Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted was recently interviewed about his art exhibition, "Rawk - The Art of Jason Newsted", which is underway at the Cultural Council in Lake Worth, Florida. Check out the chat in two parts below.
The exhibition was co-curated by Nick Korniloff, executive vice president, founder and director of Art Miami and founder of the prestigious Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art fair, and Nichole Hickey, manager of artist services at the Cultural Council.
Asked what rocks more, art or metal, Newsted said: "Right now, as I'm starting this, it's pretty new and the crowds haven't been as big yet. [Laughs] It's gonna be tough to get 80,000 people in this gallery.
"The energy and the exchange in live music, especially when it's music that you sink your teeth into and people are really into it… The deal is the crowd is the show and the band is the entertainment," he continued. "So at heavy shows, the crowd is nuts — the exchange of energy.
"I'm on my own here; I'm not on a team or in a band, so I'm in a solo project trying to push out [some of] that energy. But I can't do a direct exchange with the people like I did when I was playing the music; they have to come up and look at the picture and then get my energy. So that's quite a bit different. So for right now, metal's louder, but the art is very intriguing for me."
Jason began painting in 2005, after a series of shoulder injuries and subsequent surgeries left him unable to play his instrument. The work began as a hobby, and it wasn't until a year later that he considered showcasing the results.
Some of Newsted's paintings now go for tens of thousands of dollars. "Most of my work is abstract, mixed-media," he said in a 2013 interview. "Giant pictures about five by ten feet; plastic and acrylic. I also do some sculpture. I have eight or nine hundred pieces since 2004 and have studios in three different cities across the country. Some of my pieces go for maybe $150 for a little picture and some are $40,000 for a giant one. So there's something for everyone." Newsted said he was very influenced by Basquiat, Jean Dubuffet and Picasso. "Those guys are my BLACK SABBATH, MOTÖRHEAD and RUSH of painting," he said.
"Rawk – The Art Of Jason Newsted" will be on display at the Cultural Council galleries through February 3.