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Gerald Peters Gallery is pleased to present, GRAY SALT—LOST IN AH-SHI-SLE-PAH, an exhibition of new work by Scott Kelley. His detailed watercolor and gouache paintings of animals, birds, and other objects from nature are inspired by his travels in New Mexico. Drawn to extreme places, Kelley brings his own unique vision of the Southwest with works that are at once playful, imaginative, and elegantly rendered.
Scott Kelley received a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. He then attended The Slade School of Fine Art in London, and was a fellow at the Glassell School of Art in Houston. After completing his fellowship in Houston, Kelley moved to New York City and began working for artist Julian Schnabel. Kelley began drawing and painting from nature upon moving to Long Island where he was inspired by the natural world around him. Kelley now lives on Peaks Island, Maine, where he works from his home studio.
For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why New Mexico was so oddly familiar. I drove and drove – 2,600 miles in 10 days! – and still, I couldn’t place it. The feeling was particularly strong at Ah Shi Sle Pah, getting lost amongst the hoodoos and chocolate mushrooms, watching the tumbleweeds roll by along the playa.
And then, it hit me: Krazy Kat! I have lived with those cartoons my whole life – Krazy and Ignatz must have really put the desert in my head, because everywhere I looked, it was Kokonino County. The mesas, the tortured little trees and cactus, the armadillos and coyotes – it was like being in an endless Krazy Kat Sunday strip. It was all there – all of it completely unexpected, beguiling and even, at times, seemingly very much divorced from reality. – Scott Kelley