Anthony-Noel Kelly is a highly skilled artist who employs traditional techniques to capture the essence of organic matter in its various manifestations throughout the cycle of life, encompassing vegetables, animals, and humans, both living and deceased. However, underlying his photographic, sculptural, and painted works is a consistent exploration of natural forms, devoid of idealization, which serves as a thematic thread connecting his body of work.
Whether showcased individually, in pairs, or as groups, Kelly's sculptures delve into the fundamental laws of nature and their intricate relationship with humanity, reaffirming the shared bonds among all living creatures. These thought-provoking pieces reflect human social behavior and circumstances, highlighting the nature of interdependence and interaction. Through his interventions and the resulting shared experiences, Kelly alludes to the compatibility and intimacies within nature, despite its inherent diversities, as well as the concept of personal identity in the inevitable cycle of life and death.
Kelly places great importance on verisimilitude, employing casting, taxidermy, photography, or the meticulous approach of tempera painting to faithfully reproduce not only the observed forms but also their inherent energy. Additionally, he employs fragmentation and composition as personal commentaries within his finished artworks. For instance, by depicting subjects from multiple angles, each painting provides the viewer with comprehensive information to describe the subject's distinct characteristics, resembling a comprehensive study akin to a blueprint. In a similar vein, our bodies, too, are intricate "machines," animated and driven by individuals while simultaneously sharing remarkable similarities with others.
The deliberate composition of moments capturing natural mutability, frozen in more permanent forms through casting, photography, or painting, is meticulously arranged by Kelly in carefully ordered patterns. It is through his method of display that he subtly reflects the traditional human endeavor to comprehend and control nature, echoing the long-standing notion of mankind's attempts to bridge the gap between nature and understanding.