City Slang: RIP Mike Kelley



We are saddened and stunned by the news that artist and former Destroy All Monsters member Mike Kelley has passed away having apparently committed suicide.

Reports seem to suggest that Kelley, a Detroiter who had been living in LA, had been depressed following the breakup of a relationship.

"His work was widely collected and exhibited internationally," said Stephanie Barron, senior curator of modern art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "He had a voracious appetite for all kinds of art. He was enormously curious and worked incredibly at his craft. He was never afraid to think really big. Artists like that don't come around very often."

Enough with the official statements though. Kelley’s time with DAM produced some of the most experimental and influential art noise ever produced, and it was that connection which led to Kelley designing the sleeve for Sonic Youth’s Dirty album.

Of late, he was obviously better known as an artist, and he will always be considered one of the greatest contemporary visual artists of his time.

He will be missed.

Click here to join the City Slang Turntable community!!!


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.