Mikey Kelly: Vibrate

October 5–November 16, 2017

Mikey Kelly, Be Love Now Version I, 2017, acrylic on linen, 60 inches diameter

Chandra Cerrito Contemporary is pleased to announce two concurrent solo exhibitions of works by Bay Area artists Connie Goldman and Mikey Kelly from October 5 to November 16, 2017. Paintings by these two Bay Area artists explore contemporary abstraction and color as well as motion, in both metaphorical or optical terms.

Vibrate highlights new work by Bay Area artist Mikey Kelly.  Kelly's recent acrylic paintings continue his interest in process-driven linear compositions that are optically charged. Reminiscent of woven textiles and Op Art by artists like Carlos Cruz-Diez, Gilbert Hsiao, and Susie Rosmarin, his dynamic fields of interference patterns come alive with a viewer's interaction.  This experiential and perceptual confrontation seems to underlie Kelly's motivations and keep the viewer actively engaged. 

For many years, Kelly has utilized pre-determined mathematical patterns, or algorithms, that dictate the color and angle of each painted or drawn line to create unpredictable visual patterns.  His new paintings use ciphers that encode language as a means to arrive at compositions.  Interested in, as Kelly describes it, "spirituality hacking," his paintings reference texts by spiritual leaders like Ram Dass and Meher Baba, New Age phrases like "affirmations," and tools of Eastern religion like "mantras."  Each work is a prayer manifesting positivity.  In fact, circular canvases are rotated like a prayer wheel as part of their making.  While Kelly considers a diverse array of spiritual topics intellectually and as a structural device, he also embodies the practices they espouse through a necessarily sustained, repetitive painting process.  In the end, slowly accumulated energy is barely contained, radiating through the painted surface.

About the Artist

Mikey Kelly (b. 1972) lives and works in Napa, CA.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from University of Oregon in Eugene, OR and his Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, MI.  Kelly's work has been exhibited nationally, including at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, Berkeley Art Center, and San Francisco Art Market in northern California; Franklin Parrasch Gallery in New York City; and Miami Project in Miami.  His work is in the collections of the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI, University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Neiman Marcus in Troy, MI.  Kelly has been awarded artist residencies at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley and the Lucid Art Foundation in Inverness.  This is Kelly's second solo exhibition at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary.