R.I.P. Kiely Jenkins

With the Downtown Art Show documenting the New York Art Scene 1974-1984 upon us at NYU,  it is with sadness that we note the passing of one of the most seminal figures of that seminal period. When the show opens tonight (Monday) many of us are going to be looking for Kiely Jenkins work amid the massive amount of art and ephemera assembled by Carlo McCormick and his NYU co-horts. Kiely Jenkins showed at the Fun Gallery along with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Futura, Dondi and continued to work and show until his death at 46 only days before Christmas. Writing for artnet, McCormick identified the Jenkins style as "mondo sculpture." Unlike the "street" artists he was identified with, Jenkins was artistically unique in that the work that he created pre-figured the "toy art" era we live in today. He had the gift of gab and we never had any problem finding topics to talk about when we'd run into each other, mostly in the East Village where we lived. As sad as things could get -- like being in a coma for six months and living to tell us all about it -- he could still be funny as shit. We were friends and I'll miss him.


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