“Art speaks where words are unable to explain”
It’s been over three months since the world lost one of the most influential musicians – the legendary Eddie Van Halen. The iconic and trailblazer guitarist, who revolutionized the way the guitar is played and impacted the music universe as a whole, would have celebrated his 66th birthday a few days ago on January 26th. The quote above perfectly describes the sentiment – although words are unable to explain the empty feeling all EVH and Van Halen fans feel with the loss of the great Eddie Van Halen, the world was able to honor him in the most touching and special way recently. EVH’s art was honored through art itself with thanks to the sublimely gifted artist, Robert Vargas.
To celebrate Eddie Van Halen’s everlasting legacy, Downtown Los Angeles-based artist Vargas unveiled his masterpiece of a mural of the guitar master on January 26th. Over 11 days, Vargas brought Eddie Van Halen fans (both in person and through his daily Instagram lives) throughout his journey of creating this breathtaking mural. Purely freehand with no projections nor grids, Vargas was able to exquisitely capture the likeness of Eddie Van Halen to a tee. Whether you’re a Los Angeleno and are able to see the mural in person or live across the globe and are admiring the artwork through Vargas’ Instagram, the “Long Live the King” mural is one that will bring in a flood of emotions and will truly leave you in awe each and every time you look at it.
The perpetually creative Vargas has shared his talent with the world in a variety of ways. You may recognize his unrivaled talent in the mural he created for another legend, the late and great Kobe Bryant, or you might remember seeing his work at the Whiskey A Go Go on Sunset Boulevard of Mötley Crüe. Vargas is also known for his “Portraits of the World” where he has effortlessly created portraits for people he comes across on the streets of places he has visited from Spain to Jerusalem, Japan to Australia, London to Dubai and many more. The consummate artist was the perfect person to create this unforgettable tribute for EVH as not only is he incredibly talented, but his love, respect and passion for all things Van Halen flows through his veins.
The unveiling of the mural at the Guitar Center in Hollywood, California was a great success and a very touching day. Fans and celebrities including George Lopez and Bradley Cooper, to name a few, came to the event to celebrate this monumental day. 3… 2… 1… and the blue covering came down showcasing the remarkable 17-feet-tall mural and leaving everyone simply speechless. Vargas was proud to share his finished product after 11 days of non-stop hard work and even turned the guitar knob on EVH’s “Frankenstein” guitar on the mural. What started as a blank canvas ended with the most surreal memorial for a musician who has touched the lives of many.
Eddie Van Halen’s son, masterful musician and Mammoth WVH artist, Wolfgang Van Halen shared his appreciation for Vargas’ mural on Instagram in the post seen below. Wolfgang Van Halen wrote, “I want to extend my most heartfelt gratitude to the unfathomably talented @therobertvargas, and @guitarcenter for the painting of this incredible mural of my father at Guitar Center Hollywood. What an incredible honor it is to see Pop immortalized in such a beautiful way.”
Another magnificent part about the mural is that Robert Vargas teamed up with augmented reality company, The AR Firm, to bring the mural to life. For those who visit the mural in person, you can use your phone’s camera to scan a QR code that when you hold your camera up to the mural, you can see Eddie Van Halen actually playing his guitar with fire and music coming out.
Alexisjoyvipaccess had a sensational time covering the unveiling of Robert Vargas’ “Long Live the King” mural. After interviewing Vargas a week before the unveiling and getting a sneak peek at the mural, I caught up with the stupendous artist all about how he felt on the big day, what it’s like for him being able to bring people from all over the world together to honor Eddie Van Halen and so much more only in our VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE updated interview. Robert Vargas also talked about what it means to him to be able to share his passion and artwork with others – hear what he had to say in our VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE interview below.
Check out my VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE updated interview with the extraordinary Robert Vargas at the unveiling of his Eddie Van Halen mural below and be sure to visit it at the Guitar Center in Hollywood!
Follow Robert Vargas on Instagram: @TheRobertVargas