Mike Kelley, ‘King of the Mountain (from Monkey Island)’, 1983, Sotheby's: Contemporary Art Day Auction

From the Catalogue

“The mode of illustration utilized in comic books is the same as that used in dictionaries or technical manuals. I was not attempting to elevate a ‘low’ form of communication to the status of fine art as with Pop Art; I was simply trying to use a generic mode of illustration and work against its conventional, transparent reading.” —Mike Kelley

Courtesy of Sotheby's

Los Angeles, Rosamund Felson Gallery, Mike Kelley: Monkey Island, 1983
Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Individuals: A Selected History of Contemporary Art, 1945-1986, December 1986 - January 1988
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Munich, Haus Der Kunst, Mike Kelley: Catholic Tastes, November 1993 - April 1995, p. 246

Rosamund Felson Gallery, Los Angeles
Robert A. Rowan, Los Angeles
Christie's, New York, 18 May 2001, Lot 408
Private Collection, Boston (acquired from the above sale)
Tracy Williams, Ltd., New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner

About Mike Kelley

Los Angeles–based artist, critic, and curator Mike Kelley's varied output included ritualized performance pieces, films, installations, wall-size drawings, paintings, and collaborations with artists such as Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler, and bands Sonic Youth and Destroy All Monsters (1973-1985). Kelley's work challenged the legitimacy of "normative" values and authority systems, often employing the confrontational practices of punk music. He often sought to legitimize overlooked instances of vernacular art in America, as in his "Kandors" series, begun in 1999, in which he cast representations of the fictional city Kandor, taken from earlier Superman comics, in colored resins and set them in tinted glass bottles to resemble illuminated reliquaries.

American, 1954-2012, Detroit, MI, United States, based in Los Angeles, CA, United States