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Contemporary Artist Mike Kelley Found Dead in the Bathtub of His Home

February 2, 2012 (6:23 am) GMT
Police in South Pasadena, California say they are investigating the death of the 57-year-old, whose work appeared on the cover of Sonic Youth's 1992 album 'Dirty', as possible suicide.
Contemporary Artist Mike Kelley Found Dead in the Bathtub of His Home

Another sad news has come from the world of contemporary art. Mike Kelley, an influential Los Angeles artist whose work incorporated stuffed toy animals, sculpture, painting, performance art and music, was found dead in the bathtub of his home in South Pasadena, California on Tuesday, January 31 night.

Los Angeles County Coroner's spokesman Ed Winter said that the 57-year-old's body was found by a friend. He was last seen alive on Sunday, January 29. Police were investigating his death as a possible suicide. Though no suicide note was found in the home, there were no signs of trauma or foul play. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday, February 2.

Sgt. Robert Bartl of the South Pasadena police additionally suggested that depression might lead to him ending his life. He revealed to The Associated Press that a friend of Kelley told investigators that the artist, whose work appeared on the cover of 's 1992 album "Dirty", had been depressed after breaking up with a girlfriend.

Paul Schimmel, chief curator for the Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art, has expressed grief over Kelley's sudden passing. To Reuters, he shared, "It's a terrible loss for his family and friends and for the artists of this community, which he's done so much to change and enrich."

"More than any other artist of his generation, he changed the perception of this city and helped make it the great international art city it is today," Schimmel continued on. "He was an artist who drew upon all the arts in terms of music, film, performance, drawing, sculpture and installation to simultaneously create a kind of visual and intellectual assault on your senses."

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