I wanted to explore an allegorical theme here using a Commedia del arte presentation. The character, Gilles, is usually portrayed in white — here I have chosen black. I have also decided to portray this traditionally male character as a female in this piece. The distinctly modern treatment of the face is juxtaposed with the Carravagesque treatment of the paint and the costume.

This painting is on a gallery wrapped canvas with finished black edges. It comes varnished and ready to hang.

- John Kelly

Standing Pierrot

Oil painting on stretched canvas

Signed on back

32" h x 24" w x 1" d
5 lbs. 0 oz.



John Kelly
Paris, 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.