by Kyle Swenson
Former Faces and current Rolling Stones axe-man Ron Wood has made some serious contributions to music history. He played bass on Jeff Beck’s ground-breaking early work, anchored one of the great under-appreciated rock bands of all time with the Faces, and since the mid-70s has held down lead in the Stones. But Ron Wood the visual artist? . . . What?
You have the chance to judge for yourself. In a weird leap down the rabbit hole, Wood’s first ever art show is now on exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown.
The artist himself was on hand last Tuesday for opening night, a $200 ticket opportunity for fans gape at the legend and talk about his music, and, oh yeah, the art’s nice too.
According to the Vindicator, the early reports were positive:
As crowds explored the three galleries displaying Wood’s work, many expressed awe and admiration over the high caliber of the art.
“I think it’s amazing that he is such a talented visual artist as well as such a talented musician,” said Chris Chuirazzi of Cortland. “It is fantastic that he has the ability to do both so well.”
Chuirazzi and his wife, Mary, both members of the Butler, said their favorite piece is a painting titled “Beggar’s Banquet,” which is the highlight of the show.
(Music snobs that we are, we’d like to point out that “Beggar’s Banquet” is the title of a Stones album recorded before Wood was in the band. Just saying.)
The article also says that according to Lou Zona, the museum’s executive director, ”Wood actually thinks of himself as more of a visual artist and wants to be remembered more for his visual art than his music,” which is strange to hear. This is the guy who wrote a great running-blister of a rock song with “Stay With Me”, the man who croaked his way through the charming lead vocal of “Oh La La”, the guitarist on Some Girls — and he places his art before all that. Interesting stuff. The show runs until November 21.