When you say the word "singer/songwriter," immediately people like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon come to mind. Say the word "chef" and you automatically think of Julia Child or Prudhomme. Yet, when you say "performance artist," only one name rises above the rest like the aromatic smoke from an incense flame- John Kelly. What is a performance artist? What sets them apart from other artists? Why does John Kelly continue to inspire other artists and performers? Sheer brilliance- and passion. Whether on the stage at the Pyramid Club, Wigstock, or a Broadway theatre- Mr. Kelly's intimate yet intense portrayal of characters touches you- startles you- provokes you. This is his remarkable story. Long live John Kelly.
It is astounding to me the extent of John Kelly's ingenuity and initiative to use what ever tool comes to his use, including costume, his own beautifully expressive body, paint, facial expression, light... what ever, to illuminate areas of his own curiosity, which in turn so often are areas of my own. He actually comes to intriguing and satisfying answers.... things to mull over...and then even more questions about more curious things: The life of a particular artist he admires --, say, Egon Schiele, or Joni Mitchel; or the exploration of an idea-- say power, loneliness, beauty, form, the creative process itself. What a gorgeous book about a beautiful man.
John Kelly (2wice Arts Foundation Monograph)