The Temptations proclaimed, “Poppa was a rolling stone.” Blues maestro Muddy Waters told folks that he was a rollin’ stone. But little did he know when he recorded that tune for Chess Records in 1950 that the title would be the moniker for one of the most iconic and successful groups of the 20th century. Known as the first bad boys of rock ‘n roll and complete with a “g” on the end, The Rolling Stones formed in 1962 when then guitarist and founding member the late Brian Jones christened the name while setting up a gig. Little did he, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman or Ian Stewart know that they would help to cement the British Invasion of the 60s as well as become some of the architects of rock ‘n roll.
Fifty years later, amid a few changes in bandmates, The Rolling Stones are just as relevant and popular as they ever were. And as the band and their throngs of fans worldwide commemorate the legacy of music The Rolling Stones has created, it was Porter Contemporary that had me in its sway. Last Thursday the gallery gave its own homage to the group that ranked number 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists when it debuted, A Rolling Stone. The exhibition is not only a celebration for the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones, it also inspired by the proverb, “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” (a sentiment that perfectly exemplifies the career and members of The Rolling Stones). Displayed in A Rolling Stone are the works of Jason Bryant, Jennifer Murray, Johnny Romeo, Adam Normandin, JaH-HaHa and Naoto Hattori. The show is concise and cohesive; the 10 pieces selected for the exhibit are a beautiful representation of the individual artists’ style as well as the theme of the show. JaH-HaHa’s paintings feature a young Mick Jagger and Keith Richards atop sheets of music. Jason Bryant created works based on The Rolling Stones’ iconic album Sticky Fingers, while Jennifer Murray’s work showcased the proverb.
The merging of music and art has always been a particular source of inspiration and enjoyment for me. Wild horses couldn’t drag me away from seeing this exhibit, considering that I’m a huge admirer of The Stones. Well curated, reflections of each member’s personality are inherent throughout the space. But out of all the members, A Rolling Stone reminds me most of Charlie Watts, understated but with a driving back beat that is intrinsic and entrancing, A Rolling Stone will be on exhibit until May 26. I recommend going to see it; I guarantee you will leave satisfied.
Formerly Raandesk Gallery, Porter Contemporary is located in Chelsea section of the Village at 548 West 28th Street and is open Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Photos courtesy of Porter Contemporary
Slideshow by F.A.M.E NYC Editor