Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley

Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley create graphically stylized short films that combine painting, performance, and Mary’s distinctive wordplay-rich poetry.

All images Courtesy by the artists

Layered by Pat into a densely detailed, historically specific collage, the films feature characters whose rhyming, punning speech traps them between comic and tragic meanings, and whose dilemmas of ideology and responsibility are eternal.

I’m Jackson Pollock (2021) is a boasting monologue delivered by a businessman with a pumpkin head. The rhyming lines yoke artists of eminence with unrelated political natural disasters. As the monologue progresses, the character is in turns defensive and defiant, and increasingly beset with growths of pumpkins all over his body.

Blood Moon (2021) is a Pygmalion-esque romance gone wrong, between a delusional careerist artist (Betty) and the demonic creation she awakens (Lenny). The pumpkin-headed characters refer to a haunted agricultural past, and help ask the film’s main question: what is a human, really?

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