"The vibrant colors and energetic compositions found in Ben Kelley’s paintings make it difficult to believe that he only began painting recently. Using vivid color schemes and text as shapes, Ben Kelley creates energizing harmonies on canvas. His compositions often emerge as fascinating landscapes, and he chooses the colors and shapes 'just from [his] memory.'
For example, his painting 'Mr. C' (a small square painting with red, orange and yellow hues) 'is ants on an ant farm.' This painting shows that while he is unafraid of indulging in the entire rainbow, he shows restraint and choice in his palette and imagery. Ben explains that he chooses his colors based on memory and that his 'mind just said 'go for it!' ' when he started painting.
Another painting entitled 'Two Big M’s' has two glowing Ms suspended on top of one another over a lavender color field with a creamy green border. This work holds echoes of color theorist Joseph Albers, but with a more organic and free approach that borders on narrative with the jumbled letters that show up. Interestingly, Ben's drawings yield something completely different!
With pencils and markers on paper, he creates frenetic scenes of centipedes and spiders in a chaotic garden party, with decisive edges and an almost narrative scene. Regardless of his chosen medium, Ben Kelley treats the entire page with attention and care, inviting us into a world of memories soaked in color and texture."
Exhibitions & Projects
Salem Art Association
“Voices From Home”
The Arts Center
"Walk This Way"
Western Oregon University, Cannon Gallery
"A Community is a Small Town"
Patricia Reser Center for the Arts
"Do You See Everyone Under That Applebelly Tree?
Oregon State University, Memorial Student Union Gallery
"Waiting for the Meteor"
Oregon Fringe Festival
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Corvallis, OR 97333
P. O. Box 973
Corvallis, OR 97339
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