Mike Kelley was born in the U.S.; he obtained a BFA from the University of Michigan, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. His work includes sculptures, wall-sized drawings, performance pieces, videos, collages, assemblage, paintings, drawings, textile banners, found objects, and rooms staged as 'institutional environments' such as zoos, offices, and schools. Mike Kelley also wrote for music and art journals. During his career, he collaborated with other artists such as Tony Oursler, Paul McCarthy, and the band Sonic Youth. Mike Kelley has been referred to as one of the most influential, American contemporary artists of the last 25 years. His work questioned systems of authority and normal values, American youthful rebellion, gender, and popular culture; he attacked the sanctity of society's attitudes towards sexuality, art history, religion, education, and family. Mike Kelley was inspired by politics, philosophy, underground music, history, the working-class, decorative arts, criminality, and perversion. One of Mike Kelley’s performance pieces involved Sonic Youth, the band he worked with earlier in life. They used his creation of 'orange-knit creatures' on the cover of their 1992 album, Dirty. He also worked with Artangel in 2010, to produce his first public art in Detroit. It was in the 1980's when Mike Kelley started the unique work of using fabric dolls, crocheted blankets, and other rag toys found at yard sales and thrift stores. His most famous work using these materials, which he called More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin (1987), featured many different rag dolls, animals, and crocheted blankets that were scattered across canvas. After his death, this work was recreated by his admirers in the neighborhood where he lived and stayed up for a few months. until dismantled. Mike Kelley’s creation of an 'installation' sculpture which he called Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites (1991), was made from 'monochrome plush-toy spheres', which were messy balls of stuffed toys that hung from the ceiling. They were linked across the ceiling by a series of cables and pulleys and orbited around a centrally located, rainbow-colored 'blob'. Additionally, on the walls were ten large, brightly colored, geometrically-faceted reliefs that were working dispensers of pine-scented air freshener and each sprayed the scent into the room at timed intervals. This work was sold at auction in 2007 for 2.7 million dollars, which was a record price for a piece of his art. Mike Kelley won the Wolfgang Hahn Prize in 2006; he had solo showings and group exhibitions around the world. He died from suicide in 2012. Less
Mike Kelley was born in the U.S.; he obtained a BFA from the University of Michigan, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. His work includes sculptures, wall-sized drawings, performance pieces, videos, collages, assemblage, paintings, More
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