Kiss bassist Gene Simmons is to hold an exhibition of his artwork. The Demon has hooked up with the Animazing Gallery (opens in new tab) in Las Vegas for the debut of Gene Simmons ArtWorks, which will run October 14 -16. The exhibition will feature sketches, drawings and small and large format paintings, and it turns out that Simmons has been painting most of his life.
“Moving to the United States from Israel as a young boy, I didn’t speak English,” says Simmons. “I fell in love with comics and American television, and they not only helped me learn the language, but inspired creativity and a passion for drawing and painting.
“I started doodling and drawing when I was eight years of age and as a teenager, I had hundreds of illustrations published in fanzines created by and for sci-fi and comic book enthusiasts,” he says. “With the Kiss End of the Road Tour taking a pause during the pandemic, I had a chance to pull decades of my art out of storage and it reignited my passion for drawing and painting again."
“I always knew that Gene had many talents," says the Animazing Gallery's Nicholas Leone, "but I had no idea that he was such an incredible artist. Getting to see samples of his artwork, ranging from his childhood illustrations to his current paintings, was eye opening.
"There is so much variety in his works. I asked if he would like to show, and possibly even sell some of his work, he humbly said ‘why not’, and here we are.”
“I have had no professional training; I just like to draw and paint. I don’t always know where I‘m going, and then all of a sudden, I’m on my way,” says Simmons. “I have great respect and admiration for art and artists, and I’m excited that people like the work that has resulted from what I consider to be my lifelong hobby.”
A statement released to announce the exhibition reveals that Simmons finds inspiration in the work of abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock, with many of his newest works embracing Pollock’s extreme painting style, working with large format canvases on the floor.
The show at the Animazing Gallery will feature a private VIP event entitled "One Legend, One Collection, One Night" for art collectors and celebrities on October 14, followed by two days of public showings. Simmons will also be making public appearances from 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm on October 15 and 16.
Other musicians to have exhibited at the Animazing Gallery include Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith (opens in new tab), Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood (opens in new tab), and Elton John's lyricist Bernie Taupin (opens in new tab).