I did this painting of one my favorite models, Clemence, who is an extremely talented dancer. We were in the Jardin de Luxembourg, just next to the Medici fountain. I've done several paintings of her in this park, but on this one, I just asked her to sit and think, and then I asked her to hold the pose. The melancholy of the pose is juxtaposed by the bright white of her dress, which the somber tones of the shadowed forest highlights. 

- John Kelly


Oil painting on stretched canvas
Finished black edges
Ready to hang

Signed on back

21" h x 18" w x 1.5" d
2 lbs. 2 oz.



John Kelly
Boulogne, France

Getting to Know John

John was born in Paris and grew up in New York. He attended the School of Visual Arts in the 1980s and participated in the East Village art scene at the time, showing at 301 Houston Street Gallery and Ground Zero Gallery. His work was mainly influenced by the Abstract Expressionists and the German Expressionists, but that changed when he saw a Balthus retrospective at the Met in 1983. His work became figurative, and has remained so ever since. Today, he works with several models, and they’ve become active collaborators in his art. “Allowing them to be creative helps me,” he says. John’s paintings live between the realms of classicism and modernity. He painstakingly renders his models with the precision traditionally reserved for the world’s wealthy and powerful, but his subjects are like you and me. As viewers, we see intimate moments of self-reflection and vulnerability. The figures are so close to the surface, it feels like you are part of the incredibly charged scene.