DEF LEPPARD drummer Rick Allen, who has been expressing himself in recent years through his artwork, spoke to NJ Arts about his new painting of late DEF LEPPARD guitarist Steve Clark.
The Clark piece is part of the “Legends” series which will also feature Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon.
Allen, who started painting at an early age before he ever picked up the drums, said: “It was so important for me to capture the essence of Steve, and I didn’t want to mess that up, because I will always remember his face in a certain way.
“I work with photographs and I changed the contrast so that I could capture his essence.
“My work is very posterized because of the way that I paint. I can’t really do realism. But when I posterize things, I can really capture something.
“It was a great learning tool in trying to capture Steve‘s face and to get it right. I do feel that the end result was fantastic.”
Asked if the rest of DEF LEPPARD or anyone else close to Steve has seen the painting and weighed in on it, Rick said: “I actually took a snapshot of Steve‘s piece and sent it to my mother. She still keeps in touch with Steve‘s family and took the picture up there to show it to his mom and dad. She said his mom had tears rolling down her cheeks. It wasn’t that I wanted to make her sad or anything, it was more me paying homage to her son, one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known.”
Clark, who co-founded DEF LEPPARD and played with the band for almost 13 years, died in January 1991 from an overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs at his home in London, England.
Rick Allen will showcase his “Art To Wear” jewelry and “Drums For Peace” art collection at two special Wentworth Gallery events this weekend: Saturday January 13 in Short Hills, New Jersey and Sunday January 14 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
This photo shows more of how I put the Steve piece together❤️??? pic.twitter.com/4TL28QDORi
— Rick Allen (@rickallenlive) December 21, 2017