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March 17, 2013

Catholic Birdhouse — Mike Kelley

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Now in the collection of the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art whose then-director Richard Armstrong — now director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York — purchased it from Kelley's California Institute of the Arts senior thesis show in 1978.

Kelley committed suicide on January 31, 2012 in his South Pasadena home by burning charcoal he ignited in a portable grill he had carried upstairs to a second-floor bathroom whose two ceiling vents he had covered with duct tape to make the room airtight.

According to Kelly Crow's gripping Wall Street Journal account, "As the grill's toxic carbon-monoxide fumes began to build, he tossed some pillows into the tub and climbed atop them to breathe and wait, a photograph of ex-girlfriend [Trulee Grace] Hall taped low on the wall beside him."

He was 57.

March 17, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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