Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The Falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
The blood- dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
- W.B. Yeats
This exhibition represents a truncated overview of more than a decade’s work. With the creation of State Police State in 1993, the first major canvas executed by me in a Pop Art style, I embarked upon the path of particularizing the complexities and lampooning the idiocy of the human drama via allegorical narrative. The imagery has always been of a contemporaneous nature and these are strange times indeed. Certainly no stranger than those of William Butler Yeats, whose poem The Second Coming, penned nearly a century ago, still rings true today with a chilling prophetic clarity. I’ve always painted by the courage of my convictions and let the chips fall where they may. The imagery is not always pretty, nor is it easy, but is intended to provoke a dialogue with the viewer and to open multiple lines of query. For me, the process of questioning is most important because it is the first step in ultimately finding solutions.
I am honored to have been asked to assemble this exhibition for the Carnegie’s Centennial Celebration and salute Bill Seitz for his dedication and conviction in allowing me the opportunity to present this work in such a venerated institute without any constraints.
Kevin T. Kelly
5 March 2004.