ROBERT J. KELLY
Fine Art Photographer
It has been said of Robert Kelly that he paints with a camera far more beautifully than most artists with a brush. Although technically of a highly realistic nature, Kelly’s evocative images capture the range of artistic feeling most often attributed to the French Impressionists. From the vivid colors of a Chilean cityscape to the subtle hues of a Swiss meadow, Kelly sees subjects with a painter’s sensitivity enhanced by technologically superior photographic skills. His images are well known for transcending the often flat, two-dimensional limitations of most photography.
Robert knew at a very early age that he had a strong interest in art as evidenced by his early sketches of horses, caricatures and a love of people’s faces. By the time he purchased his first camera at age 20 he knew that this was his life’s work. Prior to gaining substantial fame and a national following for his limited edition original Ilfochrome prints (originally known as Cibachrome) Robert J. Kelly studied under the direction of other superb imagists. He was a professional (commercial) photographer for more than 15 years. To perfect his skills he studied at the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport. During this period his exposure to knowledgeable photographic pioneers include Ted Orland and Door County Photographer Dan Anderson, both whom were under the directorship of Ansel Adams; Cibachrome printer Bernie Meyer; assisted Hollywood photographer Gary Bernstein; and last but not least Linda Lapp a portrait photographer, who taught him to “look for quality of light first, the subject second.”
Traveling extensively since then, Kelly has cultivated his sensitivity to the quality of “sweet light.” His images of Maine’s rugged coastline and the stark realities of Death Valley reflect his appreciation and understanding of light as the very essence of fine art photography. He has brought that same sensitivity to his Chicago portfolio recently commissioned by Storck USA, L.P. a German owned Chicago based company. Mr. Richard Harshman, President/CEO of Storck recognized Robert’s ability to capture “sweet light” and felt Chicago would be the perfect subject. Mr. Harshman has stated:
“Robert Kelly’s photos capture the romantic, the mystical and the dramatic. They wake the special character of expansive landscapes with skill and sensitivity – the endless horizons, the enormous skies, the immense changes in atmospheric conditions, which lead to subtle shifts in color, and in scale. His colors are superb and his sense of form and texture are especially effective. Light strikes the various planes, a strong foreground and background are created and his images become three-dimensional. His photographic images stimulate thought, tease the imagination and even create a mood of personal reflection and meditation.”
Robert uses the Ilfochrome/Cibachrome process exclusively for his fine art photographs because this archival process ensures maximum clarity, color saturation and image permanence. It is world famous for its accurate color reproduction, sharpness and the highest quality.
His wish is to convey a “moment of peace” to offer an opportunity through the power of nature to rejuvenate spiritually. He suggests enjoying the image as relaxing reminders of the world around us. “They energize the soul, if only for a time, removing us from all social burdens.”