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Pop-Up Art Exhibit by Rocker Billy Morrison and Controversial Plastic Jesus Draws Art, Rock Stars

Music, Hollywood, Fete ‘Anesthesia: The Art of Oblivion’

Photos and Story By MARCY KRAFT

“Anesthesia: The Art of Oblivion,” a pop-up gallery collaboration between rocker Billy Morrison and street artist Plastic Jesus brought rockers to Gibson Brands Sunset on Friday night for an opening reception.

The two artists have been fans of each other’s work for some time and “Anesthesia: The Art of Oblivion” is their first public collaboration.

Billy Morrison with Billy Idol and Plastic Jesus - Photo © 2017 Marcy Kraft

Billy Morrison with Billy Idol and Plastic Jesus – Photo © 2017 Marcy Kraft

Exhibit is ‘Everything we Hang Onto’

“Anesthesia: The Art of Oblivion” is described as “everything we hang onto in society to make us oblivious of our own plight and our own situation in life, such as idols, drugs … anything we pick up in culture.”

The artists were on hand to greet guests Friday night and Saturday.

"EXTINCTION" - 48" x 36" Acrylic on Canvas by Billy Morrison

“EXTINCTION” – 48″ x 36″ Acrylic on Canvas by Billy Morrison – Courtesy Billy Morrison

Billy Morrison: Rocker-Turned-Artist

Billy, who is best known as the guitarist for Billy Idol, is a long-time art collector and began creating his own artwork a few years back. His work was also shown last year at the Mouche Gallery in Beverly Hills, and I enjoyed that work immensely, so I was eager to see his new pieces.

“Creating the art was the easy part,” Billy said.

Billy’s solo pieces for this exhibit were months in the making and there’s a joy in finally seeing them on display. The challenge, Billy shared, comes from watching 500 of your closest friends come to critique the work as a part of the process.

Guitar installation on display - Photo © 2017 Marcy Kraft

Guitar installation on display – Photo © 2017 Marcy Kraft

Star-Studded Reception Included Ozzy Osbourne

Judging by the pieces displayed, I doubt Billy will receive any negative input on his work. His art is a fun and provocative collection that the crowd at the opening appeared to enjoy. In attendance were celebrity friends Billy Idol, Ozzy Ozbourne, Carmine Rojas (from David Bowie), Fred Durst (from Limp Bizkit), Steve Jones (from the Sex Pistols), Brandon Boyd (from Incubus), Rob Zombie, Shepard Fairey, and new recording artist Steve Costello.

"EQUALITY" - 48" x 36" - Acrylic on Canvas.

“EQUALITY” – 48″ x 36″ – Acrylic on Canvas by Billy Morrison – Courtesy Billy Morrison

The Art-Crowd ‘Look?’

Billy told a newspaper recently: “Ultimately, I want people to walk away feeling like they were entitled to be there. My personal art collection is pretty substantial, and I’ve spent a lot of money on a lot of iconic pieces, and yet when I walk into some galleries I’m treated like a homeless guy because of the way I look, because I don’t fall into the art-crowd look.”

Most people I spoke said he looked like the rocker-artist that he’s known to be.

Billy Morrison in Camp Freddie with Dave Navarro, Chris Chaney and Matt Sorum - Photo by Cyril Rickelton-Abdi

File photo of Billy Morrison in Camp Freddie with Dave Navarro, Chris Chaney and Matt Sorum – Photo by Cyril Rickelton-Abdi

Plastic Jesus in Attendance

Plastic Jesus showcased a 12-piece mixture of his new and known works while Morrison created 12 new mixed-media paintings specifically for this showing.

Plastic Jesus is know around LA for having erected the 6-inch wall around Donald Trump’s star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame and erecting the life-size gold statue of Kanye West entitled “False Idol” that stood near the site of the Oscar Awards on Hollywood Blvd. This statue was also on display at the showing.

A full collection of Morrison’s work can be found at Billy Morrison’s website. 

To purchase a piece from this collection, email info@billymorrisonart.com for more information.

PHOTOS: An Evening With the Photographic Greats Richard Young and Chris Cuffaro in West Hollywood

By DONNA BALANCIA

They have captured greatness, these rock photographers, but tonight Richard Young and Chris Cuffaro were the center of attention. Young’s show, “Rebels” was held at the Leica Store in LA and Cuffaro held an exhibit at Gibson’s Tower Records.

© Donna Balancia

From Rebels to Greatest Hits

Ranging from Marvin Gaye to The Sex Pistols, Young’s exhibit showed the inner rebellious spirit of the musicians he shot primarily in the early 1980s.  It was a time of transition for many with music moving into the disco era, as his photographs — taken in the dance clubs of New York City  and beyond showed.

As for Cuffaro, whose event was punctuated with performances by emerging bands and appearances by other photographers notably Henry Diltz, the 1990s was his heyday. In addition to Pearl Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and NXS, Cuffaro captured a range of artists whose legacies continue on.

Sweet Relief was supporting and President Bill Bennett and Executive Director Rob Max were on hand.

For more information on Richard Young, check out his page.  Chris Cuffaro has a website where all his work is displayed as well.

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

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© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

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© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

 

© Donna Balancia

Guns N Roses Makes it Through The ‘Suprise’ Troubadour Show – Now On With the Tour

Guns N Roses reunion tour launched at the Troubadour - Screengrab courtesy Ross The Bassist

Guns N Roses reunion tour launched at The Troubadour – Screengrab courtesy Ross The Bassist

By JOHN DALY – Guns N Roses kicked off their “Not In This Lifetime” reunion tour with a rockin’ show at The Troubadour, the place where it all began.

Guns N Roses will play 24 cities over four months for a tour dubbed the “Not In This Lifetime” tour — mainly because it was believed the band would never get together again — Guns N Roses had barely  endured many rifts all along.

Tickets and Tour information are available here.

But diehard fans — who have been “bandless” since 1993 when GNR broke up — finally got a chance to see the group together.  Well almost.

GNR was missing a few players, notably Izzy Stradlin and Steve Adler, but it didn’t seem to make a a lot difference to fans who sardine-packed West Hollywood’s Troubadour, the place where the guys got their first break so long ago.

GNR Donna Balancia

The “Not In This Lifetime” Tour

Those who attended said the show was an amazing feat, just the fact that Axl and Slash were back together again was good enough for most.  Axl may look a little heavier and his trademark long red locks are gone, but he still has the vocal power as evidenced by the videos posted.

There’s plenty of opportunity to see Guns N Roses on their upcoming tour.  The band stops in 20 cities over the next two months and there’s plenty of merch to go around.

Gibson Brands Tower Records

While it may have been “once-in-a-lifetime experience” even to stand in line at Gibson Brand’s Tower Records on Sunset to try your hand at getting a ticket, it was a relatively joyless experience for most, except for a limited few.

Those who put in the efforts, getting to the Gibson Brands Tower Records building by midnight or earlier the night before and staying overnight til 10 am the next morning, were rewarded with a place in the audience at the Troubadour. But for every person who did get in, there were at least nine who did not, according to rough calculations on the scene among those waiting in line.

Carla gets her Guns N Roses ticket - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Carla, finally gets her Guns N Roses ticket – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“The line is up the hill and almost around the block, I just don’t think I’m going to get in,” said John Blalock, who was about halfway up Horn Ave.  “I really wanted to go but found out too late.”

Carla, though, who arrived the night before to wait in line, was one of the lucky ones — she was admitted to buy the sought-after green wristband that would lead to a ticket to the show.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “This is unbelievable!  I can’t believe it!  I’ve been a fan since the beginning,” she said.  Her friend echoed the sentiment. “She can’t believe she’s really going and either do I!”

After the tickets were sold out — word of which took about 30 minutes to reach the end of the line up Horn Ave. — about half of the estimated 1200 or so people in line dispersed.  Others remained to buy commemorative merch. But as promised, free food was on hand provided by Dogtown Dogs and Border Grill.

Fans including Paul, Agatha and Andrew (c) said it was worth a try to wait in line to see Guns N Roses - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Fans including Paul, Agatha and Andrew (c) said it was worth a try to wait in line to see Guns N Roses – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

It was a challenge to even buy a T-shirt or a poster in the parking lot, the crowds were four and five-people deep surrounding the merch tent set up in the Gibson Brand’s Tower Records parking lot.  Free food on hand, provided by Dogtown Dogs and Border Grill made the bad news more tolerable.

Fans had been kicked to the curb but got satisfaction April 1 when their broken hearts were mended. Since Guns N Roses broke up in 1993, not much had been heard about the band, though Slash has been active, playing gigs around Los Angeles.

But not all the fans who were ready to go to the show were so optimistic.

“I’ll believe it when I see it tonight,” said Eddie, who was lucky enough to get a ticket to the Troubadour. “Axl tends to walk off stage when he’s pissed so we’ll see how much of tonight — or the rest of the tour — he can put up with.”

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Video courtesy of Ross the bassist:

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