Alexandria Sightings – Paul Stanley : From face paints to canvas


How will you leave your mark on this world after youre gone?

Its a question on par with the whole meaning of life dilemma that we each struggle to solve. By the company that we keep, the family we create, and the profession at which we labor, the answer becomes clearer as the years pass.

For a man like Paul Stanley, lead singer and principal songwriter for the legendary arena rock band KISS, its a puzzle that many would believe has been solved. A visionary and trend setter for more than 30 years, Stanleys indelible strokes shroud the entire popular music genre, with his infusion of theatrical precision and artistic flare in the early 1970s helping to morph the concept of the modern concert into a true stage spectacle.

Yet, this 55 year old former city kid from Manhattan still feels like he has enough untapped creativity to leave his impression on another form of artistic endeavor.
About six years ago, I was going through a divorce, recounts Stanley in a recent telephone interview, and one of my best friends told me that I needed to paint.  It was as simple as that you should paint. 

So, I went out and bought some canvas and other supplies, which is something I had never done even though I was an art major [and graduate of the prestigious high school of Music and Art in New York City]Something in that really resonated with me. It was such a cathartic experience; a healthy and therapeutic outlet at that time.

Another level
After hanging his first piece in his living room and having both friends and business acquaintances asking about the artists identity and how they could buy additional pieces, the former Stanley Eisen realized that he was connecting to people again on a different emotional level. This re-energized visual passion eventually led to a full collection of work, currently being presented at the Wentworth Gallery located within Tysons Galleria, where Stanley will be making a personal appearance this Saturday, June 23, from 6-9 p.m. (call 703-883-0111 to RSVP if interested in attending this event).

But, why did Stanley take this new personal venture to such a public level? Wouldnt he be opening himself up for criticism and ridicule, being labeled by the uninformed as a heavy metal singer who has a quaint but profitable hobby?

You know, I think we sell ourselves short if we dont explore all of the outlets were capable of venturing into.  I think its important to not get intimidated by certain challenges that life presents.  Thats why I titled my last solo musical project [the 2006 release] Live to Win.  Its sort of a motto for my life, because even if you struggle and fail to achieve something, youve really won because at least you tired to do it.

As for the cynics who question if his more abstract expressions can be considered professional, Paul Stanley has a fairly pointed response.

I hear people all the time, after looking at some work that either I or some other artist has done, state that its too simple; that they could do that. Well, I got two words for them try it.