Kurt Cobain's artwork could soon be part of a traveling exhibition, according to the New York Times. Jeff Jampol of Jampol Artist Management is reportedly working with Kurt Cobain's daughter Frances Bean Cobain and his widow, Courtney Love, on a touring art show that would feature the Nirvana frontman's artwork. Courtney Love signed over the rights to Kurt Cobain's name and likeness to their daughter Frances in 2010.Jampol teased that the exhibition will feature "Kurt's works and his art and his possessions."
Even diehard Kurt Cobain fans may not realize the late singer left behind canvas artworks, pieces that Jampol says will be "relevant for centuries.""He's got some amazing canvases that a lot of the world has never seen or even heard of," Jampol said of Cobain.
Kurt Cobain's work has been exhibited in various forms in the years since his death. A documentary about his life, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, was released last year, and it featured many of his scrawling and doodles, including paintings of a scared koala and a burning house.In addition, The Experience Music Project in Seattle previously showcased over 200 Nirvana-related items in the Nirvana "Taking Punk to the Masses" exhibit.
While Kurt Cobain was best known for his music, he was also a visual artist and the man behind the Nirvana record covers. Cobain also dabbled in paintings, drawings, and sculptures, but some of his works are better known than others. According to Rolling Stone, Kurt Cobain designed the controversial plastic-fetus collage on the back cover of Nirvana's In Utero album which ultimately got the record banned by Wal-Mart.Cobain was even offered an art scholarship to be used after high school, but he passed on it (and his senior year of school) and began working as a sometime roadie for the local punk band the Melvins so he could devote his time to his music.
Robert Hunter, Kurt Cobain's high school art teacher, gave an interview to Artspan, revealing the future rock star was enrolled in basic and commercial art classes in his sophomore and junior years at Aberdeen High School, but that some of that work can still be seen at the EMP Museum in Seattle.
"Kurt loved art," Hunter said. "He was a prolific drawer even after he left high school. His style was somewhat of hard-edge realism with a strong cartoonish bent to it. "Hunter said Cobain was mostly quiet in art class, but he enjoyed working with him using the airbrush.
"He seemed to delight in making colorful 'spider' forms by spraying compressed air at blobs of ink," Hunter said. "He also had a distinct fetish for drawing Smurfs. He must have drawn hundreds of these, seen attacking each other with spears and bows and arrows. Most of Kurt's portfolio was made up of black and white drawings (ink or graphite). The few color pieces he completed were complementary colors, with red/green being favored by him. "
One thing that Kurt Cobain did even in his high school years was to infuse music with art. Hunter said Kurt would often "provide a running commentary/critique of rock music being played on a local Aberdeen station."
"His comments could be extremely sarcastic and negative," Hunter recalled. "At times like this I had to remind him of the alternative–no music at all! Overall, Kurt and I had a positive, creative relationship. We both had similar interests: music and art. His skills as a young artist were awesome; he could draw very well, plan and complete critique."Kurt Cobain is the latest late music legend to be featured in a Jampol show. Past shows include works by the Doors, Janis Joplin, the Ramones, and Otis Redding. There is no date set for the tour to begin, but stay tuned.
Take a look at the video below to see some of Kurt Cobain's rarely seen artwork.[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]