Robert Plant, 2022
Merriweather Post Pavilion is proud to present Bernard Pras’ brilliant sculpture of rock and roll legend Robert Plant. Best known for his work as lead singer and lyricist for the one and only Led Zeppelin, many consider Plant to be the greatest rock vocalist and frontman of all time. It was during Zeppelin’s early days that Plant first appeared at Merriweather. In a rare double billing, Led Zeppelin opened for The Who on May 25, 1969. With only eight songs played, Plant, along with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, captured the hearts of all those lucky souls in attendance that evening.
Not long after Led Zeppelin took the rock scene by storm, Plant became famous for his powerful vocal deliveries, distinct performance style, clever lyricism, and charisma. Cited as a major influence for iconic rock vocalists such as Axl Rose and Freddie Mercury, Plant’s influence is undeniable and genre-spanning. After Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980, Plant continued flexing his creative muscles with his many solo projects, including Pictures at Eleven (1982), The Principle of Moments (1983), and Shaken ‘N’ Stirred (1985), all of which he featured at his “Non Stop Go” Tour at Merriweather on May 22, 1988.
Twenty years later, on June 13, 2008, Plant again performed at Merriweather in support of Raising Sand, his first collaborative project with iconic bluegrass star Alison Krauss. With this project, Plant gracefully transitioned away from hard rock and into country, further asserting his versatility as an artist. At the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in 2009, Raising Sand won five Grammys, including Album of the Year.
In 2012, Robert Plant formed a new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, with whom he recorded two albums: lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar (2014) and Carry Fire (2017). Plant returned to the Pavilion on June 12, 2018, this time joined by the Sensational Space Shifters and special guest Sheryl Crow. Four years later, Plant found his way back to the Merriweather stage in support of his second collaboration with Alison Krauss, Raise The Roof (2021). On June 11, 2022, the pair captivated the crowd with their musical chemistry and individual chops, once again bringing magic to the Symphony Woods.
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.