New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


BIG NEWS! Here's the latest Issue of NJ Stage Magazine -- Click here

Paul Stanley

By Gary Wien


He's known as The Starchild to millions of rock and roll fans around the world. With makeup covering up his face, Paul Stanley and his bandmates in KISS became one of the most popular rock bands on the planet, but before he was a rock star he was a budding young artist. Years later, he's now becoming known for his paintbrush as much as his axe.

Paul Stanley has always been an artist. In fact, he was chosen and attended the prestigious Manhattan High School of Music and Art (the school the film "Fame" was based upon) and majored in art, but it wasn't until years later that a friend helped steer him back towards painting.

"Art, to me, is like music," explained Stanley. "There's only two kinds - good and bad. For me, music can only be categorized like that. There's awful jazz and there's great jazz; there's awful rock and there's great rock. Art for me is the same. It doesn't matter about style, there's great art and not.

"I want to do art that I like and art that people can relate to - people on the street. In some ways it's no different than what we call pop music. Pop music is short for popular. Where's the sin in appealing to people? I love that people will look at "Green Planet" or "Purple Haze" and say 'I want to have that'. It doesn't take a knowledge of art, it takes a knowledge of what you love."

Paul Stanley will coming to the area for a pair of art shows at Wentworth Galleries in February. On February 9th he will be at the Riverside Mall in Hackensack, NJ and on the 10th he will be at the Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, NJ.

Some people might wonder why someone who was so successful in one field would try their hand at another, but Paul says he loves taking challenges. In the past decade, he's started painting again and doing art shows, played the lead in Phantom Of The Opera, got divorced and remarried, had his second son, and released his first solo record in 28 years. You could say he's faced many challenges lately!

"I'm a big believer that I'm not here to live up to anyone's expectations," said Stanley. "I'm more about finding out what my capabilities are. I enjoy a challenge. I enjoy seeing how those projects are received. I think someone's a liar if they say they don't care and its only about themselves. I think we do things because we initially love them and want to satisfy ourselves, but I don't believe for a minute that it ends there.

"We ultimately want the feedback of others and it's great to find another outlet in art where people have connected with it so strongly. The thing I'm most happy about is that many people who have acquired pieces initially didn't know who did them. In fact, the farther they've been from any connection to KISS - those pieces are the ones that have been best received. Certainly being famous has given me an opportunity that others might not have, but ultimately people decide whether or not they like what you're doing."

Much of Stanley's art is associated with the Abstract Expressionist work of the late 1940's and 1950's. Some critics have said they can see the influences of artists such as Kandisky, Monrian, Malevitch, Paul Klee, and Mark Rothko in his pieces. When asked about the artists whom he believes influenced his work three names instantly come up - Picasso, Rothko, and Rembrandt.

"There's so many brilliant artists around that there's no shortage of great art, but you'll never be able to argue with Picasso," he said. "He's just the embodiment of creativity. What he did was staggering! What I love about him is that people sometimes snicker that two eyes are on one side of the head and nonsense like that, but the fact is that Picasso knew all the rules before he discounted them. Everything he did was based on a firm grasph and a firm foundation in real technique. Mark Rothko was incredible in his simplicity and emotion. Rembrandt was just amazing."

In addition to his abstract work, Stanley has created a set of paintings for each of the members of KISS. He says he created them because he thought the band's fans would enjoy them. Even decades later, the band is still one of the most popular rock and roll groups. The Internet is loaded with fan sites for the band and for individual band members and fans have no shortage of KISS fan magazines to pick up. It's amazing that the band is now reaching out to third and fourth generation fans like Paul's own son Evan who was born in 1994. Evan recently picked up the guitar and is a natural according to his father.

"It's incredible because he's almost too good," said Paul. "To hear a 12-year-old playing Jimi Hendrix - especially when he's yours - is pretty cool!"

Talent obviously runs in the Stanley family. Who knows? Maybe we have another Star Child in our midst...



For more by this author, click here






Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series Presents "The Erotic as Power: Sexuality and the Black Experience"
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The erotic is often seen as a realm of oppression and danger. But, as Audre Lorde argued 40 years ago, it also contains the potential for empowerment and struggle. This tension will be explored as the 39th annual Marion Thompson Wright (MTW) Lecture Series brings together eminent scholars and performers to examine the poltical and social lives of the erotic in the African American experience.
West Windsor Arts Council presents Faculty Student Show
(PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ) -- Every day students of all ages come to the West Windsor Arts Center to expand their knowledge and experiment with art and creativity. Whether they are adults or children, they take classes in order to try something new or hone their skills by learning from some of the best teaching artists in the region. Classes are offered in many artistic media including painting, drawing, and sculpting as well as fashion design, photography and the literary and performing arts. The annual Faculty Student Show aims to provide the experience of submitting and preparing their work for a professional exhibition as well.
Monmouth University Hosts Artist Talk with Sherrill Roland about "The Jumpsuit Project"
(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University will host artist Sherrill Roland  on Tuesday, January 29 at 4:30pm in Wilson Hall Auditorium, to discuss his socially engaged artwork The Jumpsuit Project — that he uses to ignite conversations around issues related to mass incarceration.
Art House Productions Presents 13th Annual Snow Ball Gala
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Join Art House Productions and presenting sponsor SILVERMAN for their 13th Annual Snow Ball Gala on Saturday, January 26th, 2018 from 7:00pm- 12:00am with VIP beginning at 6:00pm (Snow date: Saturday, February 2nd) at Art House’s location at the Cast Iron Lofts, 262 17th St, Jersey City, NJ.  This year’s Snow Ball features live music from Cook Thugless ("Cook Thugless are one of the coolest bands in New Jersey." -Bob Makin, My Central Jersey), live and silent auctions from Grandstand Sports, including sports memorabilia, local art pieces, and exclusive weekend getaways.
Palette ArtSpace Presents "Cold Pop!" with Robert Piersanti and Faustine Badrichani
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Palette ArtSpace presents "Cold Pop!" by Robert Piersanti, now through January 27. The exhibit brings a touch of summer to a cold January with paintings of mermaids, surfers and more. Piersant's work features 1950s and 1960s pop culture with locals as subjects. He's shown work from the local area to Miami and Milan.  The exhibit also features new paintings of women by Faustine Badrichani, a French artist in New York who has shown at Palette previously. Admission to the gallery is free and open to the public.


Inside New Jersey Stage Magazine Issue 54
(BELMAR, NJ) -- The latest issue of New Jersey Stage magazine contains something for every arts fan.  Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, John Oates, is the cover story in an issue packed with music, film, theatre, and art coverage.  The issue is available for free at www.NJArtsMag.com 
Nick Kiefer In Iceland
Nick Kiefer is an award winning graphic designer and photographer based out of Asbury Park, NJ. He is currently the Art Director at Netwave Interactive - a branding and advertising agency in Point Pleasant. NJ. Nick has also been designing and photographing in the NJ music scene for more than half his life. He has designed dozens of record covers and gig posters for local musicians in the Asbury Park area. After a heavy year packed with work, he and his fiancé Kristina, decided to roam around Iceland for a few weeks back in October of 2018. Here are some photos from the trip.
Peter Max Remembers Frank Sinatra
(HOBOKEN, NJ) -- As fans of Frank Sinatra across the world remember the legendary entertainer on what would have been his 103th birthday (December 12th), pop artist Peter Max provides a series of portraits of 'Ol' Blue Eyes' at different points throughout his career. Max, with a 5 decades-long career of his own, created these signature, vibrantly colored portraits, working with the Sinatra family to celebrate the Sinatra Centennial in 2015. They remain a fan favorite at gallery shows across the country.
Jerry Gant 1961-2018
Jerry, There is no bio that will seem complete for you. Where would it be listed, amongst your numerous and diverse accomplishments, that you talked to people, always seemed to find time for the younger artists, to talk to them and look at their sketchbooks? Your use of language as a material, testing limits, associations, and possibilities.
PODCAST: An Artist Asks "The 20 Most Important Scientific Questions Of The 21st Century"
In this podcast, we speak with them about art, activism and how women invented Postmodernism. “The 20 Most Important Scientific Questions of the 21st Century” runs through December 14th at Douglass Library.






Event calendar
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019


MUSIC


Open Mic Night! @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 7:30pm


THEATRE

"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm


KIDS

AMERICAN GIRL LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

View all events
























New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.