You Can Own Art From These Famous Musicians
Art and rock 'n' roll enjoy a rich, celebrated history. Bands are often inextricably linked with iconic imagery, from classic album covers to signature logos: Led Zeppelin's Zoso symbology, Andy Warhol's Sticky Fingers album cover for The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd's prism, to name but a few. Some of the world's most famous axmen even dabble in the fine arts themselves. We've assembled a roster of provocative and imaginative musicians moonlighting as accomplished visual artists today. With everything from formal degrees to family legacy under their studded belts, it begs the question: Are rock stars the new Renaissance men and women? Keep scrolling to find out.
Depending on who you ask, Bryan Adams is arguably best known as the singer behind the infamously catchy "Summer of '69." In addition to his platinum-hit status, Adams has had a celebrated career in photography. His shutterbug hobby sparked in the late 1990s, when he became interested in creating portraits for an album cover. Today, Adams routinely turns out stunning portraits, frequently featuring friends and entertainers. The artist's first comprehensive monograph, Exposed, explores his keen eye for the vulnerability and drama of his subjects, in addition to technical prowess.
Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood studied formally at Ealing College of Arts before embarking on a career in music. Wood comes from artistic roots, his father and brothers having all studied either music or art. The guitarist’s works on canvas frequently feature portraits of the Rolling Stones, noteworthy musicians, family members, or close friends. His work has been exhibited around the world: throughout Europe to the Far East and South America. In addition, he has published multiple books of his works, on limited-edition runs.
The Kills’ Alison Mosshart is as stylish and painfully cool as frontwomen come. Her solo exhibition of new work, Fire Power, opened at John Gross Gallery in New York this past summer. Abstract and informal, Mosshart's improvisational style features raw portraiture in passionate hues. Her aesthetic is as devil-may-care chic as the alluring crooner herself—wildly romantic and confidently free.
Having painted privately for years, Sir Paul first exhibited his work to the public at a small museum in Germany. After receiving critical acclaim, he went on to further share his work, publishing a book of his portfolio in 2000. The musician's abstract portraits and landscapes feature sweeping color, deep textures, and inventive and irreverent silhouettes.
The Kills guitarist and husband to Kate Moss, Jamie Hince has no shortage of photogenic subject matter at his fingertips. Hince has a long-standing passion for photography, having documented the band's travel and touring for years on the road. “I suppose with The Kills, with music, I try to just be something better than I think I am,” he told DuJour. “So when we first went on tour, I was like, this is it; this is going to be the peak. I was living the life and was afraid I’d never go back to New York or to L.A., so I obsessively tried to photograph it all.” Mostly private about his work, Hince presents only a curated selection of photographs to the public.
Cold War Kids bassist Matt Maust studied graphic design at Biola University in Southern California, where he met bandmate and frontman Nathan Willett. As a visual artist, Maust designs album cover art for multiple bands in addition to screen-printed, limited-run merchandise and mixed-media works. Deeply linked with the band’s distinctive sound and visual aesthetic, his art emerges as a prominent fixture throughout both music videos and album packaging.
In the 1970s, John Cougar Mellencamp intended on painting as a fallback career in the event his music didn’t take off. Over the past decades, the rock 'n' roll singer-songwriter has completed multiple gallery shows in addition to publishing several portfolios of his work. His darkly colorful paintings feature recurring themes of politics and religion, in a style critics often liken to the French and German Expressionists.
Is there anything David Bowie can’t do? The consummate entertainer, he’s tackled everything from acting to miming to sculpture and painting. Bowie’s works on canvas echo the singer’s raw, colorful, and bold aesthetic. In the 1990s, the artist acted as critic, penning reviews for Modern Painter Magazine, where he interviewed artists such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. While at Modern Painter, he also co-engineered one of the most elaborate art-world hoaxes of the decade, inventing a forgotten 20th-century artist Nat Tate with his colleague in 1998. Bowie’s artwork has appeared in galleries in the U.S. and Europe, often auctioned off for charity.
Raised by a family of artists, Moby began taking photos at age 10, after being gifted with an old Nikon F from his uncle, Joseph Kugielsky, a photographer for The New York Times. He attended SUNY Purchase College in New York as a double major in philosophy and photography. His multifaceted photographs explore the nature of human perception, often involving everyday scenery against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world. He commented on his work, stating, “A picture of a supermarket pre-apocalypse would somehow have a different significance post-apocalypse. Even though the supermarket itself would be the exact same thing.” The heady aesthetic juxtaposes eeriness with vibrant color with provocative mood.
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