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Rockin' Art Star Comeback: Tico Torres

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


With the recent release of Bon Jovi's eleventh studio album and his first solo exhibit in 12 years, Tico Torres is riding the comeback wave to South Florida.

Tico Torres, drummer of New Jersey’s finest band, Bon Jovi, has been painting for longer than he’s been playing music. For his first show in 12 years, Torres teamed with the MAC Art Group during Art Basel week for a spectacular showing of his latest collection entitled “Many Faces,” of which proceeds benefit the Tico Torres Children Foundation. Before his “Many Faces” premiere, Tico, looking fly in all black, chatted with MIAMI about his art, his music and the combination therein.

On his art: [I started painting when I was] five-years-old. My mother bought me some clay and the first thing I made was a caveman. And then I had a little paint set and just started painting.

On the Cuban influences in his art: If there is, it’s only what I got from my family, there was always Latin music being played [at home]. But as for the colors I use in my art: TV was in black and white, so colors were something special to me. I don’t know if that has something to do subliminally, but I always wanted to paint everything in a lot of colors.

On living in South Florida: I like it. It’s a better quality of life—you wake up and there are palm trees everywhere. New York City is great, but you miss that. The Wynwood district reminds me of Soho… it’s got that grit to it. It’s special, how Soho used to be.

On his music: [I started] drumming when I was 14-years-old quite by accident. My cousin was a classical guitarist and we’d jam together. When I was about 16-years-old, I was hanging out with a horn band and some friends of mine, it was show time and there were about 300 people waiting and he said, “get up there and play.” I had half a drumstick and a pair of pliers, and I played three songs with a 16-piece band. I was like, “this is awesome!”

On Bon Jovi’s new album, The Circle: I love it; it’s one of our best pieces. We did it in eight or nine months. We were really supposed to do a greatest-hits [album] and add three songs… but there was a lot to talk about. I can listen to it from beginning to end and not say, “that song shouldn’t be there.” This is the best record we could make at the time.

On the connection between art and music: It’s pretty much like when you’re playing in a jazz band, you play the head and then everyone kind of goes in their own direction. Well, art is totally that—there are no confines except for the actual canvas or piece size, and there’s every color. You should never set a limit, like “you can never use these colors because they don’t work with this.” That’s wrong. You know, if you make a mistake as a musician and you do it twice, it’s not a mistake.


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I am and always have been a Bon Jovi fan. This blog is just my obsession taken a step further, my imagination in high gear if you will. I love to read and decided to see what would happen when I took that love of the written word and ramped it up a bit.

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