Kate Kelton


Headdresses and crowns deify Kate Kelton’s subjects. She paints portraits cloaked in the garb of statues Ladislav Šaloun sculpted onto the train station that her great-grandfather, Josef Fanta, designed for Prague in 1901 - 1909. Apotheosis through a reclaimed, reapplied Art Nouveau. Sampling her own lineage, she transforms a historical body of work, itself a thing of lasting beauty; exchanging granite for graphite, plaster for paint.

Granite is exchanged for graphite, plaster for paint. Ancient and distant godlike beings, surveying a dying empire, trade places with the fresh blood of her chosen subjects. The work presents a tactility against the digitized space, and represents a taking, an acquisition of power back from the tastemakers. Here, the mantle of the artist is above brand influencer, above internet commentator, above mere marketability. In their gaze is a warning, “Art is immortal. Come for me, why don’t you?”