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American performance artist Chris Burden dies aged 69 from malignant melanoma
Chris Burden's kinetic sculpture, "Metropolis II," is displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012. The sculpture does more than just imitate life. The colorful display of roads, cars, trains and buildings is art imitating what the artist foresees life being like in five or 10 years.

LOS ANGELES (AFP).- US performance artist Chris Burden, whose work included being shot at close range and having himself crucified on top of a Volkswagen Beetle, has died aged 69, museum managers said.

"We are saddened to note the passing of Chris Burden, an artist who has left indelible marks in both the international art world and here in Los Angeles," the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) said.

The museum, which hosts a Burden piece made of antique street lamps, hailed his "tireless, relentless pursuit of innovation in performance, sculpture, and performance-sculpture, among other media."

Burden died Sunday from malignant melanoma, according to the Los Angeles Times, which said he was diagnosed 18 months ago but kept the information private.

He was catapulted to fame in 1971 when he had a friend shoot him from about 15 feet away, with a .22-caliber rifle, in a gallery in Santa Ana, California. The piece, caught on a brief grainy video, was entitled "Shoot."

Also among his most famous works was 1974's "Trans-Fixed," in which he lay crucifix-like on the top of a Volkswagen Beetle car, with nails driven through his hands.

At LACMA, Burden's work "Urban Light" consists of 202 streetlamps dating from the 1920s and 1930s originally installed throughout Southern California. It has been unofficially accepted by the West Coast city as its symbol.

The museum said that in Burden's honor it will leave "Urban Light" turned on through Sunday, as "a testament to the work that will live on for generations."

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

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