A range of artists participated in the 2013 installment, including Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, tattoo artist Kat Von D, tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle, who was close friends with Janis Joplin, sculptor Eugene Daub, who recently created the Rosa Parks sculpture for the U.S. capitol, and jewelry designer Kathy Rose.
GIBSON GUITARTOWN ON THE SUNSET STRIP originally launched in August 2010 with 20 10-foot tall fiberglass Gibson Les Paul model guitars strategically placed along the legendary Sunset Strip. Each guitar sculpture celebrates a musician, personality or artist unique to The Sunset Strip’s history. Previous years have included works by artists Shepard Fairey, RISK, Tristan Eaton and John Kosh and have celebrated The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Van Halen, Stevie Nicks, Jane’s Addiction, Slash, The Runaways and Cheech & Chong among others.
As in previous years, the 2013 Gibson GuitarTown art guitars will be auctioned for charity at the end of their “tour.” Proceeds from the auction will benefit Music For Relief, the nonprofit organization Linkin Park founded to support disaster relief, provide aid to survivors of natural disasters and support the prevention of such disasters via environmental programs.
Collectively, the previous auctions have raised more than $106,600 for charities. The 2012 Gibson GuitarTown charity auction raised $52,280 to benefit Los Angeles Fund for Education’s “Arts Matter” campaign, which funds art and music education programs in Los Angeles public schools. The 2011 charity auction raised $27,180 to benefit the Los Angeles Youth Network, which provides services for homeless youth, as well as $20,385 to support public art in West Hollywood and $6,795 to benefit the West Hollywood Library.
“We are happy to partner with Gibson for the third year and showcase another lineup of amazing art guitars,” noted Sunset Strip Music Festival managing director Karmen Beck, who spearheaded the GuitarTown partnership. “Gibson GuitarTown is a true celebration of The Sunset Strip community, and the guitars provide a vibrant and memorable walking tour of this influential music boulevard.”
The Sunset Strip Business Association, which is presenting the project in conjunction with Gibson, plans to unveil additional art guitars this fall. All guitars are created by local and nationally recognized artists and celebrate people and places that have shaped The Strip. All guitars unveiled July 17 will be on display at the Saturday, August 3 Sunset Strip Music Festival street fest. After the festival, they will be placed along the boulevard for public view.
The full list of guitars being unveiled at the July 17 launch includes:
- Danny Curnen, “The Eliminator”
Mixed media guitar inspired by the music and influence of rock and roll band ZZ Top. (Performances at Whisky, House of Blues Sunset Strip.)
Graphic designer Danny Curnen was recently named one of the ‘Top 10 Poster Artists of 2012’ by Creative Bloq (UK). His design for Lisa Marie Presley will soon find a permanent home on display at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, TN. His artwork has been featured at legendary festivals such as South By Southwest, the Sunset Strip Music Festival and the Los Angeles Vegan Beer Festival, and he is the official poster art and graphic designer for The Roxy.
- Eugene Daub, “Call Me”
Mixed media guitar inspired by the music and influence of Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie. (Performed at the Whisky.)
Eugene Daub is the recipient of the highest National Awards for sculpture and relief sculpture. He is the president of the American Medallic Sculpture Association, and a fellow and board member of the National Sculpture Society. Over the last 30 years Daub has designed and created many public art commissions for the United States government, private foundations, universities and corporations and has exhibited in the British Museum and the Smithsonian Institute, among other locations. His sculpture of Rosa Parks was unveiled by President Obama on March 27, 2013, in the U.S Capitol, Statuary Hall. The concept and pedestal were a collaboration with Rob Firmin.
- Simone Gad, “Dolly Parton and The Sunset Towers”
Mixed media, abstract guitar inspired by country music legend Dolly Parton. (Performed at The Roxy.)
Simone Gad is a self-taught visual artist who has exhibited in local, national and international museums and galleries for more than 44 years. Gad is a six-time grant recipient and Getty-sponsored PST artist who was featured in Lyn Kienholtz's encyclopedia, “L.A. Rising; So Cal Artists Before 1980,” among other numerous publications. Her guitar is part of a continuing series of paintings that focus on Los Angeles architectural monuments and famous females.
- Tsipi Mani, “Unvarnished”
Mixed media guitar celebrating 2013 Sunset Strip Music Festival honoree Joan Jett. (Performances at the Whisky.)
Tsipi Mani is a multi-media painter and sculptor with skills working in oils, clay, acrylic, bronze, aluminum and steel. Her paintings and statues fill her home and can be seen in a Beverly Hills gallery, as well as in a few commercial buildings in West Hollywood.
- Juliana Martinez, “Don Jose, Que Chévere!”
Tile and mixed media guitar inspired by legendary guitarist Jose Feliciano. (Performed at The Roxy, Whisky.)
Juliana Martinez created her first mosaic at age 9 and was hooked. She currently creates public art pieces and accepts private commissions. This is her third contribution to the GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip art project. In 2010 she created a mosaic guitar celebrating the "Summer of Love” and in 2012 she created “There’s Something Happening Here” celebrating Buffalo Springfield.
- Kathy Rose, “Alanis Morissette Utopia”
Guitar embellished with semi-precious stones, natural material and mixed media. Inspired by the music and message of singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette. (Performances at the Whisky, House of Blues Sunset Strip.)
Kathy Rose is a recognized jewelry designer and businesswoman. She owns and operates Roseark gallery in West Hollywood and Santa Monica, and has launched Kaviar Jewelry and Native Rose clothing line. She also serves as the accessories editor for Foam magazine.
- Mike Shinoda, “Soldier In Repose”
Acrylic and spray paint. Linkin Park's first shows ever were played on Sunset Boulevard. In this illustration, the band's iconic "Hybrid Theory" soldier is shown in a moment of reflection. (Performances at The Roxy, House of Blues Sunset Strip.)
Mike Shinoda is a songwriter, performer, record producer and visual artist. He is best known for his vocal and musical endeavors with two-time Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum alternative band Linkin Park. Shinoda graduated with a B.F.A. in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in 1998 and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2009. He has a hand in most artistic facets of Linkin Park’s artwork and imagery, including art for the band's albums, merchandise, web and stage.
- Lyle Tuttle & Mark Phillips, “Tribute To My Friend, Janis Joplin”
Mixed media guitar celebrating the colorful music career of Janis Joplin. The design features her portrait, signature, tattoos and other mementos of her life. (Performed at the Whisky.)
Lyle Tuttle is a well-known American tattoo artist and tattoo historian. Tuttle opened his first tattoo studio in San Francisco in 1954. He has tattooed Janis Joplin, Cher, Henry Fonda and Paul Stanley among others.
- Kat Von D, “City Of Angels”
Graphite on paper and graphic wrap guitar using a modern day approach to the old school black and grey style of fine-line tattoo art. The guitar celebrates the prominence of the Mexican art culture that originated in the 1970s, here on the streets of Los Angeles.
Kat Von D is a renowned tattoo artist and the star of the former hit television series LA Ink, which ran for five successful years. She is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, High Voltage Tattoo, The Tattoo Chronicles and Go Big or Go Home. She is the creator of a popular makeup and fragrance line for Sephora. She is also the founder of Wonderland Gallery, an art gallery and boutique located next to her tattoo shop, High Voltage Tattoo, in West Hollywood, where she resides with her awesome hairless cat, Piaf.
- Stacey Wells, “Welcome To My Nightmare”
Paint and mixed media guitar inspired by musician Alice Cooper. (Performances at the Whisky, House of Blues Sunset Strip.)
Stacey Wells has become a familiar face on The Sunset Strip, recently creating a collection of art she calls “Reflections of the Strip,” which features musicians who have made it big after starting on The Sunset Strip as well as new, talented bands that are paving their way today, playing at The Roxy, the Whisky and the Viper Room.
- The Wizard, “Forever Changes”
Graphic wrap guitar inspired by iconic 1960s L.A. band Love. (Performed at the Whisky.)
Born in a nondenominational hospital to two able-bodied humans in the year of our Lord 1984, The Wizard has spent the last 29 years traveling the Earth, harshing mellows. The Wizard currently spends his time farming hair, clicking furiously and making dreams real.
Additionally, artists from Ethos Gallery will create a live art piece during the 2013 SSMF street festival on August 3. The artists will paint the guitar outdoors throughout the day. Ethos Gallery, located in the heart of the Los Angeles art scene, specializes in fine art, street art, and live art installations. Ethos believes in the power of artistic expression, and therefore supports art that is positive, uplifting and environmentally conscious.
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 Visit West Hollywood. 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.