This year marks the 50th year that The Rolling Stones have graced stages, album covers, T-shirts, and our collective consciousness the world over, thereby making them the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s band with the all-time greatest longevity on record. Fifty years is a long time to be in show business. And 50 years of mega-superstardom — in a business that is inherently already about stardom — is an experience that few of us mortals can imagine.
Luckily, German artist Sebastian Krüger has been painting portraits of the Stones for a long time — on huge canvases that depict the epic scale of their personalities and presences. Krüger met the band early in his artistic career and quickly became both a friend and a lifelong fan. He was, according to his biography, “obsessed with the look of the band, and especially with Keith Richards’ face.” Though Krüger has painted many celebrities’ mugs over the years (particularly those of interesting-faced male celebrities like Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, and Clint Eastwood), the abiding heart and bulk of his work belongs to The Rolling Stones.
Whether or not you throw down a (sizable) wad of cash for tickets to The Rolling Stones’ upcoming “50 & Counting” shows at the Oracle Arena (May 5) or HP Pavilion (May 8), check out this selection of Krüger’s amazing portraits, which portray the changing landscapes of the Stones’ craggy faces over some 50 years and counting. All images via the artist’s website.