece By Piece

Art & Culture

Adam Kelly has a particular style to his work which has somewhat struck a chord with us here at R$N Towers – no, it isn't just because the picture above is called '(Buttocks)'. Alright, maybe it is a little bit. Still, there's no denying that the man knows exactly what he's doing and that we're excited that he'll be exhibiting his work as part of the Lucy In The Sky exhibition at Transition Gallery throughout June. Just before the exhibition kicks off, Adam talks us through his work – beginning with the infamous '(Buttocks)';


'(Buttocks)' is a marriage of humour and intrigue – the titular subject blurred on the painting's surface, like a Rorscach ink blot test whereby one sees what they want or what they are told. Beginning as two skulls and later evolving into a pair of mangos, it was appropriate to adapt them into something with "innuendo" to achieve the desired comic effect.

I paint intuitively from brush to canvas, using a subjective system of logic as a guiding mechanism to suggest something as simple as a form or space, to a helmet or Ned Kelly performing standup comedy in a modern-day environment. Whilst I often begin with a central image and idea of what I want to paint, I always end up 'washing' the original image from the surface to discover a new vision entirely. This is especially apparent in my latest paintings that fully utilise oil paints – a media I had never used until recently as I previously painted exclusively with household oil-based gloss paints. The ability to add and remove paint after paint, image after image allows me a greater freedom to decode my own working methods as I examine the need, for example, to paint a helmet when two elipses and a few lines will do. I like the work to be funny with absurd scenarios (such as a pair of skulls that turned into a pair of buttocks) and a distinguished palette so that it may hold the viewer's eyeballs.

Orthodox Clergyman 2015, oil on linen, 51 x 41 cm

My first medium sized painting, encompassing all my previous working methods of reworking and washing away previous imagery to compose something new.

Untitled (Angry in the Studio) 2015, oil on linen, 30 x 23 cm

One of my earliest attempts with oil paint, and applied straight to the surface in thick clusters to experiment with the density of oils.

Neds 2015, oil on linen, 30 x 23 cm

Also one of my first works to use my now trademarked methods of washing away previous imagery and constant layering (re-working).

Lost Samurai 2015, oil on canvas, 30 x 23 cm TO BE ON EXHIBITION AT TRANSITION GALLERY

Combining my usual practice methods on canvas rather than linen, this painting is as much a study of the different between linen and canvas as it is about imagery.

No title available at this time – IMG_20150514_160544 – oil on linen, 23 x 30 cm

Work currently in progress, continuing my unusual 'astronaut' motif against an undisputable abstract background.

No title available at this time – IMG_20150427_165508 – oil on linen, 23 x 30 cm

Work currently in progress, produced after returning from a cross-European trip with a fascination for "ice cream colours" and the unknown.

See Adam's work at Transition Gallery as part of the Lucy In The Sky exhibition from 5th June – 5th July, find out more on the gallery's website.