Mike Kelley was my neighbor. Or at least his work was my neighbor. His studio was in the Farley Building at the corner of our street. I took this picture of the discarded flowers after his memorial. For a couple of days last weekend, his videos played on a huge screen in his studio while people came and went. We wandered through and felt a little bit like grief tourists, so we didn’t stay long.
I met him a couple of times, but we didn’t really know him. T likes to ride his scooter around the parking lot behind the Farley Building and I always loved to peek in the back door, to catch glimpses of the process.
I find Mike Kelley’s work challenging and inspiring. I had weird moments of synchronicity with it. Shortly after he moved into the Farley Building, Scott and I walked into a bookstore in NY and there was a huge Destroy All Monsters installation. We bought a signed copy of one of his movies. We found it kind of wonderful and kind of unwatchable at the same time.
I’m saddened by the news of his suicide. In some part because my hope is that as artists, our work somehow redeems our suffering. Of course, some suffering is irredeemable. Some suffering is unendurable.
And as with all things, being a mother has totally transformed the lens through which I view the world. I always look at suicides now and think- that was someone’s baby.
He’s a loss to the world. And to our small corner of it.