Sunset Strip’s Gibson Guitar Sculptures to be Auctioned to Benefit School Arts Fund

Shepard Fairey’s “Electric Warrior,” inspired by Marc Bolan of T-Rex. Photographer:  Genie Sanchez/SSBA
Shepard Fairey’s “Electric Warrior,” inspired by Marc Bolan of T-Rex. Photographer: Genie Sanchez/SSBA

Eighteen guitar sculptures that have lined the Sunset Strip for the past year will be auctioned on Feb. 22 to benefit “Arts Matter,” the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education’s program to support art and music education in public schools.

The Gibson guitar sculptures, each 10 feet tall, were created by noted artists such as Shepard Fairey, John Kosh, RISK and Tristan Eaton. The auction, to be held at Bonhams, 7601 Sunset Blvd. near Curson, begins at 8 p.m. and is open to the public. Bonhams will offer previews from noon to 5 p.m. on Feb. 21 and 22. An catalogue of the sculptures is available online.

The project, known as Gibson GuitarTown, began in 2010 with a selection of guitars that celebrated musicians and others who have influenced the Strip. They were auctioned in 2011 for charity with proceeds going to the Los Angeles Youth Network, the West Hollywood Arts and Cultural Commission and the West Hollywood Library. The 2012 collection celebrates musicians and artists such as The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Stevie Nicks and Van Halen. The guitars have been signed by famous musicians such as Stephen Stills, Peter Asher, Donovan, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, Zakk Wylde, and members of bands Dead Sara, Black Label Society and Bad Religion.

“The guitars provide an interactive walking tour and celebrate the history of this dynamic music boulevard,” said Todd Steadman, president of the Sunset Strip Business Association. “We are honored that so many local and nationally recognized artists have dedicated their time to help celebrate this history and those who have shaped it.”

The 2012 art guitars include:

– Tristan Eaton, “Moms Not Bombs”: This painted guitar celebrates the artist’s mom, Gillian

Tristan Eaton's "Moms Not Bombs"
Tristan Eaton’s “Moms Not Bombs”Eaton, an actress in the Royal Shakespeare Company. The guitar also references Sunset Strip, which was the birthplace for the artist. 

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

Ryan McCann's "Nothing's Shocking"
Ryan McCann’s “Nothing’s Shocking”

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.)

– Free Humanity, Smog City, DeeKay, Bod Bod, 2wenty, Snyder, Gregory Siff, KH no. 7, Smear, Desire Obtain Cherish, CYRCLE & DD$, Leba, Homo Riot, Andy Appleton, “Collaborative Street Art Guitar @ Maximillian Gallery”: This painted guitar was created at Maximillian Gallery at the Sunset Marquis hotel. The piece was a collaborative effort celebrating street art in  Los Angeles and featured contributions from 15 prominent street artists.

– Roberto Chojniak, “Bella Donna”: A mosaic tile guitar inspired by Stevie Nicks.

– Todd Williamson, “British Invasion”: An acrylic painted guitar celebrating British bands and musicians who have influenced rock and roll and the Sunset Strip, signed by producer/signer/songwriter Peter Asher.

– Nic Adams, “The Butterfly Effect”: A mixed media guitar celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Bar & Grill, a landmark that has hosted rock legends, including John Lennon, Elton John, Ozzy, Led Zeppelin over the years.

– John Kosh, “Cosmic Essence”: An acrylic painted guitar inspired by and signed by Donovan.

– Miles Regis, “I Feel Good”: A mixed media guitar inspired by the music and legacy of James Brown.

– Signature Creative, “’Jack’ & Jim Marshall Tribute Guitar”: A graphic photowrap guitar using the photographs of Jim Marshall. The guitar features a photo session with the Rolling Stones. “Festival Guitar” acrylic painted guitar created by attendees at the 2012 Sunset Strip Music Festival, celebrating the community.

– John Irwin, “Jersey Devil”: An acrylic painted guitar inspired by and signed by guitarist Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society.

– RISK, “Roadhouse Blues”: An acrylic painted guitar inspired by the music and legacy of the Doors and signed by John Densmore, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek.

– “Sunset Strip Music Festival Autographed Guitar”: A graphic-wrapped guitar celebrating the 2012 Sunset Strip Music Festival. Signed by members of Dead Sara (Emily Armstrong, Siouxsie Medley, Sean Friday, Chris Null), Black Label Society (Zakk Wylde, Nick Catanese, Chad Szeliga) and Bad Religion (Jay Bentley).