By Steven Neff, Rock At Night Orlando Correspondent
The Rock & Brews Orlando Grand Opening – Monday, April 24th
What happens when you have two visionary modern artistes merging their talents? Well, when you are talking about rock photographer Mark Weiss and painter/artiste David Banegas, you wind up with a breath-taking, larger-than-life image of Mark’s images morphing into David’s art. Four portrait paintings will be featured at a new music-themed Orlando restaurant, Rock & Brews – located at 6897 South Semoran Blvd. by the Orlando airport.
One of the paintings is based on an image Weiss photographed of Axl Rose during the historic Guns N’ Roses concert in 1987 at The Ritz in New York City. Add to the 10’ x 30’ mural, three more textured and stylized mirror image paintings from Weiss’ archives and you begin to envision the mural’s impact. The “wall of art” was commissioned by entrepreneur Scott Paul for the Rock & Brews in Orlando. The restaurant needed to artistically exemplify its “rock roots” and it had to be contemporary. The merged artwork of Mark Weiss and David Banegas was the answer.
The Rock & Brews Orlando grand opening is open to the public on Monday, April 24th, the above-mentioned rock icon paintings are displayed on the Rock & Brew’s wall of distinction. There will be a silent auction where the proceeds will go to the Orange County Animal Services of Mark’s iconic classic rock photos as well as David’s embellished half/half giclee of Axl Rose, at a special community night celebration on April 22.
Work in progress: photographer Mark Weiss, owner Scott Paul, and artist David Banegas at the new Rock & Brews in Orlando.
“I met Scott in February 2017. I was touring with KISS, taking photos for their tour-book. As I walked into the hospitality room where Gene and Paul were discussing future openings of Rock & Brews, Scott walked over to me and asked if I was ‘Mark Weiss – the photographer’. He told me about how he ripped my photos out of magazines and plastered them on his bedroom walls three decades ago. Scott proceeded to tell me that he had opened 3 Rock & Brews locations and was opening another in Orlando shortly. The restaurants are covered wall to wall with album cover art and photographs. He expressed his love for art and showed me photos of the Rock & Brews in Texas where a huge painting of Stevie Ray Vaughn was proudly displayed. I showed him the merged art I did with artist David Banegas. After a couple of weeks, the project came to life.” – Mark Weiss
Picasso once said, “(a painter) paints not what he sees, but what he feels”. Seeing the combined effort of two artistes such as Mark Weiss and David Banegas, equals one new focused vision – one feeling – locking in a moment in time, image and feel.
Their first collaboration began in 2012 at Guitar World’s first Rock & Roll Roast to benefit MusiCares which featured guitarist Zakk Wylde.
Photographer Mark Weiss and artist David Banegas met at the Lunch Break 2011 Gala in Red Bank, NJ. Both contributed their art to raise money at the charitable event. Mark was auctioning off his classic rock photographs; while David was painting live – a portrait of Elvis Presley that was raffled off at the event. David’s unique execution of painting caught Mark’s eye; inspiring him to approach David with the idea to have him paint a mirror image of his most iconic Rock & Roll images. The partnership was formed! Both artists continue to donate their work to help bring focus and funds to charitable causes.
About the Artists
Mark Weiss got his first camera in 1973 at the age of 14. He made a deal with a guy in his New Jersey neighborhood to cut his lawn all summer in exchange for a 35 mm camera. A couple years later in high school, Mark began sneaking his camera into concerts. He developed the prints in his parent’s bathroom and sold them for a buck a piece. In 1977 Mark was arrested for selling his photos outside of the Kiss Concert at Madison Square Garden and spent the night in jail. The next day he walked into the offices of CIRCUS magazine with his portfolio. The rest is Rock N Roll history! Mark traveled around the world photographing tours for Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Guns ‘n Roses, Kiss and Bon Jovi also creating album covers such as Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet and Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry.
More about Mark www.weissguygallery.com
David Banegas grew up in Bolivia and has been painting since he was 6 years old. He explains his unique work as “something that happens at the moment, it flows” If there is a name for this method it would be “Action Painting”, It is done layer upon layer and is created with pure feeling” Once he captures the eyes, he is “locked in place and the rest of the painting then follows.” It comes from letting go of all fears and painting what is felt and so this is a transcendent moment.”
More about David www.davidbanegas.com
Rock & Brews is not just a cool Orlando-based restaurant – it is a rock restaurant that pays homage to artists who rocked our world. You’ll feel it the minute you walk through the door. The founding partners in Rock & Brews are: rock icons Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS, restaurateur/hotelierMichael Zislis and concert industry/merchandising veterans Dave and Dell Furano. More about Rock & Brews – www.rockandbrews.com
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley with rock photographer Mark Weiss at the groundbreaking event for the Rock & Brew Casino and Resort in Braman, Oklahoma on January 12, 2017.
Steve is a Brevard County, Florida based concert photographer who loves the experience of live shows and tries to bring that experience back to fans through the great medium known as Rock At Night.
Whether it’s a one concert event or extended on the road tour coverage with music’s best bands, Steve covers the exciting experience of “the moment” and paints it across a blank canvas that he hopes music connoisseurs will enjoy.
A graduate of the prestigious New York Institute of Photography, Steve’s music of taste ranges from the symphonic awesomeness of bands like Within Temptation and Nightwish to the rock heavyweights of the 80’s and back to the beat of Armin van Buuren, with a little jazz and blues mixed in for some variety.
One of his favorite mottos: “Life is too short to drink grocery store coffee.”
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