Lot 3: Mike Kelley (b. 1954)
Post War and Contemporary Art
May 11, 2005
New York, NY, USA
ET's Long Neck, Two Brains, Penis and Scrotum
found stuffed animals
129 7/8 x 10 1/4 x 65 3/8 in. (330 x 26 x 166 cm.)
Executed in 1989.
Property from a European Collection
Mike Kelley's ET's Long Neck, Two Brains, Penis and Scrotum combines various materials including stuffed toys, assembled through the use of handicrafts and stitching, creating a strange hybrid monster. The beloved eponymous alien has been reconstructed as though in scrap, highlighting the phallic qualities of the original ET as well as flaunting the new incarnation's more explicit attributes. Through this strange crossover between the worlds of the adult and the child, Kelley illustrates the uncomfortable aspects of the arbitrary and unspoken conditioning that makes us the supposedly well-adjusted grown-ups that we are. This much-used toy appears as the absurd and grotesque relic of the slow process of a child's being pried away from innocence, being molded through gradual exposure to the more sordid realities of the world.
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale. This interest may include guaranteeing a minimum price to the consignor of property or making an advance to the consignor which is secured solely by consigned property. Such property is offered subject to a reserve. This is such a lot.
Metro Pictures, New York
Galerie Peter Pakesch, Vienna
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1994
Artist or Maker: Mike Kelley (b. 1954)
Vienna, Galerie Peter Pakesch, Mike Kelley, 1989.
Graz Kunstverein; Graz, Stadtmuseum; and Vienna, Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Lotte or the Transformation of the Object, 1990.
Washington D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Half a Man, 1991.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Mike Kelley, November 1993-Fall 1994, p.249.
Hamburger, Kunsthalle, Family Values: American Art in the Eighties and Ninties, 1996, pp. 38 and 97 (illustrated).
Hamburger, Kunsthalle, Extended Loan, through 2005.