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John Mellencamp brings rock’n’roll (and his paintings) to Chelsea

MYRNA SUAREZ, 2018

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.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper, 300 April 2018