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Posted: November 29, 2018

Ric Ocasek of The Cars talks about his Atlanta abstract art presentation

Ric Ocasek

Kaedy and the AJC’s Melissa Ruggieri spoke with the Cars founder Ric Ocasek about his Atlanta art presentation at the Wentworth Gallery at Phipps Plaza from 6-8pm this Saturday, December 1, 2018. Click here to RSVP

Hear Ric talk with the girls about his artwork, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year with the Cars and his starting the band with the late Benjamin Orr back in the ‘70s in Boston.

“Art is a way to release tension and to organize my thoughts. It’s something I do while pondering an outcome. The drawings start with a shape and explode from there.” Ric Ocasek

Artwork at Wentworth Gallery is available for acquisition and all appearances are open to the public. Ric Ocasek will make a special appearance Saturday, December 1st, 2018 from 6-8 p.m., and admission for all registered guests is complimentary. RSVP’s are strongly suggested.

“The process of drawing is the same as writing a song. They both start with a blank page.” Ric Ocasek

Ric Ocasek is an artist, musician and writer, perhaps best known as guitarist and songwriter for The Cars and music producer for bands such as No Doubt, Nada Surf, Weezer, Suicide and Bad Brains.

Ocasek has been creating art since his youth and unwinds by making abstract drawings, spending much of his time creating pen and pencil drawings, photo collages, and mixed media paintings. “I’ve been drawing for most of my life. It’s like thinking on paper,” he says. For Ocasek, music and art go hand in hand, considering his art as a kind of visual music, produced through a similar creative process. He says, “The process of drawing is the same as writing a song. They both start with a blank page.”

Like music, Ocasek’s artwork encompasses elements of rhythm, harmony and dynamics. He creates art as an escape, each piece emerging as a “transient daydream” or diversion as he works in his studio, passes time on airplanes or simply sits in a quiet spot. Self-described as colorful, abstract and unconscious, the artwork is an extension of himself—a collection of “self-portraits.” 

“I do canvases with acrylics, but my main medium is drawing on paper, mostly with colored markers,” says Ocasek. “Art is a way to release tension and to organize my thoughts. It’s something I do while pondering an outcome. The drawings start with a shape and explode from there.”

Ocasek likes all kinds of art, but is particularly attracted to Pop Art, and has a deep passion for taking photographs. Like the music of his beloved rock band The Cars, his drawings are unabashedly pop—and yet unlike his music’s super sleek veneer, these works are a bit more raw and unedited, revealing meditative moments of a Zen-like drawing practice. Ocasek’s spontaneous, rhythmic mark-making is completely musical and explores repetition and patterns with psychedelic colors and sinuous lines. 

As for Ocasek’s own role in the art world, he says, “I’d make work, whether I showed it or not. I see art everywhere; it doesn’t have to be a museum or a gallery. Art is a frame of mind.”



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