Stones Guitarist Ron Wood Makes a New Mark as An Artist
The faces that gaze from the portraits are certainly famous enough. Jimi Hendrix. Mick Jagger. Elvis Presley. Michael Jackson. When gallery owner Foster Goldstrum saw them at a San Francisco workshop six months ago, he was struck by their "strong, vibrant appeal." The appeal turned to excitement when he learned that the artist who signed his name "R. Wood" was actually as famous as his subjects. He was Ron Wood, the flippant Rolling Stone guitarist. "The quality of the work stands up," concluded Goldstrum. "I liked his work before I knew who he was."
The result is that Wood, 37, has now made his formal debut as an artist with a one-man show called Portraits at Goldstrum's Dallas gallery, exhibiting 30 monotypes and woodcuts priced at $2,250 each. Goldstrum describes Ron's work as "second-generation pop art" and banks on attracting buyers who like the graphics, "not just the glitzy thing of his being a Rolling Stone." Half the works sold in the first few days.
A onetime art student who became a musician when he realized commercial art jobs were "slim and the money sparse," Wood was nervous but congenial at his show's opening night. Wearing a tuxedo, one earring and white socks, he fretted over the black-and-white portraits that are occasionally splashed with vibrant color. "They're like your babies," he said. The show, which runs through Jan. 18, was "like having a concert drag out over six weeks."
Ron's 47-year-old brother, who did become a commercial artist in London and is aptly named Art, flew over for the opening. "I'm quite proud of the little nasty," he said of his famous sibling. "With his hectic life-style, I'm glad to see him get back to art." Ron's fiancée (and mother of two of his three children), Jo Karslake, was. pleased for other reasons: "When he's bored now, I give him a piece of paper. It's hell otherwise. It's such a long time between tours, he mopes around the house. So this keeps him busy."
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