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Destroy All Monsters was a band formed in 1973 in Detroit, Michigan, by a group of art students including Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw. Australian artist Jenny Watson gave me the vinyl record used in this painting in 1978. Recently, I came across it again when going through boxes of old stuff. Meanwhile, at a critical stage of this painting, which when begun was meant to be a homage to Oscar Wilde’s The picture of Dorian Gray (1890), I decided to stick the vinyl record onto the painting as its title seemed apt. By the time the painting was completed I could sense that it was really a homage to Mike Kelley, who, when battling his demons, committed suicide in LA in 2012.
- Gareth Sansom, 2016