Advertise With Us

L.A. Contemporary Artist, Mike Kelley, Remembered

2 February 2012
  • Artist Mike Kelley (1954-2012).  Photo by Cameron Wittig courtesy Walker Art Center

    Artist Mike Kelley (1954-2012). Photo by Cameron Wittig courtesy Walker Art Center

Known as a pioneering installation artist who put Los Angeles on the map as a contemporary art center in the 1980s, artist Mike Kelley has died at 57.

Pending an autopsy, suicide is a possible cause. He was found in his home in South Pasadena, Calif., on Tuesday evening.

Kelley created "Monkey Island," a performance/installation staged in Metro Pictures in 1982 and Rosamund Felsen Gallery in 1983 that made him well-known.

Later, he switched to different materials creating such pieces as "More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid" from 1987, an installation of worn rag dolls, animals and blankets.

A collector of Kelley artwork, filmmaker John Waters describes these installations in his 2010 book "Role Models," calling him "the man who made pitiful seem sexy by turning grimy thrift-store stuffed animals into heartbreaking, jaw-droppingly beautiful sculptures by placing them on stained blankets on the floor or facedown on card tables next to one another like dead Jonestown suicide cultists."

 


Categories: contemporary art

More News Feed Headlines
The 1941 seascape by John Marin, “Two Boats and Sea, Cape Split, Maine,” a new acquisition at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.
Poised above the Mississippi River, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum boasts a fine marine art collection. Newly acquired...
Digital art by Andy Warhol was recently discovered on floppy discs.
A trove of never-before-seen digital artworks by famed Pop artist Andy Warhol have been recovered from floppy discs on an Amiga 1000, a personal computer from the 1980s...
This Sunburst Snuff Jar, made circa 1815-1830 by the Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks in New Hampshire, sold for $57,330 in an online-only auction.
A new set of younger and first-time buyers could fuel the value of the online fine art market to $3.76 billion in the next five years from $1.57 billion in 2013, according to British insurer Hiscox.
Helly Nahmad
A scion of the billionaire art-dealing Nahmad family blamed his upbringing for a gambling addiction that got him busted as part of a $100 million high-stakes poker ring.