Allison Mosshart, the cool-girl singer for UK-based garage rock duo The Kills, is also a trained visual artist, and tonight she’ll open her first show, called Fire Power, at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York.
Amazingly, her paintings look about exactly like The Kills’ music sounds: abstract, rough around the edges, linear in unexpected ways, a little bit p-noid, as they say in the biz. My favorite of the 127-piece exhibit, an ink drawing entitled “Puerto Escondido Sweat,” is a Picasso-style rendering of a gaping-mouthed dude and eyes that appear to be vaporizing into ink stains (top left). But there’s something here for the whole family, really, if your family gets down with abstraction and sometimes-scary faces. It’s great.
Mosshart studied art at the University of Florida, way back when she was known as the singer for the seminal Gainesville pop punk band Discount and may or may not have had white dreds. But that was 20 years ago, and now she sits front row at fashion shows and is in a band with the husband of Kate Moss, so WWD went ahead and interviewed her:
A.M.: There’s no concept at all when I start. To me, they’re like diary entries but to someone else, you’re not going to know where I was but I always know where I was when I made it. They capture a moment I was in. They’re very evocative. I’ll see a piece and know exactly where I was and how I was feeling.
WWD: Is there a unifying thread? There are a lot of human figures.
A.M.: Yeah, I think it’s this sense of momentum and constant motion to the pieces. There are a lot of figures. I encounter so many people in passing while touring and I kind of just notice these things and pick up on small stuff about them. But none of these pictures is of any one person. I’ll draw lots of extra eyes and extra mouths and extra teeth. It’s often like painting someone who’s confused and has 90 thoughts at once. Kind of like me!
There have been a lot of movies and songs about the lonely monotony that is life on the road—isn’t Journey’s entire career about that—but none of them really approximate the utter boredom that assails most everyone while they’re on tour, even people who love to turn up. It’s nice to see Mosshart try to capture that, and maybe preserve the whir of faces and people she’ll never see again! Would buy!
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Images via WWD/courtesy