Sweet Nothings : New Works by Kelly Denato – Sneak Preview 3


“I Love You To Pieces”

In the third installment of these sneak previews here on the mph blog, artist Kelly Denato talks about the visual language she’s developed in the work for Sweet Nothings, opening this Friday, March 14 at mph!

In your work, I often see roses, ribbon like objects, and spindly digits poking through orifices. Please give us an idea of what these images or any other reoccurring imagery represents in your art.

 I do have a visual language that I use to express themes in my work and it grows and expands every time I create something new. There is no definitive “key” or “legend” for the symbols the language contains, and the things they represent can change and evolve depending on the theme of the piece or the series they are being used in. I often have open, closed, or empty, eyes and mouths that are either oozing, steaming, weeping or being poked at – mouths and eyes are tools we use to express and to connect to others. I like to think of these visuals as examples of how frustrating and ineffective that communication can be. The ribbons in my work have represented blood, sweat, tears, breath, etc. The spindly digits or “tubes” in my work have been representative of connections and longing. The thought behind the paper roses for this particular batch of paintings and drawings in “Sweet Nothings” are being used as symbols of falseness, fragility, and the idea of being a lovely and intricate impostor. The globular clusters that have seeped into this series, are representative of similar objects as the ribbons, but they also represent things like dew, crusty excretions, vomit, plants, bodily growths.  I visualize them as this sugary, saccharine, sap-like accumulation. They ooze. I think of all of these bits of imagery as characters and try not to confine them to a singular meaning, this way they can be less limited and take on other roles on other stages.


“Turn My Insides Out”


“Your Mouth”

See the above pieces and way more of Kelly’s amazing work this Friday at the opening of Sweet Nothings!

Join the event on Facebook!

Sweet Nothings
New Works by Kelly Denato
Opening Reception Friday, March 14th
6:00PM – 9:00PM
Exhibition runs through April 6th


210 Forsyth St.
Lower East Side
New York

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