On Monday, March 12, Gibson GuitarTown II will launch on The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood with the unveiling of the first nine 10-foot tall guitar sculptures. The selection includes works from renowned artists Shepard Fairey, Tristan Eaton, Free Humanity, Smog City and DeeKay, and celebrates top musicians, including Van Halen, Rage Against The Machine and Jane’s Addiction, among others.
GIBSON GUITARTOWN ON THE SUNSET STRIP launched in August 2010 featuring more than 20 10-foot tall fiberglass Gibson Les Paul model guitars strategically placed on the legendary Sunset Strip. Each guitar sculpture celebrated a musician, personality or artist unique to The Sunset Strip’s history. As intended, the 24 guitars were auctioned off this past December 2011 after their yearlong “tour” with 100% of the $54,360 in profits going to charity. The public art project is now moving into its second phase with the first nine new guitars–out of more than 20 total–being exclusively unveiled at an invitation-only event hosted by Hornburg Los Angeles on The Sunset Strip at their luxurious Jaguar and Land Rover showroom.
The launch event will also feature a check presentation by legendary guitarist SLASH–who is in the studio finishing his second solo album Apocalyptic Love due out May 22–and his wife Perla Hudson to 2010-11 GuitarTown charity recipient, Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN). LAYN will receive $27,180 from the auction of the previous round of GuitarTown art guitars, which included guitars celebrating Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, The Runaways, Oingo Boingo and Cheech & Chong, among others. SLASH and Perla have worked closely with LAYN–which provides outreach, food, emergency shelter, transitional living and educational enrichment programs for homeless adolescents–for several years. Other organizations to benefit from the auction proceeds include West Hollywood Arts & Cultural Affairs Commission to further support public art and artists on The Sunset Strip and the West Hollywood Library.
“We were thrilled with the results of the first round of GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip and are excited to extend the public art project for another year,” noted Sunset Strip Business Association Executive Director Todd Steadman. “The new round of guitars features a mix of important cultural themes while also celebrating artists that were influential to the boulevard, including Buffalo Springfield, Van Halen, Jane’s Addiction and Rage Against The Machine.”
The Sunset Strip Business Association, which is presenting the project in conjunction with Gibson, plans to unveil additional art guitars later this spring. All art guitars will be created by local and nationally recognized artists and will celebrate people and places that have shaped The Strip. As with the first exhibit, these guitars will eventually be auctioned with proceeds benefiting charity.
The initial round of 2012 guitars will be on display to the public beginning March 13. The full list of guitars included in the initial launch includes:
- Tristan Eaton, “Moms Not Bombs”: This painted guitar celebrates the artist’s mom, Gillian Eaton, an actress in the Royal Shakespeare Company. The guitar also references The Sunset Strip, which was the birthplace for the artist. (“Moms Not Bombs” will be located outside of The Standard, Hollywood.)
- Shepard Fairey, “Electric Warrior”: The painted guitar was inspired by Marc Bolan of T-Rex. Fairey illustrated Bolan as an iconic rock and roll archetype with a nod to vintage vinyl LP and stereo graphics. (“Electric Warrior” will be located outside of the Andaz hotel – formerly the “Riot Hyatt.”)
- Lana Gomez, “Freedom”: The expressionist work celebrates freedom and spontaneity as well as The Sunset Strip’s role in allowing musicians to blaze their own paths. (“Freedom” will be located outside of 9000 Sunset Boulevard.)
- Tsipi Mani, “Black Eyed Peas”: The bold, modern painted guitar celebrates the music of Los Angeles’ the Black Eyed Peas. (“Black Eyed Peas” will be located outside of BOA, 9200 Sunset Boulevard.)
- Juliana Martinez, “There’s Something Happening Here”: The mosaic, tiled guitar was inspired by the music and spirit of Buffalo Springfield. The guitar utilizes symbols that resonate with Buffalo Springfield: a peace sign and a flower border that is similar to the border on their second album, Buffalo Springfield Again. (“There’s Something Happening Here” will be located outside of Mel’s Drive-In – former home of Ben Franks in the 1960s.)
- Ryan McCann, “Nothing’s Shocking”: The painted guitar was inspired by Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing’s Shocking album as well as the band’s performance and self-titled album recorded live at The Roxy Theatre on Jan. 26, 1987. (“Nothing’s Shocking” will be located outside of Hornburg Los Angeles – former home of the Cock N’ Bull pub on Sunset.)
- Edgar Pasten, “People Of The Sun”: The painted and assemblage guitar was inspired by Rage Against The Machine’s song “People Of The Sun.” The guitar takes the lyrics and applies it to struggles immigrants have faced. (“People Of The Sun” will be located at 8755 Sunset Boulevard.)
- Stephen M. Taylor, “The Music Machine”: The abstract, painted guitar pays homage to Van Halen by utilizing the red, black and white colors of Eddie Van Halen’s iconic guitar. (“The Music Machine” will be located outside of the Whisky A Go-Go.)
- Alec Monopoly, Free Humanity, Smog City, Bankrupt Slut, DeeKay, Bod Bod, 2wenty, Snyder, Gregory Siff, KH no. 7, Smear, Desire Obtain Cherish, CYRCLE. & DD$, Leba, Homo Riot, “Collaborative Street Art Guitar”: This painted guitar was created at Maximillian Gallery at the Sunset Marquis hotel. The piece was a collaborative effort celebrating the contributions of street art on the Los Angeles landscape and featured contributions from 15 prominent street artists. (“Collaborative Street Art Guitar” will be located outside of The Roxy Theatre.)
Gibson GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip is supported by the Sunset Strip Business Association, Hornburg Land Rover on The Sunset Strip, City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau. GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip is administered by the Gibson Foundation, the philanthropic division of Gibson Guitar Corp. For a map and photos of the guitars, please visit www.thesunsetstrip.com/guitartown. For additional information, please visit www.gibson.com/sunset-strip and www.gibsonfoundation.org.