As the guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood seemingly indulged in a lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. Yet when it comes to art, the wild rocker has far more traditional tastes. Wood, who won drawing competitions as a child and attended Ealing Art College in London, prefers classical painters like Goya, Velazquez and Rembrandt to contemporary provocateurs. (It seems he also has a bit of Hockney in him, as his website suggests he has recently taken up iPad art.)
Wood, now 64, is showing a collection entitled "Faces, Time and Places" at Broome Street Gallery in New York. The exhibition will focus on his experience in the rock-n-roll world, giving us a firsthand glimpse of what it was like to be a Rolling Stone. Paintings will range from the 1960s to present day, some having never been seen by the public. While Wood may not be the next Rembrandt, we have to say he can draw a mean Jagger jaw. In case you weren't yet aware, Societe Perrier reminds you that the exhibition features famous faces of "icons who Wood is cool enough to call not just his subjects, but also his friends."
Is Wood another case of the inflated celebrity turned lackluster artist? Some critics say it is quite the opposite. Sir Peter Blake, the Royal Academician, told The Guardian: "I think people haven't given him credit because he's a rock star, whereas he draws well and he's a good painter." Whether because of his fame or not, Wood's paintings often sell for over $1.5 million.
Yet Wood's career hasn't been without controversy; his former brother-in-law, Paul Karslake, claimed that he would paint for Wood when the rocker was busy or not in the mood. Karslake admitted that Wood had talent, though he added: "Obviously, I am a much better artist than he is." Yet Karslake divorced from Wood's sister in 2009, breaking away from Wood's art career in the process. Perhaps this show will determine if Wood has what it takes to hold his own as a painter.
Wood's collection will show at 498 Broome St. until June 30th.
What do you think, readers? Does Wood have what it takes to make it to the painting hall of fame? Or do you wish someone would just paint it black and be done with it? Let us know your thoughts!