John Mellencamp: The Isolation of Mister
A Galleries is presenting John Mellencamp’s first New York exhibition of paintings.
ACA Galleries, 529 West 20th Street, is presenting the first exhibition of John Mellencamp’s paintings in New York. There was a press preview on Wednesday October 21 and a public opening on Thursday. Mr. Mellencamp is world renowned as a musician and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However few of his legends of fans know Mellencamp the painter.
He was raised in Indiana and influenced by his mother who panted. He, himself first began experimenting with oils at the age of ten. Later, he came to New York with the intention of studying painting. He had his first formal training at the Art Students League, with portraitist David Leffel, where Mellencamp discovered German art and the work of Twentieth Century Modernists. He evolved a style of portraiture influenced by the paintings of the German Expressionists. This is where Mellencamp found his visual voice. However if the foundation is German, the evolved result is decidedly American, withmthe brash and snappy visual rhythms of our streets, our lives, our politics, angers and passions.
Mellencamp’s imagery thus takes its inspiration from the same sources as his music: the struggles of the working man and woman, oppressive authority and social struggle. And like his music, the paintings are carefully composed through the structural requirements of harmony, rhythm and order. The exhibition title conveys how John must essentially isolate himself, using the silence to summon images and manifest his voice.
Mellencamp continues to live in his native Indiana, where he maintains his home and studio outside Bloomington, where painting continues to be a mainstay of his creative spirit.
The creative spirit often finds multiple expressions and John Mellencamp is a perfect example. Known as a legendary musician and long-time social justice activist. Mellencamp is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recipient of The Woody Guthrie Award and the John Steinbeck Award. He is also an accomplished painter who has seriously pursued painting for more than 35years. He has had solo exhibitions at The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; the Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, The Museum of Art – Deland, Florida and theMorris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.
The exhibition of John Mellencamp’s paintings will be on view at ACA Galleries. 529 West 29th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery district through December 19.