Leonardo DiCaprio Cuts the Line at Mobbed Mike Kelley Show

Apparently, there was VIP treatment at the 'Exploded Fortress of Solitude.'

Leonardo DiCaprio. ©Patrick McMullan, courtesy of Paul Bruinooge.

Last night, in the darkened galleries at Hauser & Wirth’s “Mike Kelley” exhibition, after passing through a room of glowing sculptures of Kandor (the city of Superman’s home planet) under clear bell-jars on pedestals and then passing through a hall of back-lit lenticular images of the same city, we came upon the pièce de résistance: Kelley’s Exploded Fortress of Solitude—what from the outside appeared to be an amassment of enormous strewn volcanic rocks, created from carved plastic foam, and a cave within, for which a long line had formed.

When we tried to walk through the spaces in the volcanic rock, we were stopped posthaste by a security guard and asked to get back in line to enter the installation from some unseen point ahead.

When, finally, we arrived at the make-shift entry point between the rocks (steps away from the entrance to the cave), wearing the white slip-on shoe-covers we were required to put on (the only other time we’ve ever had to wear such covers was at the Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia), the security guard put his hand up once again.


Mike Kelley, Exploded Fortress of Solitude (2011). Detail.
Photo: © Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. All Rights Reserved/Licensed by VAGA, New York NY. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

From the other side, slipping through a space in the rocks, we saw several men file in—one, so clearly identifiable now by his iconic baseball cap that we knew him even in the dark, was Leonardo DiCaprio (apparently, there was VIP treatment at the cave). While we waited for the men to have their experience in the cave, frustrated at having to wait, the security guard, to our surprise, confirmed our suspicions: “If you look closely, the man in the baseball cap is Leonardo DiCaprio.”

Just as DiCaprio emerged from the cave, with his male friends in tow—Christie’s Loic Gouzer and actors Fisher Stevens and Lukas Haas—we were finally let into the cave. One solitary Kandor sculpture glowed dazzlingly pink under a clear glass jar lighting up a wall encrusted with faux jewels.

As the rest of us made our way in the rain to the next gallery opening in Chelsea, DiCaprio and friends, we were told, got into a private car.

Mike Kelley” will be on display at Hauser & Wirth New York from September 10–October 24, 2015. 

Related stories:

Hauser and Wirth to Represent Mike Kelley Foundation

Mike Kelley Foundation To Grant $250,000 To LA Arts Organizations

Jeffrey Deitch Compares “Remarkable” Miley Cyrus to Mike Kelley

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