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M A D: Mutually Assured Destruction

22 November, 2022 - 3 December, 2022


22 November – 3 December 2022

Tuesday – Friday: 12pm – 6pm
Saturdays: 12pm – 4pm
Tuesday and Friday evenings: 6pm – 8pm
admission: Free

…MAD aims to strike debate and raise questions, using comedy as an entry point into highly contentious (and often ridiculous) modern history…

Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs presents M A D: Mutually Assured Destruction, a new exhibition by Mike Green opening on 22 November 2022.

Mutually Assured Destruction (M A D) is a doctrine of military strategy and security policy where a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the annihilation of all involved. It is based on the theory of deterrence, which holds that the threat of using strong weapons against the enemy prevents the enemy’s use of those same weapons. As ridiculous as such a thing sounds, it is still utilised today as a modern nuclear deterrence. But how did we get to this point?

Mike Green’s latest body of work grapples with the task of comprehending the incomprehensible. In an era marred by narrow political thinking, social media influence, and mass consumerism, madness is mainstream – and more dangerous than ever.

What happens when you multiply insanity with deranged leadership?

Situations are born like the one painted above – the 2020 capitol attack in Washington: a giant pack of babies storming a sacred American political institution in the name of a criminal.

Mike Green is an established artist with over forty years of exhibition history within leading commercial galleries in Australia and throughout America. Although he is an accomplished watercolourist and well known for his technically adept landscape paintings, his new body of work is a dramatic departure from the calming works of the artists oeuvre. Politically charged and full of humour, his new work strikes a balance between real and ridiculous during this pivotal point in human history.
For many years Australian politics have not included any big thinking. Short term decisions – including the Iraq war and Australia’s response to global warming and asylum seekers – have cost billions. Meanwhile, successive governments have plead lack of funds for vital social needs, whilst ignoring, for example, reformation of the taxation system. At the same time, the international situation has continued to deteriorate following the pandemic, which brewed a melting pot of counterculture distrust and madness.

These paintings are a refuge point for Green to comment on the current situation, and humour is the code to engage with them. Green creates ridiculous paintings for these ridiculous times. Fictional characters including kewpie dolls, toy soldiers, and Mexican wrestlers become protagonists in modern historical contexts. The figures serve as a gateway to question our shortcomings and how absurd it all really is. According to Green, “… trying to paint this madness out of my head using irony and metaphor, with some admitted pleasure.”

Opening at fortyfivedownstairs on November 22nd, let the madness begin.

Presented by fortyfivedownstairs and Magma Galleries.

Opening Night: Tuesday 22nd of November from 6pm – 8pm

You are warmly invited to join us in celebrating the opening of ‘M A D: Mutually Assured Destruction’ by Mike Green.

Artist Talk with Mike Green: Saturday 26th of November 2-3pm

Please join Mike Green for a free event where the public can gain insight into his impactful and inspired work.
RSVP to this free event by contacting [email protected] 


22 November, 2022
3 December, 2022
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fortyfivedownstairs gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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03 9662 9966
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03 9662 9966


Mike Green
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