Did you know that the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame musician John Mellencamp has been a keen painter since the 1970s, before he churned out hits including Hurts So Good and Jack & Diane? Mellencamp, who spent time at New York’s Art Students League (and who goes without his erstwhile moniker Cougar in this context), has a solo show at the American Contemporary Art Gallery in New York this month (26 April-2 June). His new paintings and mixed-media works often have quintessentially US cultural references, such as James Dean and the Marlboro Man, but they also reveal the influence of early 20th-century German painters including Otto Dix, shown in Mellencamp’s rendering of faces. Meanwhile, the show’s title—Life, Death, Love and Freedom—is pretty rock’n’roll.
John Mellencamp brings rock’n’roll (and his paintings) to Chelsea
25 April 2018