This Saturday, KISS‘ Paul Stanley will be making an appearance at the Wentworth Gallery in Short Hills, New Jersey, to unveil his latest series of paintings and mixed-media works. Stanley, who’s been painting for a decade, wants fans to know that you don’t need a degree to appreciate art.
“I want people to not be intimidated by the arts,” he tells ABC Audio. He notes, “When somebody says, ‘Well, I like that painting, but I don’t know anything about art,’ it’s like, ‘What do you need to know? You like it or you don’t like it.'”
Some of Stanley’s paintings are part of his new “Black Series,” in which he starts out with, not a white canvas, but a black canvas. “[It’s] really interesting because everything comes out from it,” he says. “Whereas most of us are taught to paint on a white canvas, to do it on black means it comes from darkness. And I think that’s great.”
The KISS frontman says his art gives him something that being a rock star doesn’t: less structure.
“A song has to have a key. It has to have lyrics that rhyme,” he explains. “And in terms of art, my sense of color … is based purely upon … aesthetically what pleases me. I like the freedom.”
The day after his appearance, Sunday, is the start of Hanukkah; Stanley, who’s Jewish, says he and his wife, who’s not, celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. He considers it very necessary, especially since he “grew up around people with [concentration camp] tattoos on their arms.”
“My duty and obligation as a Jew is the obligation I have to 6 million who were exterminated. So whether my children choose to practice Judaism in their own lives, knowing their heritage and knowing what my background is, is very, very important.”
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