If you ever went to Gibson Guitar Town on the Sunset Strip last year and saw the art installations of the 10-foot Gibson Les Paul model guitars, those are now on display at Bonhams Auction House here in Los Angeles.
This year artists include, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, tattoo artist Kat Von D, multi-media painter Tsipi Mani, artist The Wizard, tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle, mosaic artist Juliana Martinez, visual artist Simone Gad, sculpture artist Eugene Daub, street artist Gregory Siff, paint artist Stacey Wells, musician Ajax Garcia, poster artist Danny Excess, and jewelry designer Kathy Rose.
Kathy Rose’s design utilized unique materials including sea shells from around the world, gold leaf, diamonds, rubies, buffalo shells, diamondback rattle snakeskin, and a rock from the sea of Galilee to create her designs. “It was such a spiritual journey for me, as a jewelry designer. This just all of a sudden poured out, and her (Alanis Morissette) song (Utopia) really channeled all of that perfectly, all these different pieces are my heart and soul to what utopia might be,” said Rose. It clearly shows; the piece is intricate and fine detailed.
Another colourful piece is Simone Gad’s collage of “Doloy Parton and the Sunset Towers”, commissioned by Leslie Elwood from Guitar Land. As one one the last standing Art Deco buildings, the Sunset Towers are a featured subject. “I always loved the Sunset Towers and I went there as a teenager, it was cathartic for me to make this painting, so it’s a very personal piece. I wanted to preserve Dolly Parton earlier cause that’s more of the style I work with as a visual artist,” said Gad.
Mosaic Artist Juliana Martinez created a tile and mixed media piece titled, “Don Jose, Que Chevere!”, as the only artists to do more than one guitar for guitar town, Ms. Martinez did this peice for Jose Feliciano and it, “features everything that is really famous in Puerto Rico from the flambount flowers, to the watch tower, dominos which is the game everyone plays, and there’s even Jose Felicianos name in braille. It’s just everything that represents Puerto Rico which is where Don Jose is from.”
Walking the gallery floor one Sunset Strip rocker comes to mind and that’s Alice Cooper. Canadian artist Stacey Wells was commissioned for this piece and stated that what she loved about the strip was, …”the cool rocker look, the funky clothes, and of course the music, and thought that Alice Cooper just really represented the Sunset Strip perfectly. He’s such a hard worker and gives killer performances, I just saw him recently and it was amazing.” I asked her how long the piece, which was entirely created with acrylic paint, took her. “Well, I live in Canada so I had to come down, so I had five days. I had to collect all the supplies and get someone to drive it up to Palm Springs for me and I did it there.” By looking at the piece, one would imagine it taking a lot longer than a typical work week!
Also on display were photographer Robert Landau’s Sunset Billboard photographs. Taken during the 70’s and 80’s, rock n’ roll advertising was littered with artistic billboards featuring everyone from Randy Newman, Eddie Money, Rod Stewart and the Beatles (when Paul’s billboard’s head got cut off, it only furthered the Paul is dead rumor.)
On Friday, these pieces of art work along with nine others will be auctioned off to benefit Music For Relief, a non-profit organization that provides disaster relief aid.
View our photo gallery of the artwork here.