alison mosshart makes wild paintings using remote-control cars

The Kills and Dead Weather front woman discusses her first solo show in New York.

by Maria Bobila
02 July 2015, 7:25pm

"If someone told me I would do a solo show in Chelsea one day, I wouldn't believe them. It's insane to me!" It was a few days after the opening night for Alison Mosshart's debut exhibition, Fire Power, at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York City, and the singer was still catching up after an exhilarating evening. "It was overwhelming in every positive sense," she remembered. "It was wild. There were so many close friends and family who came. They flew in from everywhere. It was a beautiful night."

Fire Power showcases over 120 pieces, which span three years and range from abstract portraiture and paper collages to pattern-heavy canvases created using a remote-control car. The larger items on display, including those adorned with tire tracks, were created in Mosshart's new studio space in Nashville, while the smaller works (some just seven inches tall by four inches wide) were created while on tour. "I compare painting to performing a lot," she said. "They're both automatic, really human. There's no disconnect between what's going on in my head and what's happening on the paper or on the stage. You don't look back. You can fuck up but you keep going."

Like music, art was always a part of Mosshart's life - her mother was a high school art teacher and she spent her two-year stint in college taking every art class on offer. Her aesthetic, however, has changed over time. "I see work from my early 20s," she says, "and it shows how I spent a lot of time and thought on one thing, which is fascinating." The artworks featured in Fire Power serve more as vignettes from Mosshart's busy schedule, split between two bands and life in both the US and UK. According to her, they're "a culmination of a life lived" made with a signature style that she describes as "slash and burn."

"I have absolutely no patience for painting meticulously anymore. Maybe I will in 10 years when my brain slows down. But I can't right now and that's okay. I don't see any harm in a style that's really indicative of me. I just hope I'm developing skills as I go along, learning and discovering over time."

'Fire Power' is on show now through July 11 at Joseph Gross Gallery, 548 West 28th Street.


Text Maria Bobila
Images Guest of a Guest Photography

Alison Mosshart