I’ve never really given John Mellencamp the musician a fair hearing. I passed through my Heartland Rock phase – Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger – long before I’d even heard anything by John Mellencamp.
But, boy: I’ve raved about John Mellencamp art ever since I stumbled across his expressive paintings. Of all the rock artists, John Mellencamp is one of the most accomplished. There’s little chance of any jaundiced art critic accusing him of lacking painterly technique, as they are wont to do with some artists featured here on ROCK ART EDITIONS.
John Mellencamp art focuses on oil paintings of “the little people”. He’s clearly on the side of Everyman and consistently finds humanity in his poignant portraits of ordinary people.
Well-informed critics see echoes of German Expressionism in John Mellencamp art, notably the work of Otto Dix and Max Beckmann. I concur, though I struggle to find any links with another favoured comparator, Jean-Michel Basquiat.
John Mellencamp art now on show in New York
If I were in New York this autumn, I’d be making a beeline to ACA Galleries to see the latest exhibition of John Mellencamp art. The Isolation of Mister, a show of nine canvases, runs to 19 December. (The title refers to a song on Mellencamp’s album, Plain Spoken).
It looks like a delightful small show.
Copyright: picture © John Mellencamp/ACA Galleries 2015; text © Gerald Smith, Rock Art Editions 2015. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.