Mike Kelley life and biography

Mike Kelley picture, image, poster

Mike Kelley biography

Date of birth : 1954-10-27
Date of death : 2012-01-31
Birthplace : Wayne, Michigan
Nationality : American
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2012-02-02
Credited as : artist, sculpture, Poetics

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Native from Wayne, Michigan Michael "Mike" Kelley was known as a great American artist, who performed in fields such as sculpture, installation, with a work that involved found objects, textile banners, drawings, assemblage, collage, performance and video. Collaborations often came with artists Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler and John Miller. Kelley was also in the band Poetics with fellow California Institute of the Arts students John Miller and Tony Oursler.

In his early years he was involved with the city's music scene which spawned bands such as Iggy and the Stooges, Kelley was a member of the noise band Destroy All Monsters. In 1976 Kelley graduated from the University of Michigan. He moved to Los Angeles in 1978 and attended the California Institute of the Arts, where he admired the work of his teachers John Baldessari, Laurie Anderson, David Askevold and Douglas Huebler. At that time he started to work on a series of projects in which he explored works with loose poetic themes, such as The Sublime, Monkey Island and Plato's Cave, Rothko's Chapel, Lincoln's Profile, using a variety of different media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, performance and writing. Kelley started to gain recognition outside Los Angeles in the mid-eighties with the sculptural objects and installations from the series Half-a-Man and has since exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide and participated in events such as Documenta 9. Sonic Youth featured his work on the cover and booklet of their 1992 record Dirty.The Whitney Museum in New York City held a major retrospective of his work in 1993.

In November 2005, Kelley staged Day is Done, filling Gagosian Gallery with funhouse-like multimedia installations, including automated furniture, as well as films of dream-like ceremonies inspired by high school year book photos of pageants, sports matches and theater productions. In December 2005, Village Voice art critic Jerry Saltz described "Day is Done" as a pioneering example of "clusterfuck aesthetics," the tendency towards overloaded multimedia environments in contemporary art.

Kelley's work was inspired by diverse sources such as history, philosophy, politics, underground music, decorative arts and working-class artistic expression. His art often examined class and gender issues as well as issues of normality, criminality and perversion.

Kelley was found dead in an apparent suicide on January 31, 2012.

Kelley's studio released a statement to the L.A. Times saying, "Mike was an irresistible force in contemporary art... We cannot believe he is gone. But we know his legacy will continue to touch and challenge anyone who crosses its path. We will miss him. We will keep him with us."

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