SPOTLIGHT: Eddie Van Halen, 1955-2020
Eddie Van Halen is forever. The rock guitar legend--born on January 26, 1955--has been immortalized with a glorious mural that now looms large over the parking lot of Guitar Center on the Sunset Strip.
“Eddie was one of my creative heroes. When I was young, the debut Van Halen record was the first album I ever owned,” explained the artist, Robert Vargas, who's been documenting the mural's process on Instagram. He finished the piece in time for it to be revealed on Van Halen's birthday this year. “He influenced me over the years in so many different ways. As soon as the news hit of his passing, I knew I had to do something creative to memorialize him, and Guitar Center was the obvious venue. Right here on the Sunset Strip, where the band made their bones — I can’t think of a better place for this tribute to him, and I thank Guitar Center for giving me the canvas to share it with the world."
That inspiration was very personal to the artist, as Vargas revealed: “When you work hard at something, you can reach your full potential. Be true to your art, and your art will be true to you. I had the chance to meet Eddie a few years back, and because he and I connected on the nature of art and creativity, painting him here is therapeutic. Thank you, Guitar Center for allowing me to use my creative process to connect with him one more time and share it with the world.”