Artist Mike Kelley dead at 57

Feb. 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Artist Mike Kelley was found dead of an apparent suicide at his home in South Pasadena, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported. He was 57.

The Detroit area native's death is under investigation and police have said they did not immediately know the cause.

No details regarding the circumstances of Kelly's death Tuesday were immediately released.

"Mike was an irresistible force in contemporary art," Kelley Studio said in a statement Wednesday. "We cannot believe he is gone. But we know his legacy will continue to touch and challenge anyone who crosses its path. We will miss him. We will keep him with us."

Paul Schimmel, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, told the Times he is "devastated" by the news.

"Mike is our great Los Angeles artist," Schimmel said. "He's the one that changed the game for a whole generation. If one could point the finger singularly, he's it. As an artist, a curator, as a kind of passionate advocate for this community and his generation, he's a real giant."

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