Art and Food Exhibit p. 10
Volume 3, Issue 24 • Nov. 25–Dec. 8, 2011 • San Diego Uptown News Grace Slick feeds your head
SDUN: How did your painting career get started?
Peace by Grace Slick
After living with a friend who was bi-polar and refused to take medication, Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick began to draw animals to help with the sadness she felt. This led to a thriving painting career that will bring her to San Diego on Dec. 3 for her “420 Col- lection.” She spoke with San Diego Uptown News about the collection, the “original guys” and medical marijuana.
GS: …I thought what a waste of a brilliant mind and it made me sad so I started drawing pictures animals, cause animals make me happy and a book agent, I was doing an autobiography at the time, a book agent said, ‘oh, why don’t’ you draw some rock and roll people for the book’ and I said no, that’s too cute. Oh, rock and roll draws rock and roll isn’t that cute. She said just do two so I said okay so I did, I don’t know, Hendrix and, who else, Jerry Garcia, and I found I actually liked it, cause I could bring out what I saw in their personali- ties or their persona, whichever one I was doing. I enjoyed it, so my accountant, oddly enough, introduced me to an art agent and it got started from there. But basically the impetus was making myself happy by drawing animals (laughs).
SDUN: Do you still experience painting as something that makes you happy, or is it work at this point?
know, none of that, but any of the arts, I’ll pass. I’m not a genius, but I don’t suck either.
SDUN: How do you balance the privacy and intimacy of painting with the publicity of showcasing your work?
GS: Well I’m sort of used to it, because of rock and roll. Rock and roll is a very, well you have people all over the place, on the stage, in the audience, doing interviews, television, you know, so I’m used to that. And I don’t mind it, I like it…
Grace Slick. (Photo by Robert Knight)
GS: No, no, no. Even when I’m told what to draw – cause 50 percent of what I do comes out of my strange mind and the other 50 percent is what my agent knows will sell – I don’t mind being told what to do; it’s kind of a challenge. It never would have occurred to me to draw a lamp for instance, too boring, but I think ‘okay, how do you make a lamp interesting’ you know, it’s something you can chew on, so I don’t mind any of it. But, if they said I’m sorry you can’t draw anymore, ever, I’d say okay, fine, I’ll be a set designer. I’m sorry, you cant be a set designer, okay, I’ll be a writer. I can do any of the arts I don’t really care which one it is. Except for dancing, I’m a klutz, but apart from dancing, I can probably support myself very well with the arts. You don’t want me doing your accounting, you don’t want me building rockets, you don’t want me doing brain surgery, you
SDUN: How do you feel about the 420 Collection?
GS: [Marijuana is] something that we’ve all known for a long time because we’re all drug 60s people, and the pharmaceuticals, I’m not putting them down be- cause a lot of them do marvelous things… there are a lot that are really good, it’s a crap shoot be- cause more people are addicted to prescription drugs than the street drugs. And they have side effects, as you know, because if you watch any television they’ll have ads for something that will cure a hangnail but you’re liable to get a heart attack. I mean, it’s just insane, the reactions you get from these pharmaceuticals are so violent and marijuana does not have that.
It’s the mildest of all the
drugs and it helps about 15 different kinds of unpleasant- ness that people have physi- cally. It helps cancer patients eat because they get sick with the
Pot Luck by Grace Slick
chemotherapy, it helps anorexics eat because they cant, [and] it helps some people with certain kinds of pain. I mean its really an amazing drug with, the biggest side effect probably is that you might want a brownie…
SDUN: How does this collec- tion convey that?
GS: Well it has – I made up a superhero – a bunny. He’s a rescue bunny, and he has a cape and everything like superheroes do and he has a picture of a marijuana leaf on it and its green and he flies around and hands a joint to a various people, one little girl is in bed, another one has several pictures of people who would benefit from mari- juana and its just, one of them has a picture of them flying with his briefcase with a marijuana leaf on it into Washington D.C., so he’s going to sort of lobby, I guess for marijuana being made legal. So there’s this theme with the super bunny.
SDUN: Why did you choose the issue of marijuana to focus your art? I know you’ve been active with a lot of other causes, such as animal test- ing, so why is marijuana the focus?
GS: I mean I’m interested in all kinds of different things… I’m working on, well, I’m not necessarily a Christian, I’m not an anything, but I’m working on a picture of Jesus right now. I like all the original guys, in other words, Buddha, Muhammad, Je- sus, Moses, the original guys, all had wonderful things to say, and then as soon as they died, people start screwing up their message or interpreting their message they way they want it be inter- preted… But I like all the original guys and their message is all the same, it just happens to be in different languages… So right now, I’m drawing Jesus, I’m may do a Buddha I may do Muham- mad. I think [I’ll do] Muhammad looking at what’s going on right now with a sad look on his face, you know, same thing with a lot of these original guys, to just look down and go ‘oh my god’, that’s
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