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The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, headquartered in Highland Park, preserves and promotes the legacy of Mike Kelley (1954-2012). Kelley, regarded as one of the most influential American artists of the late 20th and early 21st century, had his studio on Tipton Way in Highland Park.
Earlier this year, the foundation’s grantmaking program awarded a total of $400,000 to 10 arts organizations in Los Angeles, including $45,000 that has benefited Clockshop, a multi-disciplinary arts organization founded in 2004 in Elysian Valley, a.k.a. Frogtown.
The grant is helping to fund a project involving Clockshop and the Huntington Library, Arts Collection and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. Called /five 2019, the project is the latest in a series of year-long collaborations between the Huntington and local arts groups.
Clockshop has selected three artists and two writers who will explore the Huntington’s vast collections of rare books and botanical specimens to create new works that examine ideas of perfection and utopia. For inspiration, the artists will use Thomas More’s satire Utopia (1516) as their point of departure.
The /five 2019 exhibit will premiere at the Huntington on November 10 and run until February 25, 2020. / To learn more, visit mikekelleyfoundation.org.
MoMA PS1 said the following about Mike Kelley in their presentation of Mike Kelley/October 13, 2013–February 2, 2014: Born in Detroit, Kelley lived and worked in Los Angeles from the mid-1970s until his tragic death last year at the age of 57. Over his thirty-five year career, he worked in every conceivable medium—drawings on paper, sculpture, performances, music, video, photography, and painting. Speaking of his early work and artistic concerns at large, Kelley had said, “My entrance into the art world was through the counter-culture, where it was common practice to lift material from mass culture and ‘pervert’ it to reverse or alter its meaning… Mass culture is scrutinized to discover what is hidden, repressed, within it.” Through his art, Kelley explored themes as diverse as American class relations, sexuality, repressed memory, systems of religion and transcendence, and post-punk politics. He brought to these subjects both incisive critique and abundant, self-deprecating humor.
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T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.
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