Joe Satriani is the world’s most commercially successful solo guitar performer, with six gold and platinum discs to his credit and sales in excess of 10 million copies. He is also an accomplished artist as well and he will be showcasing his work this Saturday at the Wentworth Gallery in Atlantic City and Sunday at King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Satriani called me on New Jersey 101.5 to discuss.

"It's a crazy thing, doing artwork. I mean, after spending so many years around the world on stages, just playing my guitar, I finally get to display my artwork, stuff I used to,  just have at home and show my friends or scare my friends with," he quips.

"It's an acquired taste. I tell people, about my subject matter, but I really love it. I've been drawing and painting since I was a little kid. And, I've gotten this opportunity to expand my horizons and my artistic desires."

How did you connect with the Wentworth Gallery?

"I met them through the scene for art collective in LA. We're doing these really unusual time-lapse photography of guys like Chad Smith and the Chili Peppers, the drummer from Black Sabbath, and just crazy artwork. And I, on a break from this photo session, I showed them some of my artwork and they thought, well, this is definitely crazy. Get along with this guy."

"So we started this association, they introduced me to Christian (O'Mahony) at Wentworth Gallery, and Christian really has been a great supporter and let me paint all kinds of things. So I'm painting real guitars that you can play and I'll actually be playing them this weekend for the people at the gallery. I paint all sizes, canvases, and, you know anywhere from the American flag to the strangest-looking aliens you've ever seen."

attachment-“Offset Alien in Color Field #1” - Joe Satriani

"It's really hard. I mean, I grew up the youngest of five kids, and my older sisters are art artists themselves, and you know, they have degrees in fine art. I wound up marrying an artist as well. And my wife has a degree in graphic arts, my son wound up getting an art degree as well as a film degree."

"So I've grown up around these artists who are truly gifted at the kind of art that we've seen for many years, all the way from advertisements to the classics you see in museums, and then there's me."

"I have been a musician since I've been 9 years old. And I've been in a rock band since I was 14. And that's my main thing. I just love that. And I pour that attitude into every canvas that I do."

"So I'm not looking to be very representational, let's say, with the art. I'm really interested in bringing the inner feeling of my subject ... whether it's a self-portrait or somebody that I've interacted with, or somebody I'm imagining or making up, or even a place, let's say if I'm trying to conjure up what some place in outer space might look like."

attachment-“4th of July Shortcake Guitar” - Joe Satriani

"I leave the outer space realism to NASA. So I'm not competing with that. And I certainly don't compete with fantastic graphic artists who can, you know, paint a face so real you think it's a photograph."

"I try to bring feelings out that people would normally hide or perhaps things that they really feel. But they don't want other people to know about it. And I find that fascinating because that's kind of like how a musician writes songs. I know my audience may not want to talk about it, but they should. So I'm gonna write a song about it. And then we can all experience that feeling together. And that kind of cathartic process is good for the artist and the audience. I think because it makes us face our fears and remembers all the great things, all the funny things that happened in life."

Joe Satriani will be featuring his art this Saturday, March 11 from 6-9 at the Wentworth Gallery at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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