The contemporary artist Mike Kelley has been found dead at his Los Angeles home at the age of 57. BBC News reports today (February 2, 2012) that the Gagosian gallery, who represented him, have released a statement saying "We cannot believe he is gone. But know his legacy will continue to touch and challenge anyone who crosses its path." They added that he was an "irresistible force."
According to the BBC, police are considering the possibility that Kelley's death was suicide and mention that he may have been depressed following a break-up with his girlfriend. They are awaiting the outcome of an autopsy. Kelley's work often explored themes of loneliness and solitude (his last London exhibition was entitled Exploded Fortress of Solitude). Will Gompertz describes his art as sharing the same world as David Lynch and says that it "dealt with our unconscious and delved into our deepest and darkest fears." Mike Kelley was also involved in music throughout much of his life. Growing up in Detroit, he was a member of the band Destroy All Monsters; they were a part of the same scene that spawned Iggy Pop and The Stooges and he later went on to design the cover of Sonic Youth's album Dirty.
Kelley was renowned for his 'punk' attitude and macabre sense of humour, Jonathan Jones of The Guardian has described the Los Angeles-based artist's death as "another chapter in the tabloid history of the modern world's most revolutionary city."