Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Graphic Work Of Destroy All Monsters

Formed at a house party in 1973 and playing their first gig at a comic book convention (where they were asked to leave after ten minutes), Destroy All Monsters [DAM] were a multi disciplinary art collective from the Ann Arbor area of Detroit. Comprising of artists, Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Niagara and film maker Cary Loren they were responsible for the proliferation of a vast array of acid soaked visionary art across a wide range of media including paintings, prints, sculpture, film, performance art and of course music. Influenced equally by the avant garde and Sci-Fi B-movies their work oscillates somewhere between the sublime and the ridiculous.

This book gathers together all six issues of Destroy All Monsters Magazine, a self published art ‘zine which was originally published between 1973 – 1979.

To the contemporary eye, many of the images in this book form a strange and disorientating synthesis of proto punk aggression, hippie mysticism and Warholian canniness. Despite much of the work being over thirty years old, much of it still feels contemporaneous and would not seem out of place in the shelves of your local purveyor of retina candy. Visually, the book combines a visceral punk cut & paste aesthetic with stoner chutzpah to create a rather oddly formed mixture of Looneyville high art. Imagine an ecstatic wunderkabinett of discarded visual ephemera recombined into an oozing mass of Day-Glo psychedelic visual gloopage and your halfway there. Densely layered collages compound consumer culture kitsch with aggressive counter culture subversion resulting is an explosion of hallucinatory misprint and sensorial overload. This book is a joyful graphic noise and very much worth your attention.

A facsimile reprint of the Destroy All Monsters Magazine 1976-1979 is out now published by Primary Information.

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