ANESTHESIA: THE ART OF OBLIVION WHEN WORLDS OF ART AND ROCK COLLIDE

ANESTHESIA: THE ART OF OBLIVION
WHEN  WORLDS OF ART AND ROCK COLLIDE

BY

 WILLIAM DERHAM

The fabled Tower Records building on Sunset Blvd. was recently transformed into an impromptu art exhibit for 2 nights to showcase the artistic endeavors of guitarist Billy Morrison (Billy Idol-Royal Machines) and English art provocateur Plastic Jesus. The star studded event, sponsored by Gibson Guitars and Aston Martin, was a rare opportunity to simultaneously rub elbows with rock royalty and be exposed to some very thought provoking conceptual art subtitled “A Collaboration On Contemporary Sedatives.” Heralded as the ultimate collaboration, Anesthesia: The Art of Oblivion features 36 works (12 new works by Morrison, 12 by Plastic Jesus, and an additional 12 pieces created between the pair), ranging from paintings to large-scale installation pieces.  Plastic Jesus is a Los Angeles based street artist that specializes in bold  stencil and installation work, inspired by world news events, society, the urban environment, culture and politics. His critically acclaimed work combines humor, irony, criticism and unique opinion to create art that engages on many levels.Often questioning the norms in society Plastic Jesus confronts our compliance of culture and current affairs.The artist uses scale and contradiction as a means to highlight issues and opinions that often go unquestioned.The aesthetic appeal of his work combined with the engagement produces an addictive mix that challenges our acceptance.His work is more about shining a small light into some of those dark corners of society. He’s the bloke that was responsible for erecting the wall (complete with barbed wire) around D. Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame.

Best known for playing guitar for Billy Idol, Billy Morrison has been a long time collector of contemporary art and in the past several years has begun to create his own pieces. His mixed media works allow him to express provocative and thought-inspiring statements that embrace concepts of duality and mixed metaphors that have been collected by the likes of Shepard Fairey, Sharon Osbourne, Craig Susser, and even the US capitol in Washington, DC. Morrison has had three successful art shows in Los Angeles. This press release declaration helps to clarify their mission statement; “Rebellion, resistance, and escapism have become synonymous with the plight of our contemporary culture. Absorbed with the constant influx of stimulation and curated excitement of other people’s lives, we have become numb to the reality of the world. The distractions that we surround ourselves with from social media to retail therapy to gossip magazines and the destruction of our environment have set the art world teetering on a precipice. The resulting pieces are a visual assault that drop us back into reality, using contemporary distractions as a way to pull us back into the world we actually inhabit.”

Among the celebrity attendees showing up to lend support were the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne (with offspring Kelly and Jack), Billy Idol, Rob Zombie, ex Sex Pistol Steve Jones, Fred Durst (Limp Biscuit),  Juliette Lewis and b.f. Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine), street artist/activist Shepard Fairey, and Jonathan Kite ( better known as Oleg Golishevsky, the hilariously  creepy Ukrainian cook from “2 Broke Girls.”)  Upon speaking with Nick or “Plastic Jesus” it was clear he was a man of great vision and talent but also humble and appreciate of his success and notoriety. Having only arrived here in L.A. 4 years ago and meeting Billy Morrison only last year he describe the experience as “surreal” from his vantage point on top the iconic Tower Records building that was once the epicenter for counterculture protests in the 1960s and rock and roll decadence in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Interested parties can view their brilliant collection of images at www.plasticjesus and www.billymorrisonart.com.