During the Summer of 2022; an interesting project came across my desk. ‘Would I like to create a series of screen prints for ‘The Den’ cocktail bar in Wardour Street, London?’
Once upon a time-The Den was the infamous music venue ‘The Marquee Club,’ host to acts such as The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin.
It’s considered the birthplace of David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Cream among others. The venue is also witness to the creation of new wave, punk and hard rock; spawning delights such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Generation X.
The idea was to ‘tap into the rich musical history’ of the building.
I wanted to create a series of prints depicting the roster of bands in their glory days; whilst echoing those past music genres such as punk and new wave. Hopefully the musical soul of the building is reflected in the work.
I did not want the prints to be too clinical or sanitised, which is why I chose to hand-finish the Joe Strummer print with splashes of paint, in turn adding a true punk aesthetic.
The Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix prints are both mugshots, a nod to the hedonistic side of rock n’ roll. A glance back to the days when being arrested for throwing a TV out of your hotel room window was reason for celebration and only added to one’s notoriety.
I created six prints for the venue, offering a broad cross section of past acts.
I wanted to reflect the rich musical strata of the building by adorning it’s walls with musical icons from several generations and chose David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Pink Floyd, The Clash and Jimi Hendrix.
It seems fitting to have Bowie and Jimi Hendrix hanging on the walls of their birthplace in swathes of retro-colour, a nod to their sixties heritage. Alongside musical greats; The Clash and Pink Floyd-Many of these bands were trailblazers and each played a significant role in shaping the voice of their generation.
I wanted the vibrant musical history of this venue to be reflected and captured in the work. The next time you visit The Den, raise a glass to the rock heroes of yesteryear.