acrylic on wood, 2017
Courtesy of the artist
Thad Kellstadt is a multi-disciplinary artist working in painting, sculpture, video, and sound. His work is informed by a diversity of sources ranging from architecture and psychedelia to punk rock and Pennsylvania Dutch barn art. He uses both formal restrictions and chance operations to create imaginary spaces that play with ideas of perception. His work has shown nationally and internationally at Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA; Secret Project Robot, New York City, NY; Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL; Alice Gallery, Brussels; Cell Project Space, London; SPACE, Pittsburgh, PA; The Front, New Orleans, LA; Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Contemporary Museum of Art; Raleigh, NC and a shuttered McDonalds in Chicago. He lives and works in Milwaukee, WI
I am an artist using painting to investigate how perception is informed and shaped by light, color and imagination. My work is concerned with the simultaneous pleasure and confinement provided by a sense of safety.
Abstraction is prominent in my work and I use strategies of abstraction as a way to express the fantastic and impossible via an ordered system of lines and colors. My consistent use of ruled lines is as much to invite as to hypnotize the viewer. The lines often plot a course of misdirection, containing false passages and limited entry points. These paths point continuously across the surface, in contrast to the depth created by the shapes of gradient color.
My color palette is vivid and saturated, which creates an artificial landscape, a non‐place. The bright palette is both appealing and unreal, an helps me create an inorganic landscape of my own design. These spaces adhere to my own rules of light and shadow, and I play with depth and flatness to continue my construction of illusory spaces.
Despite my interest in illusion, and the preeminent formal considerations within my process and work, I seek to locate a human connection to these impossible environments. Their constriction may provide a pleasurable sense of escape, of being lost inside their lines, color and bright artificialness. As I paint, I am always thinking of these compositions as sites of inhabitation.