Dallas Art Fair, April 14-17

April 13

James Kelly Contemporary is pleased to announce that it now represents Val Kilmer and will present a selection of his artwork at the Dallas Art Fair (April 14-17, 2016). This will be the first time Kilmer has publicly shown his work.

Val Kilmer is best known as a brilliant actor, though his collective talents establish him as a true renaissance man. His art is as diverse and prolific as the characters he has played on-screen. This includes painting, drawing, sculpture, and his photo collage exhibit Wonderland has toured the world. A distinguished writer, Kilmer has two books of poetry, written music, and recorded an album. His current focus explores elements of street art.

Kilmer explains: “I dedicated the last several years to write, direct, produce, and star in a one-man show called Citizen Twain. I was honored to preview it at the incredible Wyly Theater in Dallas (part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas), though just as the national tour was booked I was struck by a physical challenge that prevented me from being able to speak effectively as Mark Twain. I was forced to cancel my tour, yet all this incredible energy I had built-up for two years was redirected into one of my favorite alternate pastimes, painting.”

The works he will show at the Dallas Art Fair started with Kilmer’s interest in street and graffiti art. His imagery comes from popular culture and powerful words in repetition. “ I started on a street art project and looked for ways to personalize my style of graffiti art. The idea for the metal panels I have been using came to me when I hit on one word - GOD. This simple and powerful word seemed to serve suddenly as a point of reference for all my recent efforts as a screenwriter and playwright, and in all my interests in conveying the international language of art.

Kilmer’s GOD works create an immediate and energized response, shifting ones consciousness in a safe environment, and invites one to consider a different point of view. The word God is jam packed with conversations, and that’s the core motivation behind its use. He explains, “Actors rehearse, forever if you let them. And this word is a way to focus my attention and intentions, for a brief while, and to give me pause”.

His process is to paint without calculation, and examine his emotions after he has painted something, after he has found some balance. Then he steps back to see what mystery is presenting itself.

In addition to the mixed media GOD series, Kilmer also paints abstractions on metal panels using experimental techniques with different chemicals and pigments. These abstract works are the closest he has come to capturing the emotion he feels when creating, and if this emotion is somehow conveyed to the viewer, then he is pleased. This emotion is the essence of experiencing a work or art and is something every artist strives to achieve.