I see sculpture as an ongoing dialogue between many things. Material, form, substance, light / shadow, time / space & content. Sculpture is curiosity made visible in three dimensions...with additional dimension or two added to it. The dimension of time, and one of imagination.
At what point does a shape, a form co-exist within the viewer as well as in the world, in the imagination. What chords, or resonance within a person does this sculpture create, what does it represent?
A dialogue I have going on in the present time is connection. How do pieces or materials connect? How do they intersect in space? Many materials have inherent meanings contained within themselves, as well as context, and meaning found in how it's connected, formed , shaped, paired in a larger context of other materials. Within that internal conversation is a parallel one, The form (s). What do these forms seem to mean, to signify? I see shapes & forms, connections in my mind I want to explore. I draw them in a notebook. It gives me great satisfaction to go out to the studio and begin executing on that vision. Sometimes the vision comes as a fully developed piece. Other times it's more of an idea of something to try - a way to connect materials, a direction. Either way the vision, the drive to create, the internal spring of curiosity asks to be fed, and there's great satisfaction in being involved with that exploration, and the process of always making new things.
The other aspect of this is surprise. I'd say surprise & delight. There's an element of surprise when something you create something that has never before existed in the world until you created it. This phase of creation is the phase in which what you made is still brand new to you, it has been born out of you, before it didn't exist, and now it does, part of you but separate. This phase is a time to step back and savor, to appreciate what you have made. What does it say to you. Where will it love? What is its larger context of being?
The larger context can be your studio, a community, a network, the artworld so to speak, your audience. In the act of following through on this vision you engage with the larger audience, and the resonance of what you create can be found here as well.
I've always found inspiration in the work of David Smith, Mark Di Suvero, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Anthony Caro as well as the New York School. With that as a starting point I now find many points of reference and inspiration, from peers. life and material.
Ken Kelleher is an American sculptor born in 1968.
He studied art at Alfred University under sculptors Glenn Zweygardt and William Parry. After college he worked at Hudson Studio, Fine Art Foundry in Niverville, NY where he did finishing work on cast bronze pieces by William Tucker and Anthony Caro, as well as other artists. Hudson Studio was in a shared space at the time with sculptor Jon Isherwood and is in close proximity to Triangle Workshop. The area has a concentration of artists and sculptors starting in the 1950's with David Smith, Kenneth Noland and others setting up residence in driving range of NYC and Bennington College.
Before becoming a Creative Director in Advertising he produced several series of large abstract found object pieces, some of which were sold into private collections.
Now twenty years later, Ken has returned to having a full time studio practice. He lives and works with his wife of 25 years at Rehoboth in NH.
From the artist
'The material, steel. Immediate, solid, rust, the color of blood is primal. Steel feels like it can be worked on quickly, yet resists, pushed back while you refine it. It’s a medium that lends itself to ideas, being assembled quickly, or left on the table to be looked at, arranged, moved around over time before being welded. As an artist I don’t think I have to work only in steel, but I do like its permanence. In time, when I have the resources and time I’ll cast in bronze — having been present at some bronze pours at a small foundry in Hudson NY where we poured pieces for Anthony Caro — I also am attracted to the idea of making shapes and casting. Will I work in wood or on more conceptual pieces? Yes, in fact for my senior show at college I incorporated large pieces of wood that had just been felled during a large ice storm, into large, welded pieces, some of them bolted together. One piece had a giant rudder or fan of wood, another was a tripod with an angry fist of wood raised to the sky. '