John Kelly
Boulogne, France

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.
Discover Original Art by John Kelly | In the Studio oil painting | Art for Sale Online at UGallery
CURATOR PICK

In the Studio
14.1" x 9.4" , oil painting
$1,450

Standing Pierrot
32" x 24" , oil painting
$2,300

Discover Original Art by John Kelly | Pierrot Study #1 oil painting | Art for Sale Online at UGallery
CURATOR PICK

Pierrot Study #1
10" x 10" , oil painting
$1,050


Zhana
18" x 24" , oil painting
$1,550

Stephanie Seated
30" x 20" , oil painting
$2,100

Pierrot Study #3
10" x 10" , oil painting
$1,050


Woman in Kimono
24" x 18" , oil painting
$2,000

M
18" x 24" , oil painting
$1,550

Academic Nude
36" x 24" , oil painting
$3,500


Reflection
36" x 24" , oil painting
$2,500

Shadow
24" x 20" , oil painting
$3,200

Wake
24" x 36" , oil painting
$2,500


Kneeling Geisha
30" x 24" , oil painting
$2,450

Freedom
30" x 20" , oil painting
$1,950

Amina Reaching
36" x 24" , oil painting
$3,000


Study in Green
36" x 24" , oil painting
$3,500

At the Window
24" x 36" , oil painting
$2,500

Wait
24" x 36" , oil painting
$3,000


North Light
24" x 36" , oil painting
$4,000

Amina in Gold
36" x 24" , oil painting
$3,000

Marian
36" x 24" , oil painting
$2,500


Bride
36" x 24" , oil painting
$2,500

Discover Original Art by John Kelly | Sitting Girl oil painting | Art for Sale Online at UGallery
CURATOR PICK

Sitting Girl
30" x 24" , oil painting
$3,450

Waking Geisha
24" x 36" , oil painting
$3,000


Japonaise
36" x 24" , oil painting
$2,500


Venetian Mask
24" x 18" , oil painting
$1,100

Pierrot
16" x 20" , oil painting
$2,075

Clown
10" x 10" , oil painting
$1,050


Girl with Flowers
12" x 12" , oil painting
$1,050

Amina in Dark
24" x 18" , oil painting
$1,575

Sleeping Dancer
24" x 36" , oil painting
$3,125


Jenn
20" x 30" , oil painting
$1,600

Steph
24" x 18" , oil painting
$1,025

N
20" x 30" , oil painting
$1,300


Speak with John


John Kelly 8/10/2017 | 3:57 PM

And it looks like I'll be having a one man show here in Paris in December, with all new work. If you're in Paris in December, come by!

John Kelly 8/10/2017 | 3:56 PM

Just uploaded a new piece, part of my interior series inspired by Vermeer. Let me know what you guys think!

John Kelly 6/18/2017 | 4:55 PM

Went up to Montmartre today to the Montmartre life drawing workshop, broke out the pastels. It's a great group, and if you're in Paris, check it out. After, we all have drinks and critique our work (gently). They have great models and costume events as well.

John Kelly 6/15/2017 | 3:43 PM

My show in Paris was a spectacular success! Met a lot of interesting people all over the world, and have some new collectors. My new piece, Casement, was painted in my apartment in Paris, with a new model, Gemma. Another piece inspired by the Vermeer show up at the Louvre now.

John Kelly 5/24/2017 | 4:26 AM

Thank you, D.Combs! And if you're in Paris, my work is still up at Galerie 34 Bonaparte, if you'd like to stop by!

commentsWoman in Kimono
D. Combs 5/23/2017 | 8:03 PM

The way you have painted this woman's back is exquisite! Perfect cafe au lait!

John Kelly 5/1/2017 | 6:18 AM

I won a juried competition at the Untitled Factory gallery 32 Rue Gabrielle, Paris, in Montmartre, just up the hill from the Abbesses metro stop. I'll be in a group show there until 7 May. Stop by if you're in Paris and take a look, and don't forget about my one man show at 34 Bonaparte Gallery on 16 May to 29 May. The vernissage is on 18 may at 7:00. See you there!

John Kelly 3/21/2017 | 9:06 AM

I'm going to have a show at the 34 Bonaparte Gallery in Paris the last two weeks in May. If anyone is in Paris, please stop by and say hello!

John Kelly 2/28/2017 | 1:32 PM

I was not on Ugallery for a few months while I made the move to Paris. Getting my work here literally took 3 months. But I'm back now, and have several new pieces up. Please let me know what you guys think!

John Kelly 9/10/2016 | 10:26 PM

I'm moving to Paris! And I'm finishing up a series, Just posted the first example. It's part of my Pierrot series. Amina, my model did a terrific job with her makeup magic, and these pieces just almost painted themselves. They're smaller than I usually work, and I really like them. Let me know what you guys think!

John Kelly 8/30/2016 | 11:20 PM

I've got a couple more pieces going up on Thursday. Hope everyone likes them.

John Kelly 5/8/2016 | 6:35 PM

Have been neglecting my blog. Have a few new pieces that are drying. Check back soon!

John Kelly 1/15/2016 | 2:38 PM

Getting back to work after the holidays, I have several new exciting pieces that I'm waiting to dry.

John Kelly 12/13/2015 | 7:06 PM

I just wanted to say a sincere thank you to all my collectors. It means a lot to me that my paintings are going to good homes. I'm in the middle of a new series, using my favorite model, Amina. I'll be posting several new pieces soon.

John Kelly 7/27/2015 | 5:33 PM

Back in L.A., and it's weird, I feel like I'm glad to be back to where everyone is wearing shorts, and the ocean just backs everything here, but I miss Paris. I did a lot of sketching, and some pastels, which I'll be posting soon.

John Kelly 7/15/2015 | 4:20 PM

Still in Paris, and am (happily) overloaded with the amazing amount of beautiful art here. I saw the Bonnard show three times, been to the Louvre twice and will probably go again before we leave. Tomorrow I'm going to see the L'orangerie and Monet's spectacular water lilies.

John Kelly 6/16/2015 | 4:23 AM

Well, here I am in Paris, where I was born, and although it is different, it's also the same. We're staying in St. Germain de Pres, my favourite neighborhood, and today we're going tot he Louvre. I'v done a few watercolour sketches in cafes, but haven't done anything major yet.

John Kelly 6/12/2015 | 3:04 PM

Going to France tomorrow for a month! Check my Facebook page and twitter account, I'll be posting new artwork done from the city of light.

John Kelly 5/26/2015 | 2:27 PM

Just set up a tumblr account, see me at http://johnkellyart.tumblr.com plenty of new stuff there.

John Kelly 5/4/2015 | 11:50 AM

See me on twitter at @john_kellyart!

John Kelly 4/1/2015 | 4:42 PM

I was just named a finalist for the Art Renewal Center's 2014/2015 Salon! Wish me luck! http://www.artrenewal.org

John Kelly 3/20/2015 | 4:10 PM

Thank you so much, Mr. Jones.! I am so grateful and honored that you've chosen my painting for your first purchase. If you have any questions feel free to ask, and thanks again. John

C Jones 3/19/2015 | 10:10 PM

I just received "Steph 2014" and it looks amazing in my study. My first real art purchase and I'm very excited about it.

John Kelly 3/3/2015 | 5:28 PM

Hi R Genseal, I think you may have the wrong John Kelly :). My parents burdened me with an extremely common name, and there are several other artists with the same name, one of whom lives in Hawaii. Good luck, and sorry I couldn't help! John

R Genseal 3/3/2015 | 1:33 PM

Hello, I have a print " San Francisco" not numbered but sighned in pencil and copyrighted 1973. No A/P marking, could you tell me something about it? Thanks!

John Kelly 1/22/2015 | 4:04 PM

New pIece uploaded and it's a staff favorite! Also, I'm now accepting new students. Contact me for details

John Kelly 1/9/2015 | 8:58 PM

Just uploaded a new piece, I really like it. Let me know what any of you think!

John Kelly 11/20/2014 | 10:53 PM

The Open Studio went great, lots of fun, and nobody got too drunk! Anytime any one here wants to visit, let me know, I'd be happy to show you my latest work.

John Kelly 11/8/2014 | 12:33 AM

Getting ready for my open studio next weekend. Hope to see you there!

John Kelly 10/30/2014 | 12:03 AM

Thanks, B. Murray, I didn't see this comment until today (I've been crazed) and I really appreciate your comment.

John Kelly 10/30/2014 | 12:02 AM

Thank you, B. Murray, I didn't see your post until today. What a great compliment! Hey guys, if you're in L.A. on 11/15, I'm having an open studio. You can see the stuff on here in real life and I have some new work I haven't posted yet. It's at the Hawthorne Arts Complex, 13040 Cerise Ave, Hawthorne, CA. Hope to see you there!

commentsKathy Sleeping
B Murray 10/7/2014 | 8:29 PM

To John Kelly; find your painting impressive skillful and charming.

John Kelly 9/7/2014 | 10:15 PM

Just uploaded a new piece I've been working on for months, it's one of my favorites. I like the way the light pours down the Nepalese tapestry, which I bought from a Nepalese girl in Honolulu. Kathy is the model, and yes, she was actually asleep while she posed.

John Kelly 8/26/2014 | 11:58 PM

Just uploaded a piece of one my favorite models, Stephanie. I love this piece, somber and at the same time, sensuous.

John Kelly 8/26/2014 | 11:43 PM

Wow, haven't posted in awhile. I started a new series, surrealistic this time. These paintings will take awhile, but they kind of scare me, (which means I think they're good). Also, I was named a "Meritorious Entry" in the Richardson 75 contest, which means two of my paintings will be published in the catalog.

John Kelly 7/23/2014 | 11:04 AM

I'm in a group show here in L.A. "Musas" at Vees Gallery, 5418 West Adams, LA. If you're in L.A., stop by!

John Kelly 6/16/2014 | 12:47 PM

Just finished two more pieces, can't wait to post them. Waiting for them to dry so I can varnish them.

John Kelly 5/26/2014 | 9:14 PM

Thank you! I was just working today on a new painting there. And congratulations on starting drawing. Piketty's book is fascinating and disturbing let me know what you think of it...

Shawn 5/26/2014 | 6:48 PM

John, I really dig your work. I'm just starting to draw myself and am attracted to your style. Keep up the the great work and good luck in your new studio! BTW - I just bought Piketty's book myself.

John Kelly 5/9/2014 | 11:16 AM

Just started a new painting of my friend Kathy Bausch, who is a spectacular jewelry designer. First in my new studio!

John Kelly 5/5/2014 | 7:12 PM

Studio set up and ready to go. I think I'll be working on a series based on Gerome, sort of a 19th century Orientalism series.

John Kelly 5/1/2014 | 10:57 PM

Just added some new work, let me know if you guys like it (or hate it, or are just indifferent). I just moved into a new studio in Hawthorne and am going to start a new series of figure paintings. Many power tools in my future first.