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Mike Kelley RIP
The Quietus , February 2nd, 2012 08:01

Artist found dead at his home

Artist Mike Kelley, who among other things created the artwork for Sonic Youth's 1992 album Dirty, was found dead yesterday at his Los Angeles home of an apparent suicide, ArtInfo has reported.

As well as being a notable visual artist, Kelley, 57, was also a musician. He was a founding member of proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters, renowned for their experimental performance art. In 1994, Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label released a three-disc collection of Destroy All Monster's music.

Kelley was a longtime friend of Kim Gordon when he created the artwork for Dirty. Kelley had previously collaborated with Sonic Youth on a piece of music, in 1988, for the New York-based Tellus Audio Cassette series.

Los Angeles County Coroner's spokesman Ed Winter said the artist had last been seen alive last Sunday. No suicide note was found in the home and there were no signs of trauma or foul play, he said. An autopsy is scheduled today (Thursday 2 February).

"It's a terrible loss for his family and friends and for the artists of this community, which he's done so much to change and enrich," Paul Schimmel, chief curator for the Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art, told Reuters.

"More than any other artist of his generation, he changed the perception of this city and helped make it the great international art city it is today," he said.

Kelley graduated from University of Michigan in 1976, and then moved to L.A., where he studied with Laurie Anderson at the California Institute of the Arts. There he formed the conceptual punk performance group Poetics, as ArtInfo notes. Kelley's solo art career bloomed in the early 1990s, with gallery shows around the world.