The Hauser & Wirth Gallery are showing the work by the American artist Mike Kelley who died in 2012 aged 57. He created work using found objects and was interested in the boundaries between the inner world and the outer world as well as the boundaries between cultures and the conceptual spaces between their real and imagined places. In the case of this piece “Framed and Frame” the overlapping spaces of Chinatown in downtown LA.
When I first saw the piece, which is a lot larger than it appears in the picture, I thought I was looking at a huge piece of coral, that in that moment an ocean of culture and ideology had flowed out with the tide and revealed the unconscious thoughts and the ideology of Mike Kelley’s society and psychic world. If you look closely you can see lots of the tiny Christian, Buddhist and American kitsch nestled in.
Kelley died under sad circumstances and after his death mourners were invited to help rebuild in a disused carport near his studio his work from 1987 , by contributing stuffed toys, afghans, dried corn, wax candles building an altar of ‘unabashed sentimentality.’