Ex-Squeeze drummer Gilson Lavis to launch London art exhibit, July 5

Gilson Lavis

Portrait of Elvis Presley by Gilson Lavis

LONDON – Acclaimed British drummer and artist Gilson Lavis will present his new art exhibit “Gilson Lavis: From Drums to Canvas” at London’s fashionable Karma Sanctum Soho Hotel, July 5 through August 12, 2018. This unique new collection features acrylic-on-canvas board paintings and ink drawings by the veteran rock and R & B drummer, most connected by a popular-music theme.

The black and white portraits, along with a series of personal sketches by Lavis, have become much sought after by tastemakers and those in art and music circles. Best known currently as the superbly versatile drummer with Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and the original drummer for the British band Squeeze, Gilson Lavis has achieved legendary status in the British music world over the last 40 years and is now shining the spotlight on his second career as an artist.

Longtime friend and former Squeeze bandmate Holland started the hugely popular Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra over 25 years ago, along with Lavis. The orchestra performs regularly throughout Europe and the U.K., and stars in BBC Television’s Later With Jools Holland.

Mainly known for his unusual portraits of music legends and performers, much of Lavis’ inspiration as an artist came out of genuine respect for many of the talented people he has admired, known and played with over the years. That list reads like a “Who’s Who” of popular music. As most people know, the band Squeeze achieved great success throughout the 1980s. Gilson later went on to perform live or record with such stars as Bryan Ferry, Eric Clapton, Smokey Robinson, Cher, Paul McCartney, Barry White, B.B. King, Robert Plant, Amy Winehouse and many others.

Gilson Lavis

Portrait of Frank Sinatra by Gilson Lavis

As he explained, “My portraits feature artists and performers I have had the joy of working with and who have been of inspiration to me. My art is a painted biography of my musical life, one I can never hope to finish, but what a joy it is to engage in. I work in black and white, a technique that grew out of my ink sketches in which I try to capture the stage drama that I’m so accustomed to. My art, I hope, also communicates the respect and knowledge I have gained by working with so many gifted people.”

British music news outlet Music Riot remarked in their recent story: “…I’m fascinated by the paintings and the way they reflect the personalities of the people Gilson portrayed. It struck me that, while they’re not hyper-realistic, they’re a long way from caricature.”

Gilson Lavis

Portrait of Jools Holland by Gilson Lavis

The subjects in Lavis’ paintings and sketches span the decades of the 1950s and 60s…BB King, Chuck Berry, Etta James, Eartha Kitt, James Brown, Wilson Pickett Ray Charles and Ronnie Spector….to the more contemporary…..Keith Moon, Al Green, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Debby Harry, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello…to current day songstresses like Adele and the late Amy Winehouse.

His exhibit at the Karma Sanctum Hotel will feature Lavis’ new portraits of Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Jools Holland, Aretha Franklin, Lemmy and Elvis Presley, along with paintings and sketches of John Lennon, Bryan Ferry, Amy Winehouse, Prince, John Lee Hooker and others.

Gilson Lavis

Portrait of Prince by Gilson Lavis

The art and music worlds in London often overlap, as they do at the award-winning Karma Sanctum Soho located in the heart of London’s West End. View “Gilson Lavis: From Drums to Canvas” at the Karma Sanctum Soho Hotel at 20 Warwick Street, London from July 5th through August 12th, 2018.

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