Mike Kelley, the highly influential installation artist, died yesterday following an, as yet unconfirmed, suicide attempt.
"A stand-alone visionary in his own right. He is the originator of his own form of sculptural mayhem: cacophonous disorienting agglomerations and sprawling installations of stuff heaped upon other stuff, some made, some found, all organized in ways audiences could access but that also felt infinitely other-ish, deeply carnivalesque, always operatic, and utterly unrelenting."
Continue reading over at NY Magazine
"L.A. would not have become a great international capital of contemporary art without Mike Kelley," Schimmel said. "Of all the artists in the 1980s, he was the one who really broke out and established a new and complex identity for his generation."
Paul Schimmel, the chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, for the Los Angeles Times
"I became more interested in visual arts as it seemed to be more open, you could use a lot of different materials and mix language in with it. I think it changed my writing practice completely and allowed me to become a writer, to break the cliché modalities that I was trying to write in.”
Mike Kelley on becoming an artist in an interview with Dazed and Confused.