Ronnie Wood: Musician and Artist.
To celebrate 50 years of The Rolling Stones and their long awaited return to the stage, with performances at London’s O2 Arena this month, Gallery Three will be showcasing the artwork of the notorious rock guitarist Ronnie Woods on Thursday 29th November, from 5pm to 8pm.
For Ronnie Woods art and music are his two great loves and if not a musician then he certainly would have been a full time artist. Although a member of “the world’s most famous rock band” he still manages to split his time 50/50 between these two departments in his life. As a privileged insider, Ronnie Woods documents the performers that he has known and worked with from a very unique perspective. His art chronicles a memorable era in the world of music and entertainment, making them highly desirable works of art with an important historical content.
Ronnie Wood was born in 1947 in Middlesex, England, into a musical and artistic family, and as a child his drawings were featured on the BBC television program Sketch Club in which he won one of that program’s competitions, an achievement which he refers to as his “awakening to art”. Before beginning his musical career he received formal art training at Ealing College of Art, London, as did other notable musicians in the 1960s, including Freddie Mercury of Queen and Pete Townshend of The Who.
Throughout the years, the artist and the musician have been inseparable. As his musical career progressed, Ronnie continued his passion for painting and drawing, his subjects ranging from band members and musicians he admired, knew and sometimes played with, to family and close friends – and, of course, the self-portrait. It is as natural to find him with a pencil as with a guitar, drawing portraits of contemporaries and finding inspiration from his musical influences.
‘Playing music as part of a team effort is wonderful, but to express individuality as an artist is very personal. Art is more powerful, a more personal statement.’
In the US, in the early 1980’s, Ronnie produced his first prints – three woodcuts and a series of monotypes. At that time he was not yet an experienced printmaker so it was with great enthusiasm that he seized upon the opportunity in 1987 to spend several months working in a professional printmaking studio in England. He has devoted a considerable amount of time to printmaking and has produced a number of images using various techniques -etching, drypoint, screenprint and digital.
Ronnie finds inspiration everywhere. Indeed, he never leaves home without a sketchpad, always painting and drawing figures, like so many great artists he is constantly fascinated by the human form. He likes to paint people in a variety of moods and in different settings, trying to convey a story or a shared experience.
Art is a way of connecting and communicating with our surroundings and the desire to create art, be it music or painting, is a primal urge, a form of self expression.
There is also no shortage of inspiration for the Ronnie Wood art department from his music department – on stage, backstage, rehearsals, on tour and frequent jammin’ sessions with the world’s greatest musicians and performers. He once said, ‘art is music on paper’ and he counts himself lucky that both have featured in his everyday life.
Ronnie’s paintings, drawings and prints frequently feature icons of all popular culture and a work which was commissioned by Andrew Lloyd-Webber confirmed his reputation as a serious artist. Featuring sixty of the era’s most influential luminaries set in the London’s Ivy restaurant, the piece was unveiled at the Royal Academy in 2003 to a great reception and is now displayed at London’s Drury Lane Theatre. Ronnie’s credentials as an artist were further cemented by great critical acclaim such as that by notoriously unforgiving art critic Brian Sewell, who called Wood “an accomplished and respectable artist”. The South Bank Show devoted an entire program to his artwork and Liberty & Co. has produced a clothing line using fabrics printed with Wood’s art.
Ronnie‘s artwork has been exhibited all over the world and celebrity collectors include former US President Bill Clinton.
This remarkable collection of Signed Limited Editions will be unveiled on Thursday 29th November at a Champagne reception at Gallery Three on Regent Street and will close on Tuesday 4th December. Please contact the gallery to receive your exclusive invitation to attend the event.