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Posted on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

U-M grad and visual artist Mike Kelley dead of apparent suicide

By Jenn McKee

Visual artist Mike Kelley—who formed noise/proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters with Jim Shaw and Niagara while a student at the University of Michigan—is dead at age 57, according to an article on the pop-culture website A.V. Club. Suicide is believed to be the cause.

Kelley frequently collaborated with Sonic Youth, and according to A.V. Club, "Those early days of (Destroy All Monsters) reflected many of the elements that repeatedly cropped up in his visual work: A self-described 'anti-rock' group, they performed on homemade and scavenged instruments such as broken keyboards, a vacuum cleaner, and a coffee can, crashing parties and generally causing a confusing ruckus."

Read the full article from A.V. Club here.

Read an obituary from The New York Times here.


Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

Couldn't Ann Arbor Dot Com find ONE person in this town to interview about Kelly's time in this city? At least two of the members of the original band still live in the area, the 'band' was a local underground art scene legend back in the day and it's a shame the 'local' connection to Ann Arbor is noted in links to other media outlets. So this is it huh?


Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Plato's Theory of Forms : I regret to read about this apparent suicide of a visual artist. Just like this artist, I try to visualize the human form and describe the image I find. Plato( 427 - 347 B.C. ) describes the Theory of Forms and he views the four aspects of man and named them as 1. Logical, 2. Metaphysical, 2. Epistemological, and 4. Moral. Mike Kelley ,the artist could visualize and created an art work that he named as Plato's Cave. I wonder if he had actually tried to visualize the human forms described by Plato. Unless we seek clear, visual images of human form in all its aspects, we fail to understand man and his purpose in life. Kelley has apparently experienced depression after a failed relationship. At a more fundamental level, I suspect that there is a problem of knowing oneself from a visual dimension generated by the human form while it experiences its own living condition called existence. If I have to describe this artist, I would use five different images of the person. The photo image of the person that appears in this story depicts him in a happy, cheerful mood and the story describes an image that is not seen but could be visualized. I think about the problem of suicide and in my opinion, man will not take the action of ending his existence if he visualizes all the five aspects of that existence; 1, the physical, 2. the mental, 3. the social, 4. the moral, and 5. the spiritual. If any of these images are not represented, the existence would be at risk. Each form and aspect of man has its own behavior and hence it should be easy to show it in colors of various hues. Each one of us must make an attempt to be a visual artist and draw images of our own selves and look at them to know about life and death. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>