Jimi Hendrix, 2023
Nearly a year to the day before Jimi Hendrix awoke the Woodstock audience at 9am with a thunderous and politically-charged cover of The Star Spangled Banner, he performed it for the first time just outside Washington, DC, at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Taking the Merriweather stage on August 16th, 1968 in the middle of a lightning storm, the immortal guitarist fought back the storm with electricity of his own, crashing through hits like “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze.” Jimi Hendrix’s genre-bending fusion of rock, blues, and psychedelia through his virtuosic guitar playing established him in the pantheon of rock gods, inspiring generations for decades to come despite his untimely passing at just 27 years old.
As if both of those facts weren’t reason enough to christen this unique sculpture by Bernard Pras, here’s one more: Jimi Hendrix’ 1968 performance at Merriweather Post Pavilion was also the very first rock show at the venue, paving the way for the wide variety of programming the pavilion has hosted in the 55+ years since.
MEET THE ARTIST:
Here at Merriweather, we love art and all things eco-friendly, so we jumped at the opportunity to feature the work of Bernard Pras at the Pavilion. An anamorphic sculptor whose work is made entirely out of found objects and recycled items, Pras proves that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
For these sculptures of Robert Plant, Miles Davis, Dolly Parton, Jimi Hendrix, Tina Turner, and Willie Nelson, Pras gathered materials from Howard County Alfa Ridge landfill and local thrift stores and included elements donated by Columbia’s music schools. Merriweather’s long standing focus on sustainability meshes beautifully with Pras’ art in these displays.
At the sculpture reveal in 2022, Consul General of France, François Penguilly said, “Each detail of Bernard Pras’s works is an invitation to a poetic exploration where one wonders about the history of the object and its possible connections with the work represented. One could spend hours gazing at each portrait, identifying all the little bits and pieces that make up a portrait subject’s facial features, hair, body, and clothing.”
Born in 1952 in Roumazières, France, Pras trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse where he became inspired by Salvador Dali, Edvard Munch, Hiroshige, and Giuseppe Arcimboldo. A painter, sculptor, and photographer, Pras lives and works in Montreuil, near Paris.
Click here to be amazed.