For me,upon graduating from u. of Michigan in 1974, it was obvious that painting was dead, and the best thing to do was form an absurdistrock band. So with Mike kelley, and a couple of friends of his from Detroit, Cary Loren and Niagara, we started Destroy All Monsters. Unfotunately for my career as a performance artist and musician, I had terrible stage fright, compounded by the revulsion of whatever crowds we played in front of and my inability to play anything approaching regular music, so I retired from the stage upon moving west to go to graduate school in 76, and eventually made my way back to the more conservative forms of art. It’s long been my belief that every art school had a Destroy all Monsters( now they have several) back then. Perhaps some day all the rest of the tapes will be reissued. i think the delerious in art is always important and always leaves you a bit embarrassed the next day. (...)


I’m assuming you mean the art of the 70s, not the fashions etc. In myundergrad school I was taught mostly by former ab-ex artists whose work was exhausted and I rebelled against. In my graduate education, I was taught by functioning artists of the late 70s, whose work was at least energetic, though sometimes it seemed to me that I didn’t understand it, I may have cowered from my feelings of intellectual inadequacy, my reaction being to drop out rather than rebel.


Living in America where the art market and teaching jobs are the only forces that keep us afloat, it’s tempting to look back on the 70s as an time before the spectre of commerce enshroude the art world.




for the magazine Tilt, Frac Aquitaine, Bordeaux ©2004