25 Mar George Clinton on Painting, P-Funk and His Artistic Legacy – New York Times
The artist’s influence is indisputably far-reaching. When asked about his own inspirations, he cites Lauren Halsey, as well as Fab Five Freddy and ancient Egypt.
By M.H. Miller – The New York Times
George Clinton has been ahead of his time for most of his life, and he knows it. In the early ’70s, he began refining his artistic vision — one that combined elements of blues, R&B, gospel and immersive science fiction imagery into something altogether different from anything that had come before — with the musical collective Parliament-Funkadelic, which he formed and lead. “I knew then that I was doing something I would have to explain 20 years later,” Clinton told me on a recent phone call, speaking from his home in Tallahassee, Fla.
In more recent years, Clinton has become a crusader for artists’ rights, as well as a prolific visual artist himself. P-Funk always had a rich iconography thanks to the artists Pedro Bell and Overton Loyd, who designed many of the collective’s album covers. (Bell’s artwork for the 1973 Funkadelic record “Cosmic Slop” still looks as if it landed on earth from a distant, much more enjoyable planet than our own.) Sometime in the 1980s, taking a cue from Bell and Loyd, Clinton began doodling when he’d sign autographs, and he started doing more serious paintings in the 1990s. He’d sold a few works by the turn of the century, but at the onset of the pandemic — which led to the cancellation of a planned tour and left him, at least for a time, without much to do — he took refuge in his art studio. “I felt good doing it,” he said, “and I started getting something out of it, until it actually felt almost like making the records. I was up early, at 7 o’clock in the morning, and couldn’t wait to get to the art room and spend all my money on canvases.” If he ran out of canvases, he’d paint bird houses instead. “Anything that I could paint on,” he said. (Last year, he had solo shows, curated by Spring McManus Art Advisory, in New Orleans and Miami, roughly coinciding with Clinton’s 80th birthday.)
Read more about George Clinton’s artistic legacy and visual artwork at The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/10/t-magazine/george-clinton-art.html