Kelly John Gough
Beauty is not synonymous to decorative, pretty or attractive; it is not simply good-looking or easy on the eye. Beauty can be dark and sinister, morbid and macabre. It can also be light and uplifting, inviting and warm. Beauty is that moment of connection between the creator and the experiencer. For Kelly, it is the moment of connection between you and his artwork.
Kelly’s artwork is not pointedly controversial, attention seeking or designed to crowd please. It is not driven by popular demand or the art world’s current trends.
Kelly’s work is driven by the lens through which he views the world – a lens that focuses on the beauty of the people, scenes, objects, emotions, scenarios and experiences he encounters. It is Kelly’s interpretation and expression of this beauty that conspires to imagine an artwork; it is this beauty that Kelly tries to convey in every piece. For you to connect with it – to feel it, sense it, see it, enjoy it – is the ultimate achievement of beauty.
Kelly paints for this love of beauty. He paints to exhibit his passion, to express the forms, figures, feelings and findings of his life. He paints for himself and he paints for you – not for the tick boxes and criteria of galleries, curators, publications, awards and art critics, even though it serves to place him on the outside of the art world.
That Kelly is largely self-taught only adds to his segregation. Yet Kelly relies not on his CV but on your reaction; not on his training but on that inexplicable spark between you and his work. An outsider, unrestricted by ideas of what ‘art’ should be, Kelly remains constant to his pursuit of beauty – every brush stroke a defiant nod to his own expression, his own aesthetic, his own style, his own connection with you, the viewer. And that is a truly beautiful thing.