Mike Kelley’s retrospective, which closed earlier this month at MoMA PS1, was a decidedly provocative, surprising, and dark experience. Using almost every medium imaginable (painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, video, installation, and sound), Kelley’s work weaved seamlessly together to comment on crazy controversial social topics.
Those themes, like abuse, race inequality, and repressed childhood memories were all magnified by the space that housed the work itself…perfectly enough, a renovated public school building. Wandering from one floor to the next, you were completely absorbed into Kelley’s wacky art world that skimmed uncomfortably between childhood and adulthood.
One minute you’re looking at brightly colored clusters of stuffed animal and next, you’re listening to children screaming as you watch a high school prom re-enactment. Whatever piece it was, there was no denying that Mike Kelley’s work made you feel uncomfortable. Below are some snapshots from the show ..if you dare!