During our visit to Los Angeles, we had the opportunity to visit The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. This work, in particular, created by Mike Kelly, ‘Pay for Pleasure’ touched me profoundly.

The installation consists of a long corridor flanked on both sides by 42 large, colourful poster-like paintings depicting celebrated male poets, philosophers, and artists, with a quotation attributed to each individual above their portrait.  The corridor is ending at each iteration with the inclusion of an artwork created by a notorious local criminal.

Most of these works are the portraits and quotes of my personal heroes and inspirations, and I admire the way how he integrated local artists and prisoners to be a part of this impressive work.

Michael “Mike” Kelley (October 27, 1954 in Wayne, Michigan – c. January 31, 2012 in South Pasadena) was an American artist. His work involved found objects, textile banners, drawingsassemblagecollageperformance and video. He often worked collaboratively and had produced projects with artists Paul McCarthyTony Oursler and John Miller. Writing in The New York Times, in 2012, Holland Cotter described the artist as “one of the most influential American artists of the past quarter century and a pungent commentator on American class, popular culture and youthful rebellion.”[2]

s://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Kelley_(artist) 

1) AFTER OUR OWN VERSE, AFTER ALL OUR SUBTLE COLOUR AND NERVOUS RHYTHM, WHAT MORE IS POSSIBLE? AFTER US THE SAVAGE GOD. ‘YEATS’
2) I HAVE A MAD IMPULSE TO SMASH SOMETHING, TO COMMIT OUTRAGES. ‘HERMANN HESSE’
3) THE IMAGINATION WILL NOT DOWN, IF IT IS NOT ART IT BECOMES CRIME. ‘W. C. WILLIAMS’
4) THE FACT OF A MAN BEING A POISONER IS NOTHING AGAINST HIS PROSE. ‘OSCAR WILDE’
5) I ERECT MYSELF AT THE EXACT POINT WHERE KNOWLEDGE TOUCHES MADNESS, AND I CAN ERECT NO SAFETY RAIL. ‘BALZAC’
6) IF YOU SAY THAT EVERYTHING – CHAOS, DARKNESS, ANATHEMA -CAN BE REDUCED TO MATHMATICAL FORMULAE – THEN MAN WILL GO INSANE ON PURPOSE TO HAVE NO JUDGEMENT – AND TO BEHAVE AS HE LIKES. ‘DOSTOEVSKY
7) WE ADMIRE THE WORK, BUT DESPISE THE WORKMEN. ‘PLUTARCH’
8) MEN LIKE BENVENUTO CELLINI (ARTISTS), OUGHT NOT TO BE BOUND BY LAW. ‘POPE PAUL III’
9) IF YOU ENCOUNTER CHARLATANS REASON WITH THEM, IF THEY RESIST BE BOLD ENOUGH TO DROWN THEM. ‘GIOTTO’
10) WE PAINTERS CLAIM THE LICENSE THAT POETS AND MADMAN CLAIM? ‘VERONESE’
11) THE OLD RED BLOOD AND STAINLESS GENTILITY OF GREAT POETS WILL BE PROVED BY THEIR UNCONSTRAINT. ‘WHITMAN’
12) A PAINTING IS A THING WHICH REQUIRES AS MUCH CUNNING, RASCALITY AND VISCIOUSNESS AS THE PERPETRATION OF A CRIME. ‘DEGAS’
13) THE ARTIST NEED NO LONGER THINK OF THE SOULS OF HIS FELLOWMEN. HE CAN FORGET THEM, FORGET MEN AND EVERYTHING. HE CAN DO AS HE PLEASES, HE IS SURE HIS WORK WILL LEAD NOBODY ASTRAY. ‘FRANCOIS MAURIAC’
14) WE SHELTER IN OURSELVES AN ANGEL WHOM WE CONSTANTLY SHOCK. ‘COCTEAU’
15) IN OUR OH-SO-CIVILIZED SOCIETY IT IS NECESSARY FOR ME TO LEAD THE LIFE OF A SAVAGE. ‘COURBET’
16) DESTRUCTION IS CREATION. ‘BAKUNIN’
17) I LIKE THINGS AND PEOPLE IN INVERSE PROPORTION TO THE SERVICES THEY RENDER. ‘THEOPHILE GAUTIER’
18) THEY (ARTISTS) ARE MORE OFTEN THE AUXILIARIES OF CORRUPTION THAN OF REGENERATION. ‘P. J. PROUDHON’
19) IF RAPE OR ARSON, POISON OR THE KNIFE, HAS WOVE NO PLEASING PATTERNS IN THE STUFF OF THIS DRAB CANVAS WE ACCEPT AS LIFE – IT IS BECAUSE WE ARE NOT BOLD ENOUGH. ‘BAUDELAIRE’
20) GREAT EVIL SPRINGS OUT OF A FULLNESS OF NATURE, WEAK NATURES ARE SCARCELY CAPABLE OF VERY GREAT GOOD OR EVIL. ‘PIATO’
21) ONLY THE MARSHES ARE FECUND. ‘GIDE’
22) IMAGINATION LIES IN WAIT AS THE MOST POWERFUL ENEMY. NATURALLY RAW, AND ENAMOURED OF ABSURDITY, IT BREAKS OUT AGAINST ALL CIVILIZING RESTRAINTS LIKE A SAVAGE WHO TAKES DELIGHT IN GRIMACING IDOLS. ‘GOETHE’
23) THOSE WHO RESTRAIN DESIRE DO SO BECAUSE THEIR’S IS WEAK ENOUGH TO BE CONSTRAINED. ‘BLAKE’
24) I THINK THE DESTRUCTIVE ELEMENT IS TOO MUCH NEGLECTED IN ART. ‘MONDRIAN’
25) THEIR ERRORS HAVE BEEN WEIGHED AND FOUND TO HAVE BEEN DUST IN THE BALANCE; IF THEIR SINS WERE AS SCARLET, THEY ARE NOW WHITE AS SNOW; THEY HAVE BEEN WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE MEDIATOR AND REDEEMER, TIME. ‘SHELLEY’
26) THERE IS SOMETHING AGREEABLE IN THE MISFORTUNES OF OTHERS. ‘THACKERAY’
27) THE SIMPLEST SURREALIST ACT CONSISTS OF DASHING DOWN INTO THE STREET, PISTOL IN HAND, AND FIRING BLINDLY, INTO THE CROWD. ‘ANDRE BRETON’
28) EVERYTHING BAD THAT HAPPENS HAPPENS BECAUSE OF A CONSCIOUS, INTELLIGENT CONCERTED ILL-WILL. ‘ARTAUD’
29) I CALL ‘MONSTER’ ALL ORIGINAL INEXHAUSTIBLE BEAUTY. ‘JARRY’
30) THE COMMITMENT TO SUPREME EVIL IS INDEED CONNECTED WITH THE COMMITMENT OF SUPREME GOOD? ‘BATAILLE’
31) I DO NOT UNDERSTAND LAWS. I HAVE NO MORAL SENSE. I AM A BRUTE. ‘RIMBAUD’
32) WE ARE A FURIOUS WIND, PREPARING THE GREAT SPECTACLE OF DISASTER, FIRE, DECOMPOSITION. ‘TZARA’
33) THE LIFE OF INSECTS DEMONSTRATES THAT EVERYTHING COMES DOWN TO REPRODUCTION AT ANY COST AND TO PURPOSELESS DESTRUCTION. ‘MARINETTI’
34) MY ONLY RECOURSE IS THE EXPEDIENT OF PLACING AT THE SERVICE OF TRUTH WHAT HAS BEEN GIVEN ME BY THE FATHER OF LIES. ‘LEON BLOY’
35) ART IS A SEDUCING, FORBIDDON FRUIT. WHOEVER HAS ONCE TASTED ITS INNERMOST, SWEETEST JUICE, IS IRRETRIEVABLY LOST FOR THE ACTIVE, LIVING, WORLD. HE CREEPS MORE AND MORE INTO HIS OWN LITTLE CORNER OF PLEASURE. ‘WILHELM WACKENRODER’
36) CRIME IN ITSELF HAS SUCH AN ATTRACTION THAT, INDEPENDENTLY OF LUST, IT ALONE CAN INFLAME THE PASSIONS. ‘SADE’
37) THE MADNESS OF DESIRE, INSANE MURDERS, THE MOST UNREASONABLE PASSIONS – ALL ARE WISDOM AND REASON, SINCE THEY ARE PART OF THE ORDER OF NATURE. ‘FOUCAULT’
38) TOO HIGH FOR COMMON SELFISHNESS, HE COULD AT TIMES RESIGN HIS OWN FOR OTHER’S GOOD, BUT NOT IN PITY, NOT BECAUSE HE OUGHT, BUT IN SOME STRANGE PERVERSITY OF THOUGHT, THAT SWAY’D HIM ONWARD WITH A SECRET PRIDE TO DO WHAT FEW OR NONE WOULD DO BESIDE; AND THIS SAME IMPULSE WOULD, IN TEMPTING TIME, MISLEAD HIS SPIRIT EQUALLY TO CRIME. ‘BYRON’
39) I WANT TO SING MURDER, FOR I LOVE MURDERERS ‘GENET’
40) I LOVE THE UNFROCKED PRIEST THE FREED CONVICT THEY ARE WITHOUT PAST AND WITHOUT FUTURE AND SO LIVE IN THE PRESENT ‘PICABIA’
41) EVIL ACTION SHOULD CONTAIN WITHIN ITSELF – AND SHOULD RESOLVE – SO MANY CONTRADICTIONS THAT IT WOULD REQUIRE INVENTION, INSPIRATION, IN A WORD GENIUS. IT WOULD THUS BE AKIN TO A GREAT WORK OF ART. SARTRE
42) WHAT SHOCKS THE VIRTUOUS PHILOSOPHER DELIGHTS THE CHAMELEON POET. ‘KEATS’

43) LIFE TOO NEAR PARALYSES ART. ‘EMERSON’

Posted by:wendynouse

Wendy Nouse is a female professional artist who is interested in social-political issues that she translates freely in visuals.

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