Individual Artists

Foul Perfection: Essays and Criticism by Mike Kelley

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By Mike Kelley

The paintings of artist Mike Kelley (b. 1954) embraces functionality, deploy, drawing, portray, video, and sculpture. Drawing distinctively on excessive artwork and vernacular traditions, together with old learn, pop culture, and psychology, Kelley got here to prominence within the Nineteen Eighties with a sequence of sculptures composed of craft fabrics. His fresh paintings deals dialogues with structure and with repressed reminiscence syndrome, and a sustained inquiry into his personal aesthetic and social historical past. the topics on which Kelley has written are as various as his inventive media. They comprise the paintings of fellow artists, sound, cartoon, the uncanny, UFOlogy, and gender-bending.This booklet deals a various choice of Kelley's writings from the final twenty-five years. It includes significant serious texts on paintings, movie, and the broader tradition, together with his piece at the aesthetic he calls "urban Gothic." It additionally comprises essays, in general commissioned for exhibition catalogs and journals, at the artists and teams David Askevold, ???yvind Fahlstr???m, Douglas Huebler, John Miller, Survival learn Laboratories, and Paul Thek, between others. Kelley's voices are passionate, analytic, and ironic, and his severe intelligence is leavened with touches of caprice.

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In small private interactions when a woman is confronting a man one-on-one, you might see some lip-licking or kiss-blowing performed by the man, but these gestures are restrained, secretive—like bids at a high-end auction. As if drugged in a dentist’s chair, the men sit frozen and immobile, lost in interior thought. Their stiffness of demeanor reveals the intense concentration, their incredible will to tasies. Like obstinate children that have been denied what they wish, they withdraw into a stubborn, rocklike trance, clinging to their individual mental images.

And when we see this, like the children on Double Dare when they see their parents and teachers covered in a disgusting mess, we cannot hold back a shout of glee. 34 Liz Larner, Used to Do the Job (1988). Steel, aluminum, coal, copper saltpeter, trinitrotoluene, ammonium nitrate, and other natural and unnatural ingredients suspended in micro-crystalline wax on lead-sheathed base container. 48 x 25 x 24 ins. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles. Charles Ray, In Memory of Sadat (1981). Artist’s body directly incorporated into a steel sculpture.

Godfrey Reggio, 1983), with music by Philip Glass. Taking its title from the Hopi word meaning “life out of balance,” this film, the first of the Qatsi trilogy, offers an apocalyptic vision of the natural and urban worlds in collision. 7 The allusions here are to the origins of hip hop and graffiti culture in the South Bronx, and to representations of its interface with the East Village art scene such as Charlie Ahearn’s film Wild Style (1982), with music by Grandmaster Flash, Busy Bee, and co-star Fab 5 Freddy.

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