Mike Kelley, one of the most controversial, prolific and influential figures in contemporary art, was born in 1954 in Detroit, Michigan, and earned a Bachelors degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters from California Institute of the Arts. His work, often wickedly humorous and drawing on both high art and the vernacular with distinctively American iconography, ranges across media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, music, performance, writing and video projects, the last often in collaboration with artists such as Paul McCarthy, Raymond Pettibon and Tony Oursler. In 1993, The Whitney Museum of American Art held a major retrospective of his work. He lives in Los Angeles, and is a member of the graduate faculty at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.
Paul McCarthy was born in 1945 in Salt Lake City, Utah and he currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of Southern California. McCarthy's artwork was brought to public attention in the 1970s with his performance pieces and works in film. Since then he has experimented with sculpture, installation and inflatable objects.
Tony Oursler was born in 1957 in upstate New York, and he received his BFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Oursler's videos and installations have been widely exhibited internationally, including in solo shows at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. He was recently the subject of a traveling retrospective that appeared at the Williams College Museum of Art; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, LosAngeles; and the Des Moines Art Center. He has participated in the 2007 Whitney Biennial and Documentas 9 and 10. He currently lives and works in New York.
Jim Shaw was born in Midland, Michigan, in 1952, and received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In the 70s, he founded the band Destroy All Monsters (with Mike Kelley and other artists originally from the Midwest). Since mid-1980is, Shaw has produced paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures influenced by a variety of sources: dream imagery, pulp fiction, thrift-store painting, underground comics, and religious cults. His work has appeared in numerous solo shows worldwide and in group shows like the 2002 Whitney Biennial. He lives and works in Los Angeles.