Patrick Kelly: Layers of Brutes and Innocents

October 23 through December 4, 2021

Location: 3317 West 4th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107

The increase of disorder or entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future, giving direction to time. —Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

Blind Alley projects is pleased to announce Patrick Kelly: Layers of Brutes and Innocents, a rich and complex installation and online text that builds and disappears as it speaks to corrupted systems and entropy as inevitable realities of life to be considered, if not embraced.

In a statement for this exhibition, Kelly explains his process and thoughts as this fateful accumulation of works took shape:


Layers of Brutes and Innocents began as a desire to systematically disintegrate an enlarged an inverted image of Malcolm Browne’s 1963 photograph of a Buddhist monk’s self-immolation—an image that made an indelible impression on me as a kid. As this project evolved, numerous visual and conceptual connections were considered and pursued. Rather than edit these, attempts were made to introduce as many as possible in some form.
The first decision was to remove strategic information from the photographic image. The shapes of these voids derive from reproductions of ancient portrait busts of Greek/Roman elite and heroic figures along with those of missing children and youth found in free broadsheet publications. Subjects of the portraits confront and question the hierarchy attributed to individuals within any given society and the manner in which they are portrayed. Original missing information was replaced with color renderings, reinforming the image. From these initial decisions and elements, others manifested almost exponentially. The entirety of the project emulates the complexity and eventual failure of systems, incongruous beliefs within individuals, promised utopias, time serving as a “great leveler,” forms of protest, the (misidentification) of the “brute” and “innocent,” and the inevitability of disorder.

Considering this project as an isolated or closed system, the development and introduction of more and more ideas accelerated the rate of entropy exacerbating any sense of order.

Patrick Kelly works in a variety of mediums such as painting, sculpture, drawing, and digital. His current work can be summed up succinctly—“My primary goals in making art are actualizing that which has never existed while considering and re-presenting that which is often disregarded or overlooked.”

Kelly was born in Houston and raised in Lubbock, Texas. He received his BFA from the University of North Texas in Denton and an MFA from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He is a past recipient of a Dallas Museum of Art - Awards to Artists - Dozier Travel Grant and a Mid-America Arts Alliance / National Endowment for the Arts - Painting Fellowship. Over his career, his work has been included in over 75 solo and group exhibitions including the Amarillo Museum of Art, Galveston Arts Center, Contemporary Art Center - Fort Worth, Arlington Museum of Art, San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum - Kansas City, Missouri as well as many other institutions and galleries throughout Texas and the United States. His work is included in numerous private and institutional collections. Currently he is Executive Director and Curator at the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas.