Mike Kelley died of an apparent suicide in his bathtub a few days ago in Southern California. He was perhaps the most influential artist to emerge in the 1980s. His progeny spread far and wide especially in the 1990s when his brand of the art of the abject was celebrated all over the world. My own take on Kelley's art was that it bore the same relationship to art-making as snuff films did to the world of cinema. Except that Kelley's was a world of make believe gross out juvenilia with a patina of filth thrown in along with the punk guise of Darby Crash. The collectors and curators ate it up.
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