Founding member of the band Destroy All Monsters and worldwide renowned for his installations, artist Mike Kelley was found dead in his Los Angeles home. He was 57.
The artist was found dead in his bathtub, according to Los Angeles County Coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter. What puzzles family, friends and authorities at the same time is that Mike Kelley was living and healthy last Sunday and officers couldn’t find any suicide note.
One of the estate’s trustees, art historian John Welchman, said: “We can’t confirm a suicide pending an autopsy or coroner’s report”.
At the same time, there weren’t any signs of foul play or trauma found, however the full autopsy, scheduled for Thursday, is going to solve the mystery. Anyway, there are reports saying that Mike Kelley was going through a depression lately, after he broke up things with his girlfriend.
Sources, such as Rick Manore, of Destroy All Monsters, say that friends have been trying to convince Mike Kelley to come back to Detroit. Manore also said about his long time friend that “he marched to the beat of a different – I don’t even know if it was a drummer. He wasn’t about pretty pictures. He was about punishing you out of your comfort zone”.
The artist’s studio released the following statement to the Los Angeles Times: “Mike was an irresistible force in contemporary art. We cannot believe he is gone. But we know his legacy will continue to touch and challenge anyone who crosses its path”. The statement’s ending reads: “We will miss him. We will keep him with us”.
Chief Curator for the Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art, Paul Schimmel, told Reuters that Mike Kelley’s death is “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”.
Schimmel also added that “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”.
Stephanie Barron, senior curator of modern art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, stated: “It’s incredibly sad. It’s hard to imagine somebody with the life force and intensity that Mike brought to bear is no longer with us”.