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Jools Holland/Squeeze drummer and artist Gilson Lavis presents London art exhibit
Elvis Presley, c1954, acrylic on canvas board, signed by artist, framed. 20 x 24 inches.

LONDON.- Highly acclaimed British drummer and artist Gilson Lavis will present his new London art exhibit “Gilson Lavis: From Drums to Canvas” at the very fashionable Karma Sanctum Soho Hotel at 20 Warwick St. in London from July 5th through August 12th, 2018. This unique new collection of acrylic on canvas board paintings and ink drawings by the veteran rock and R & B drummer will now take center stage in London.

The black and white music-themed portraits, along with a series of very 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 band mate Holland started the hugely popular Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra over twenty five years ago, along with Lavis, and of course, has become an institution in the U. K. hosting BBC Television’s Later With Jools Holland over the last twenty five years. The orchestra performs regularly throughout Europe and the U.K.

Mainly known for his unusual portraits of music legends and performers, much of his 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, which reads like a “Who’s Who” of popular music. As most people know, Gilson was a founding member and original drummer in the group Squeeze, along with pianist Holland. Squeeze achieved huge success all though the 1980’s and Gilson later went on to perform live or record with the likes of Bryan Ferry, Eric Clapton, Smokey Robinson, Cher, Paul McCartney, Barry White, BB King, Robert Plant, Amy Winehouse and many others.

As he explains, “My portraits feature artists and performers I have had the joy of working with and 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 and 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”.

The subjects in Lavis’ paintings and sketches span the decades from the 1950’s and 60’s…..BB King, Chuck Berry, Etta James, Eartha Kitt, James Brown, Wilson Picket, Ray Charles and Ronnie Spector….to the more contemporary…..Keith Moon, Al Green, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Debbie Harry, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello… 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 Winhouse, Prince, John Lee Hooker and others.

The art and music worlds in London often overlap, as they do at the award winning Karma Sanctum Soho, which is located in the heart of London’s West End and is one of the capital’s finest hotels. Its 30 bedrooms offer something for every occasion and offer superior furnishings and facilities.

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