• Caught in the Act

    Date posted: October 14, 2008 Author: jolanta
    Tony Kelly has been described as an innovative, provocative, and highly energetic photographer. He was a young starter and learned fast. He quickly found himself covering all aspects of life from the genocide in Rwanda to the war in Afghanistan. Four years ago Kelly left press photography behind for fashion. He took with him his past experiences from press photography, and his time working with the paparazzi as inspiration, creating a unique style that is evident in his photography today. Given his former role in the world of press photography, he’s not afraid of flesh or the experiences of real life. Kelly is all about beautiful women, beautiful men, ferocious color, ugly emotion, darkest black, borders that can always be transgressed, real life, and total dedication to the integrity of the shoot. Image

    Constance Harris on the work of Tony Kelly

    Image
    Tony Kelly, Commercial campaign for Brown Thomas Department Store, 2007. Model: Tiffany. Courtesy of the artist.

    Tony Kelly has been described as an innovative, provocative, and highly energetic photographer. He was a young starter and learned fast. He quickly found himself covering all aspects of life from the genocide in Rwanda to the war in Afghanistan. Four years ago Kelly left press photography behind for fashion. He took with him his past experiences from press photography, and his time working with the paparazzi as inspiration, creating a unique style that is evident in his photography today. Given his former role in the world of press photography, he’s not afraid of flesh or the experiences of real life.

    Kelly is all about beautiful women, beautiful men, ferocious color, ugly emotion, darkest black, borders that can always be transgressed, real life, and total dedication to the integrity of the shoot. His trademarks are sex, relationships, dynamism, and real, raw emotion. He has been described as irreverent, uncouth, and spontaneous. He seduces with the camera to bring out the unimaginable in the star. He’s not afraid to put himself out there because he knows what works.

    Kelly’s work is all about taking one idea and creating a whole story around it—a working mother, a bad girl from a good home, two girls at a Las Vegas wedding, a celebrity being caught in the moment leaving a night club. His overt imagination allows him to invent a whole universe of celebrities and pretty girls, directing his shoots like movies, always with humor and an enormous appetite for creativity. He believes the ingredients to good photography are good models, good actors, out-there voyeurism, and spontaneity—capturing a unique moment in time. The shoot is not done until Kelly says it’s done, and you will be glad that this is his attitude. There’s nothing you can throw at him that he can’t turn into a dynamic and desirable shoot.

    Kelly brings a unique and original aspect to photography, something that can’t be found with other photographers. He is a master of his game. His photos are frequently overtly sexual in nature. To some, his style may seem crude, rude even. He likes to do it raw, but he can do it sophisticated, too. All done in the best possible taste? Not necessarily.

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