Bread Fruit Boy - Hawaii by John Melville Kelly

Bread Fruit Boy - Hawaii by John Melville Kelly

Bread Fruit Boy - Hawaii

John Melville Kelly

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.
Title

Bread Fruit Boy - Hawaii

 
Artist
Year
c. 1935  
Technique
etching and aquatint 
Image Size
14 7/16 x 9 11/16" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
not stated 
Annotations
pencil titled 
Reference
Drucker, color impression illustrated page 106 
Paper
cream wove 
State
proof from uncolored state 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
CKCS104 
Price
$3,500.00 
Description

By the 1930s John Kelly considered himself a Hawaiian, identifying with the peace and beauty of the islands after having originally moved there temporarily on a commission in 1923. Printmaking, as well, was new to him, having trained in painting and only learning the etching medium after his wife, Kate, began taking courses in the technique herself. It would prove to be Kelly’s most sought-after work and tie him indelibly to the land and the printmaking world.

“Bread Fruit Boy” reads like a still from a black and white film of the early 20th century, with rich monochrome blacks and grays and a softness to the edges. The central figure, a young man collecting the bounty of a breadfruit tree, is silhouetted against a clear sky; below are the shoots of tropical foliage and, to the left of his feet, a small wild hog waits for dropped morsels. Just beyond, the forms of volcanic mountains rise from their Pacifc cradle. An image as iconic as the land and culture it borrows from.

Kelly authored and illustrated "Etchings and Drawings of Hawaiians" in 1943, and "The Hula as Seen in Hawaii" in 1955. John Melville Kelly died in Honolulu in 1962.

 

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.