STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Wentworth Galleries — now there’s two names you probably wouldn’t expect to see together.
Michael Cartellone, the classic rock band’s drummer since 1998, has actually been painting longer than he’s been drumming. Russell Brand and Peter Frampton are among the celebrities that have purchased his work.
In fact, Cartellone’s downtime on tour with Skynyrd is typically spent painting. “I learned I could make productive use of that time. I’ve been carrying art supplies with me on tour for at least 10 years,” he said. Cartellone added that “a fair amount” of his painting “The Thinker 1886” — which
places a two-dimensional version of the familiar Auguste Rodin sculptural figure in the foreground of Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte” — was done while on concert tour.
Wentworth Galleries in the King of Prussia Mall presents “Michael Cartellone: A Legacy of Origin,” an exhibition and sale of more than 70 originals and limited editions, on Jan. 15. Cartellone — who was also the drummer for the band Damn Yankees — will make an appearance from 1 to 4 p.m.
Another highlight of the collection is “The Four Davids,” four-foot by four-foot paintings of the face of the Michelangelo statue done in the style of Van Gogh, Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. That covers almost a century of art history, by the way.
“I have two paintings specifically for King of Prussia. I’m excited about these paintings because it’s gonna get a lot of attention,” Cartellone said, revealing that they were of the signs at Philadelphia cheesesteak landmarks Pat’s and Geno’s.
Connecting with his 35 cousins in Sicily inspired Cartellone to paint “Bronte” and other Italian themed works.
Describing his artwork style as eclectic, because it includes landscapes, portraits, photographic realism, pop art and rock album cover art, Cartellone is also meticulous and studious when it comes to
performing the signature songs of Lynyrd Skynyrd that were originally recorded with drummers Bob Burns and Artimus Pyle. “When you play a song like ‘Freebird’ or ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ the audience knows how that’s supposed to sound. As a musician, you need to know when to leave it alone,” he said.
“When the band travels overseas, we see how much people seem to have this hunger for classic American rock ‘n’ roll. It feels, to me, like an American concert until you hear people singing back to you in an accent.”
If you’re planning to attend, you should RSVP to (610) 337-8988.
For more, visit www.michaelcartellone.com.