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Reimagining an Icon: Jimi Hendrix Bottle Cap Experience at KAABOO Festival

A new experience by Marc Laurenson

Just how many bottle caps did it take to accomplish this 8-foot artwork? The answer is 12,800. Cayman Compass reveals that the caps were put together by 100 people who cleaned and sorted the caps by size and color, and then glued them together under the direction of artist Marc Laurenson. The community effort was put together with the intent of raising money for Plastic Free Cayman, whose previous massive beach cleanups supplied the thousands of bottle caps needed to complete the artwork.

Displayed by art group Stoak’d at the KAABOO festival, the Jimi Hendrix Bottle Cap Experience cost a whopping $20,000, which will go directly to Plastic Free Cayman once the festival organizers take their cut. What makes the artwork striking is how it uses bottle caps as individual pixels to create an image, much like a computer. As Laurenson explains, “The idea is that it can be displayed at the festival and people will see it from afar. As you get close, you realize it is made from bottle caps.”

Is it any surprise that Jimi Hendrix has once again inspired an amazing piece of visual art? The psychedelic visual style that accompanies his improvisational sound has been inspiring countless tributary visual endeavors since the man’s death in 1970.

Dioniso Punk is familiar with the Hendrix-inspired artworks of Jean Giraud, also known as the renowned comic book illustrator Moebius. This includes the 1975 French compilation Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love, as well as 1995’s Voodoo Soup compilation. Moebius is one of the most surreal, magical, and illustrative minds to ever depict Hendrix. He successfully merged the seemingly disparate multiverses of his own personal styles and that of the psychedelic imagery surrounding the Jimi Hendrix mythos.

Modern French installation artist Bernard Pras continues this tributary tradition by assembling objects and waste to recreate images of famous paintings and icons. Apart from his impressive portrait of Hendrix, this includes the famous Scream painting, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Albert Einstein, Vincent van Gogh, and the modernist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. There’s no question that Hendrix himself would be proud of how his short career’s iconic work has inspired similarly experimental and improvisational works in the realm of fine arts.

Outside the bounds of traditional studio art, Hendrix’s visual themes continue to prevail. This is mainly due to his psychedelic album covers, which established the imagery now closely associated with him. The cover art for Axis: Bold As Love combines peaceful religious imagery with the bright bold colors that characterized the artist and his music. Today, companies are still inspired by his album covers and replicate the designs and motifs. The Jimi Hendrix online slot featured on Slingo, uses stylized vector animations and icons inspired largely by his album’s artwork. These include the bright colors and the overt symbols of peace. A small but somehow apt testament to how the man’s overarching and innovative influence is still celebrated today.

Not many are aware of it, but Hendrix himself also dabbled in visual art, as evident by a series of recently discovered paintings. We can only imagine how he would react to seeing how his artistic footprints are present in nearly every creative and visual endeavor today – whether it’s digital games, painstakingly painted illustrations, or larger-than-life artworks like the Jimi Hendrix Bottle Cap Experience. Aside from being worth around $20,000 to Plastic Free Cayman, this recycled artwork represents how pop culture continues to pay tribute to Jimi Hendrix even decades after his passing.

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