KISS Rocker Gene Simmons Debuts His Art in First Ever Gallery in Las Vegas

by Taylor Cunningham
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Gene Simmons is making a jump from rock artist to paint and sketch artist. And he debuted his work this weekend.

During COVID lockdowns, Gene Simmons started going stir crazy. So he set up an easel and tried his hand at painting. He seemed to have a natural talent, so he kept at it. And after creating around 50 works of art, he took them to a Gallery in Las Vegas. But from the start, he’s been winging it.

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” he admitted to PEOPLE. “I didn’t even know you’re supposed to name the paintings.” 

The singer just needed to pass the time while he rode out the pandemic.

“I just wanted to stay sane,” he continued. “I didn’t know you were supposed to have a style, and I didn’t do anything except try to keep my mind busy. So the art is more stream of consciousness. ” 

As he stood in the Venetian gallery, fans swarmed through the doors and dropped tens of thousands of dollars on his paintings and sketches. Some of the paintings sold for over $245,000, which surprised Simmons. He didn’t think his work was worthy.

 “I never considered myself a painter. I never considered myself much of anything. You’re talking to the least qualified person you’d ever meet.”

Once lockdowns ended, Gene Simmons returned to his first love—the stage. Because of that, he hasn’t painted in a while. But he told PEOPLE once his tour is over, he plans on picking up the hobby again. But despite earning hundreds of thousands during his debut, he’s not doing it for the money. Simmons just wants to challenge himself.

“I have money,” he said. “It is interesting. Money, for me, has become what champions in the Olympics do. They want to keep improving because they want the judges to hold up a higher number. That’s what it becomes when you don’t have enough food in your belly. You don’t think of it that way, because you just want to feed yourself. It’s a different thing. Once you have enough, a roof over your head and food in your belly and stuff, it’s how much better can I do this? How much more can I do this? More like a contest. It’s different.”

Gene Simmons Listing $15M Las Vegas Estate Months After Selling California Mansion

Gene Simmons has been making some huge life changes lately. And among them are a few changes in residency.

A few months ago, the rocker announced that he was selling his California home and leaving the state altogether. During an interview with the Wall Street Journal Simmons said that his home was too large for his now empty nest and he thinks California’s taxes are out of control.

“California and Beverly Hills have been treating folks that create jobs badly, and the tax rates are unacceptable,” Simmons told the Journal. “I work hard and pay my taxes, and I don’t want to cry the Beverly Hills blues but enough is enough.”

And this week, the Simmons’s listed their Las Vegas mansion. The KISS singer and his wife are settling near Mount Rainier in Washington state.

“There is no income tax, no local, and state taxes,” he told Architectural Digest. “Federal taxes are enough.”

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