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USA Today
Singers Try Hands
At New Otlet: Art
Kiss singer Paul Stanley fell into a funk after his 2001 divorce. His lifeline was unexpected: a paintbrush. "Pouring out how I feel onto a canvas is both solitary and athartic," says
Stanley, whose dabbling has turned serious. His art sales topped $2 million last year, and a new exhibit of his work is set for July 25-26 at the Wentworth Gallery in King of Prussia, Pa. • Stanley is just one in a long line of musical innovators who've made a name for themselves in the art world. USA TODAY's Marco R. della Cava asked Jeff Marinelli, publisher of Art and Living magazine, to weigh in on the non-musical hits of five art/rock stars.
Ronnie Wood paints it black, Mick Jagger  
photo of Ronnie Wood  
Ronnie Wood, 61
The Rolling Stones guitarist was a serious student at Ealing Art School long before he realized music would dominate his life. Although he often makeshis fellow Stones the focal
point of his paintbrush, he has tackled subjects ranging from horses to ballerinas.
"His Stones works in particular really radiate energy and telegraph that (music) is what he loves to do best," says Marinelli.
Wood's annual sales often soar well into the seven figures, according to the Limelight Agency, which represents the guitarist. "That tells me he has a fan base that's probably as broad as that of the Rolling Stones themselves."
Jolly Rocker by Grace Slick  
Photo of Grace Slick  
Grace Slick, 68
The Jefferson Airplane icon has long since given up the microphone, instead channeling her ferocious attitude and talent into art.
"I'd argue that Slick's paintings could well be considered fine art, in terms of the obvious talent, the highly defined style and an approachability that has nothing to do with her rock-star past," says Marinelli. "Her stuff has color, story and life. It's very focused work."
Her subjects range from '60s peers such as Janis Joplin to simple nudes. But most striking are paintings that star a hare and other characters from Alice in Wonderland, recalling one of Jefferson Airplane's most famous songs, White Rabbit.
Painting by Paul Stanley  
Paul Stanley photo  
Paul Stanley, 56
"When I look at Paul's work, I immediately think, 'Peter Max,' " says Marinelli, referring to the American pop artist whose
bold colors and psychedelic visions helped define the '60s.
Stanley's similarly color-packed creations have themes that change from canvas to canvas. Some images are iconic (the Statue
of Liberty) while others appear personal (a heart inside a gaping mouth).
"He seems to pick what he'll paint just as he steps up to the easel," says Marinelli. He adds with a laugh: "A guy like Paul Stanley has fun when he paints something like a vase with flowers. It's a chance to show that Kiss has a sensitive side."
Painting by Singer Bob Dylan  
Photo of artist Bob Dylan  
Bob Dylan, 67
Dylan has nothing to prove when it comes to creative talent. Nonetheless, while on tour in the late '80s, the storied troubadour took to making
sketches of ordinary life — hotel rooms, train stations, cityscapes — that he intended to serve as a foundation for a series of paintings. Only recently did he complete that mission, resulting in 200 colored versions of motifs from those drawings being exhibited in Europe.
"Much the way he does with song, Dylan is capturing moments for us that only he sees," Marinelli says. "His technique is solid, and each work is just so clear. You know precisely what he wants us to focus on."
But with a fame like Dylan's, why even bother to impress in another medium? "Tony Bennett once told me, 'When I paint, I'm the boss,' " says Marinelli. "For guys who are always on some sort of schedule, to have that level of complete control over something must be a really wonderful feeling."
Art work by Marilyn Manson  
Photo of artist marilyn Manson  
Marilyn Manson, 39

Manson's magnetic and strange stage persona is echoed in his watercolors, which made their art gallery debut in 2002. The

androgynous performer often trains his artistic eye on figures that barely seem human.
"We're seeing right into Marilyn Manson's state of mind when we look at any one of his pieces," Marinelli says. "There's that distortion to each piece that constantly makes you wonder what the true meaning of the work is. It seems extremely personal and makes for very challenging art."
As is the medium Manson has chosen to work in: "Watercolors are very difficult to master, and I bet that he loves the fact that he's working with paints that really push him to the limit."
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