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Mike Kelley

Halo of Mastery

Information about the artwork

  • Year1989
  • MaterialAcrylic on paper
  • Dimensions153 x 181.5 cm
  • Year of acquisition1992
  • Inventory numberUAB 220
  • On viewCurrently not exhibited
  • Copyright© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn [2023]

More about the artwork

Throughout his art, Kelley maintained an obsessive interest in popular culture. “I came from a milieu,” Kelley said, “In which artists were despised, whereas rock musicians and drug dealers were hipster culture heroes.” The drawing “Halo of Mastery” (1989) shows two American football players in awe of rock musician Ted Nugent. Like Kelley, Nugent was born in Michigan and spent his formative years around Detroit. Emphasizing the erotic component of celebrity culture, Kelley draws attention to the musician’s tight white pants, and the multiple obscenities contained therein—from genitalia to feces.

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Artwork: "Paul Taylor Dance Company" from Alex Katz
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