Mike Kelley, the “blue-collar anarchist”

March 3, 2013

Nascido no subúrbio de Detroit, filho de um construtor e de uma cozinheira da Ford Motor Company, no início dos anos 70 Mike Kelley tocou bateria na Destroy All Monsters, influente banda que fundou com o artista e músico Jim Shaw enquanto na Universidade do Michigan. Em 1978 ele se mudou para Los Angeles e no California ­Institute of the Arts tornou-se um artista brilhante.

Kelley, que se auto-descreveu “proletário anarquista”, rebelou-se contra seus predecessores, criando um fluxo de trabalhos que desafiaram os valores do mundo da arte. Instalações em Los Angeles incluíram desenhos, pinturas e esculturas em grande escala, além de vídeos, escritos e capas de álbuns icônicos como Dirty do Sonic Youth.

A retrospectiva “Mike Kelley,” aberta até Abril no Stedelijk Museum em Amsterdam, inclui “Pay For Your Pleasure”, uma instalação de imagens de escritores, poetas e filósofos com frases de cada um sobre criatividade e criminalidade, justaposta pela obra de um criminoso. A exibição segue para o Centre Pompidou em Paris, o MoMA PS1 de Nova York e o Museum of Contemporary Art de Los Angeles.

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Born in a Detroit suburb to a maintenance worker and a Ford Motor Company cook, at the beggining of the 70’s Mike Kelley While played drums with the influential noise-rock group Destroy All Monsters, which he cofounded with the artist-musician Jim Shaw whilst an undergrad at the University of Michigan in 1973. He moved to Los Angels in 1978 and at the California ­Institute of the Arts became a brilliant performance artist.

Kelley, a self-described “blue-collar anarchist”, rebelled against his conceptualist forebears with a stream of works that challenged art world values. Installations in Los Angeles included large-scale drawings, paintings and sculptures, as well as videos and his own writing and iconic album covers such as Sonic Youth’s Dirty.

“Mike Kelley,” the four-years-in-the-making retrospective at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, includes “Pay For Your Pleasure”, an installation of featuring portraits of famous artists, writers and poets with quotes from each about creativity and criminal thinking, juxtaposed with the ultimate criminal’s so called artwork. The show runs through April 1, 2013, then travels to Paris’s Centre Pompidou, New York’s MoMA PS1, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Mike_Kelley_1
Pay For Your Pleasure (reprise), 1998
Dye transfer ink on polyester poplin with velcro

mike_kelley_2
Pay For Your Pleasure (reprise), 1998
Dye transfer ink on polyester poplin with velcro

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