About Keefe

 

I believe in the individual as a construct of fantasy which exist to support our identity, how we want to view ourselves versus a neglected objective truth. We live in a subjective reality we build for ourselves predicated and interpreted by our ideals. It is a tenuous control over chaos. My work is intended to be lived with. The purpose is designed to remind us of who we want to be in a contemplative and emotive manner, while accessibility is intentionally cultivated through the use of scale, color, body reference, expression and abstraction.

My career in art began as a teenager, working for my grandfather in his Manhattan graphic design studio, primarily supporting the NYC record industry with clients such as RCA, Chrysalis, Atlantic, and BMG. This was a pre-computer cut-and-paste shop. We would produce or be provided original work, and then cut-and-paste, by hand, layout compositions for tapes, CD’s and record covers. My first job there was to enlarge and correct logo and fonts. We had a large collection of these which would be photographed for enlargement, hand corrected with ink, and then reduced to the composition scale.

I went on to obtain a fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, studying glass and ceramic sculpture, and then went on to study and work at various glass studios including Penland School of Crafts, Urban Glass, Itza Glass, John Pomp Studios, and Colby Glass.

My practice has since shifted to painting, sculpture, and conceptual work. My studio is located in Ridgewood, NY where I share a warehouse space with several other working artists.

Real Estate

I take soil samples from different neighborhoods. Construction sites, old gardens, and parks, offer the best accessibility to sub-grade and is where most native soil is exposed. From these samples I create carefully measured squares of soil applied to high quality paper to create small parcels of portable real estate. The soil is mixed with a low impact archival binder which will not change the essential qualities of the natural soil. Each parcel is annotated with calligraphy demarkating the specific locality before an clear-coat of fixative is applied to the surface which eliminates the overtly matte finish the otherwise dried soil would possess, in favor of a more vital and alive feeling like that of moist earth. The prices are tied to the median market price of real estate in the area from which the soil sample is drawn.

Landscapes

I make miniature landscape paintings which are designed for an urban lifestyle. The scale of the work was specifically chosen to have a short distance of engagement so that when installed in small New York apartments the landscape would be closely observable yet create vast psychological space. I select landscapes with as much texture as possible, such as those found in the outer boroughs where trees, brownstones, bodegas, construction sites, and graffiti form visually dense vignettes. The works are generally installed in groups, each panel adding to a subjective inferred narrative, projected by the audience.

Navel Gazing Mirrors

There are two main designs for my navel gazing mirrors. A belly button belt buckle and four inch  belly button tile. They are made of clear and brown kiln-formed recycled bottle glass which is then mirrored using an antique silver deposition method. The means of casting and translation to glass uses the finest mold making materials possible which allows for every bit of skin texture from the model to be captured and ultimately recorded by the glass. The end product is not a mirror which would reflect an image, but a translucent silver material exuding luxury. The belly button belt buckles are for personal navel gazing, the tiles are intended to be installed in bathrooms, and pools, as large mosaics, trim, and fine art details.

Mobiles

My mobiles are constructed of inexpensive scrap materials wire, toothpicks, plastic and tin. These are used to make simple forms in repeating patterns which allude to natural landscape features: clouds, lakes and forests. These forms become infinitely scalable due to their light weight and engineered construction and are able to fill enormous spaces. Their elegance evokes a calm yet ever changing three dimensional immersive landscape.

Figurative Paintings

My figurative paintings are mixed material watercolor, pencil, oil stick, and shellac ink on cotton rag paper. The work is produced in group settings in observation of live models. I work very quickly to capture expressive motion. My color palette is intentionally bright favoring mood over color accuracy.


Patrick Keefe Self Portrait.jpeg