June 15, 2012Charcoal study of Mike Kelley for The West Coast Wailing Wall (an installation/painting by de la Haba)
What drives one to suicide? I've often thought of taking my own life, but later, much, much later, like my mentors Hemingway, Gonzo, Rothko, and Arbus. I believe its something almost pre-programed in my DNA to go by way of my own hand but not, God forbid, out of pain and suffering like those admired and mentioned above. I always envisioned my dead corpse resting in front of an easel, preserved somehow like Eva Peron's or Stalin's, in the studio, sitting in a favorite chair, paintings all around, some by artist friends but mostly my own; the final performance as final resting place as lasting work of art. How cool would it be to go upstairs at The Player's Club on Gramercy Park and not only see the room of Edwin Booth, the greatest 19th century actor, as it was when he died but to see him resting there on his bed as well? I've always been a fan of the macabre, of artists like Peter Joel Witkin, and in all things pertaining to death. Do not get me wrong, I do not condone suicide, it pains me horribly when those that have so much in the eyes of many can no longer see clearly in theirs. What drives people like Mike Kelley to their final act and what is it about death that attracts so many? May selfish creation forever trump self inflicted extinction.