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John Mellencamp: The Isolation of Mister, an Exhibition of Paintings in New York

John 51 (2012), Painting by John Mellencamp
John 51 (2012) , Painting by John Mellencamp

Singer-songwriter, actor John Mellencamp first became interested in painting as a child growing up in Seymour, Indiana, influenced by his mother who painted with oils. He first came to New York in the 1970s with the intention of studying painting if his music career aspirations didn’t pan out. He studied at New York City’s Art Students League with portrait painter David Leffel until his music career began to take off in the 1980s. Mellencamp has continued painting throughout his musical career. According to his website, in recent years he has increased his output by completing over 100 new works.

JohnMellencamp’s pieces were shown in 2012 at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville under the title “Nothing Like I Planned: The Art Of John Mellencamp”, in 2013 at the Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio in an exhibition titled “The Paintings Of John Mellencamp”, and more recently The Paintings of John Mellencamp at Museum of Art-DeLand, Florida and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia.

John Mellencamp is now presenting a selection of his paintings at ACA Galleries in New York City. John Mellencamp: The Isolation of Mister will open October 22, 2015 and continue through December 19, 2015.

In a recent interview at, when asked about the title of the new show, The Isolation of Mister, and how it relates this body of work, Mellencamp says the following:

That’s a big question for something that’s not that big of a thing. All the people I paint seem to be occupying the same space but are somehow not in contact with each other. For me, personally, I’ve been in the music business for a long time, and I’m always around a lot of people. I find solitude, safety, and footing in my life by being in my art studio by myself. Part of the reason the exhibition is called that is I have this song “The Isolation of Mister,” on a record called Plain Spoken. I think if you take the time to read the lyrics,  just go online and read the lyrics, what that song says will answer your question.

Sometimes There’s God (2014), Painting by John Mellencamp
Sometimes There’s God (2014), Painting by John Mellencamp

In 1991, John Mellencamp established the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in his birthplace Seymour, Indiana. The mission of the center is: “to provide art education and enjoyment to the surrounding communities, both in a gallery and studio environment and to draw the attention of the state and surrounding states to the area of Jackson County as an art conscious region.” According to their website, “It is John’s desire that the Art Center not be a Mellencamp thing. He furnishes the house and property with the philosophy that if the region wants an art center, it will support it.” The center has one room reserved for John Mellencamp’s paintings.

In 1998 John Mellencamp published a book of his paintings titled Mellencamp: Paintings and Reflections.

For more information about John Mellencamp and to see more images of his artwork visit

Download the song The Isolation Of Mister by John Mellencamp at

Visit the Pop Life Art homepage for links to many more musicians that paint.