Mike Kelley (December 6, 1995)



The event begins with a sing-along slide show promoting the Foxhill Mall. After which SCI-Arc student Mark Skiles introduces the artist Mike Kelley. Skiles explains his personal introduction to Kelley and his work on Kelley’s “Educational Complex.”

Mike Kelley discusses his early work and gives a general history of his back ground as a formalist painter. Through a chronological slide show of selected works, Kelley explains his evolution as an artist through different media. He has moved from painting to sculpture to installation to performance.

Kelley discusses his interest in home-made craft materials and techniques. He discusses his formal doll-like sculptures and his use of narrative. His use of low culture symbolism attempts to subvert societal conventions and exploit audience empathy.

Kelley discusses issues of class and his adoption of working class imagery. He discusses his commission from Frank O. Gehry to install a series of works to energize the working environment at the Chiat/Day/Mojo advertising agency. He also discusses his collaboration with Los Angeles artist Paul McCarthy.

Kelley discusses his more recent work. His overtly regressive return to painting was a form of therapy to alleviate the mental abuse he suffered in art school. Kelley also explains his work on “Educational Complex,” a series of architectural models based on his memory of his past.

Kelley answers questions from the audience concerning what his work represents and how it should be approached. Kelley discusses the counter-culture, and his relationship to the “Adorno-esque.”

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