The basis of Jay Kelly's work is a fascination with how our culture orders and arranges space. This relentless reshaping of our cities and environments can sometimes create a sense of balance and harmony, but more often than not, we are left with a chaotic amalgamation of the different tastes and thoughts. The vast array of architectural styles, all with their own personalities, are often placed side by side. These separate properties are linked together and yet the relationship between them can often be very disconnected. These groupings of structures and their adjoining spaces help create his visual language. Like an architect attempting to create a utopian world, his hope is to refine and synthesize this visual clutter into a more harmonious coexistence. His work is rarely symmetrical or uniformly balanced though, reflecting a world which can never truly be perfect, no matter how much we try rearranging and creating anew.
Kelly received his B.A. from Syracuse University in 1983. He lives and works in New York City. His works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum, and The Brooklyn Museum, among others.