Axl Rose threatens art gallery with legal action
Guns N’ Roses member Axl Rose recently fired off a cease and desist letter against a Los Angeles photographer who is reportedly spreading lies about the rock star that he vandalizes his own garage door more than 20 years ago.
According to reports, Los Angeles-based photographer Laura London launched her newest exhibit recently called “Once Upon a Time … Axl Rose Was My Neighbor,” at the Coagula Curatorial gallery in downtown Los Angeles. The exhibit features photographs London took while she was living down the street from Axl Rose, as well as portraits of other people dressed in Axl Rose-ish fashion and recreations of old Guns N’ Roses band photos.
However, there was one photo in the exhibit that seemed to agitate the rock star. The photo shows “Sweet Child O’ Die you R 1 of many nothing special” which was said to be spray-painted on what Laura London said was the garage door of Axl Rose.
On Wednesday, the attorney of the 50-year-old Guns N’ Roses member sent a cease and desist letter to Mat Gleason, the owner of Coagula Curatorial with the subject line, “Re: Defamation of Axl Rose.” The letter questioned the original explanation London provided on the gallery’s website for the graffiti image exhibited.
Below is the explanation of Laura London regarding the image:
“Axl Rose was having a fight with his wife at the time, Erin Everly, and spray-painted graffiti of lyrics of one of his most popular songs ‘Sweet Child 0’ Mine,’ twisted into sick poetry and instead wrote ‘Sweet Child 0’ Die you R 1 of many nothing special.’ I looked at the graffiti and shot a roll of film to document it, even though it is not my usual style of image making. It was just too weird to pass up.”
The attorney of Axl Rose, A. Sasha Frid, called London’s statements “absolutely outrageous, false, fabricated, and highly defamatory” and wrote that they were “designed to garner attention and line your pockets with money” (referring to Gleason.) He also demanded Mat Gleason “cancel all performances” of Laura London’s show.
But according to Gleason, an art critic who also blogs for this website, no shows will be canceled.
“The exhibit started last Monday and it’s not changing one iota,” he said in a statement.
Gleason added the gallery complied with the letter’s requests to the best of its abilities without having to change anything the artist intended. The gallery’s website has also taken down London’s previous explanation of the photograph in question, and the description of the exhibit has also been changed. Now, Laura London is quoted as saying her work “comes from a combination of personal experience, memory, observation and imagination.”
The photographer calls the exhibit a “docudrama based on an interpretation and depiction of actual events.”
At this point, Mat Gleason said that his only concern is that there may not be enough editions of the artwork to go around, as the exhibit has attracted a lot of attention. According to the gallery’s price list for the exhibit, the controversial photo connected to Axl Rose is still for sale, priced at $24,000.