Not only is John Mellencamp adept at painting a portrait of life in small town America with his words and music, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer also is literally a talented painter.
Now, a new book showcasing his artwork, titled John Mellencamp: American Paintings and Assemblages, is scheduled to be published on October 17. The 256-page volume, which the artist curated himself, features images of 170 pieces he created, including large-scale oil paintings and mixed-media assemblages.
The book includes self-portraits and portraits of such celebrities as Marlon Brando, Johnny Cash and Mellencamp’s one-time fiancee Meg Ryan, as well as an abstract homage to Martin Luther King Jr.
The book also features essays about Mellencamp’s art, penned by publisher Bob Guccione Jr. and acclaimed journalist and critic David L. Shirey.
“Although we may primarily know Mellencamp as a rock star, one of the highest-selling of all time and a Hall of Famer, he is also a great painter, as this book shows,” writes Guccione. “Not a musician who also paints … No, John legitimately belongs in the modern art pantheon.”
Mellencamp’s most recent studio album, Strictly a One-Eyed Jack, was released in January. It features three collaborations with Bruce Springsteen.
According to a post on his official website, he’s planning to return to touring in 2023.
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