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Mike Kelley at MOCA
Mike Kelley's "Ahh...Youth" (1991) sold at Christie's for $688,000

Every once in a while an exhibition comes to town that lives up to all the hype. So we made sure to spend time at Los Angeles’s newest cultural attraction, which opened this week: the Mike Kelley retrospective at MOCA.

The L.A.-based artist, who took his own life in 2012, used every conceivable medium for his creations--from sculpture and painting to photo and video. 

More than 250 of these works fill The Geffen Contemporary warehouse, and you won’t find any stuffy still lifes here. We were fascinated by the collection’s audaciousness as well as the humor of finding ourselves in a big-deal museum studying felt banners, drawings of garbage and a hallway of rainbow-hued historic portraits

Our favorite piece was “More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid,” an assemblage of afghans and stuffed animals hung on the wall like some sort of precious tapestry. Its component parts might have been collected from thrift shops, yet this 1987 piece is the one that really rocketed Kelley to international fame. (Plus, it reminds us of our Nana.)

Through July 28 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave.; 213-626-6222 or moca.org

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