07.31.08 PAUL STANLEY - ART 'N' ROLL
Written by Jim Ousley
KISS' main man Paul Stanley is trekking back to St.Louis for what is sure to be another successful, packed-to-the-gills art-show at Wentworth Gallery. Last time he was in town, the line stretched outside the gallery and two rows down the mall corridor. While you won't get bombs, babes and classic tunes, you'll be able to take a look at some of the Starchild's highly sought-after collection of abstracts, painted by the man himself. We had a brief window of time in which to speak, and at the sound of my "Lick It Up" ring tone, Stanley was on the line.
Last time we spoke, you said you were going to be getting into sculptures. Have you started any pieces yet, and how soon will we see them?
The final drawings are done, and we're probably a couple of weeks from taking the next step. They're steel sculptures, and I actually painted over them. The color is baked in, and then they're sealed in a clear coating. So, they're very striking and I'm really excited about it.
KISS just came off their most successful tour of Europe ever. Is there any chance you will be going over there to show your paintings?
It's something that has been mentioned, but between doing KISS and all of the gallery showings here in the States, it just comes down to time and how many hours there are in a day. I just did a great show in Philly, and St. Louis is this weekend. Next is Chicago, Atlanta and Washington DC. It's kind of like a never-ending tour, so to speak.
Painting started out being a personal endeavor for you, and now that you have gallery showings and fans of your art, is it more difficult to get inspired to create new works?
I still paint for the same reasons I always have, to make myself happy. Ultimately, if I'm not pleased with the way a piece turns out, it doesn't see the light of day. Certainly the demand for the paintings has changed, but the criteria for being creative hasn't.
At your last gallery showing, someone commented on how busy you are between your art and music careers. The implication I think was that rock stars just sit around all the time.
Maybe some do, but the idea of just sitting back never appealed to me. Being challenged is what life's all about. Having down time for relaxation is great, but creativity is in my blood.
I know with songwriting you can wake up in the middle of the night and have to record an idea so you don't lose it. Have you found any of that immediate inspiration with painting where you kind of have to drop what you're doing and put it on canvas?
Not really. I tend to think that inspiration is always there, and certainly when I paint, I don't like to premeditate what I'm going to do. So, when I put paint to canvas, I will get something out; it's just a matter of whether I like it or not.
At your last gallery showing here, there was quite a wide variety of people interested in the artwork.
Sure, there are the art collectors who come out who want to collect something valuable. We also get people who haven't necessarily been to an art gallery before. Unfortunately, someone propagated the idea that you had to have an education to appreciate art, and that's absurd. Anyone can appreciate art, and it's all subjective. It's like food; one person can be a vegetarian, another person can like steak. Which is more valid? It all depends on the individual.
Will you be revisiting the idea of doing any theater soon? There was a rumor that you were going to be part of Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas.
Again, it just comes down to how many hours are in the day, you know? I have a 22-month-old, my older boy, and a wife who need to see me; and I need to see them, as well.
I actually played you in Magic Smoking Monkey's stage version of KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.
[Laughs] Did you?
Yeah, and people had a really good time with the show, and I wanted to thank you for not suing us.
Well, that movie was certainly an interesting point in my life. I hope everyone had a good time with it.
Last year you recorded the Chicago stop of your solo tour. Do you know when we can expect it to be released?
It's funny you should ask that, because I was just on the phone with my manager asking, "When the hell is this DVD coming out?" Hopefully we can make an announcement soon.
St. Louis, Mo.
Aug. 1-2, 7-9 p.m.
For more information about Stanley's St. Louis appearance, visit www.wentworthgallery.com. | Jim Ousley