Heroic Trash

Mike Kelley at the New Museum is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

The Daily Pic: The late L.A. artist got rid of everything except garbage.

The late Mike Kelley made this drawing, and it’s now in the fascinating New Museum show of art from New York in 1993. The image is from a series based on the “Sad Sack” comic strip, except that Kelley has erased everything except the trash that is everpresent around the strip’s eponymous hero, a private in the U.S. army who gets everything wrong. I love the way erasure becomes a tool for depiction and emphasis, and failure becomes a heroic condition.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.