Tagged: mike kelley

If you’re hitting the Mike Kelley show at MoCA…

Mike Kelley's Chinatown Wishing Well at MoCA

The Mike Kelley show at MOCA Geffen has a whole lot of everything going on: child nightmare videos, weird banners, scary stuffed animal sculptures, night-light installations of the fictional Kandor, and architectural models of every school Kelly ever went to. There’s also his “Chinatown Wishing Well,” above, his tribute, to a similarly garish fountain located in L.A.’s Chinatown.

It’s a lot to absorb. But while you’re at it, don’t forget to take a peek under and inside many of his pieces, since they often seem to contain little surprises. Under the architectural models, you’ll find a mattress; a pink dresser hides books about sex and a packet of birth control pills; and inside the “Wishing Well” is a mattress, a box of Kleenex, some candles and tub of Vaseline. (This latter space he once described as a “crawl space/fuck room.”)

All of it certainly gets at aspects of the forbidden he often explored in his work. But they also serve as a reminder that if you’re just looking at the literal surface of his pieces, you’re missing a good chunk of the story.

Calendar. 10.09.13.

Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites. 1991/1999, by Mike Kelley. ( Images courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles. Photography: Joshua White/JWPictures.com)
Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites, 1991/1999, by Mike Kelley. Part of the exhibit Mike Kelley, at MoMA PS1. Opens Sunday, in Long Island City. (Courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery. Photograph by Joshua White/ JWPictures.com.)