In the 1990s, Roy Liechtenstein created a body of work called Interiors, in which he mixed references to classical antiquity, the renaissance, and modernism. He also used visual signs plucked from his own illustrious career, such as his characteristic Ben-Day dots . Created in the last year of Lichtenstein‘s life, this drawing is a study for a painting, Interior with Ajax (1997), commissioned by the fashion designer Gianni Versace. In it, a confused looking Ajax, a hero of Greek mythology, finds himself in an an eclectically decorated room in which styles float free of their contexts and hatch marks are divorced from their descriptive function.
On This Date, May 30th, in 1997: Songwriter and musician West Arkeen, a close friend and collaborator to Guns N’ Roses who co-wrote “It’s So Easy” and numerous songs with the band, died of an accidental opiate overdose. West had returned to his home from a hospital intensive care unit where he was being treated for burns over much of his body after his indoor barbecue exploded 11 days before his death. He was 36 years old.
Michael Hutchence, lead vocalist of INXS would have celebrated his Birthday today, having been born on January 22, 1962, if he hadn’t died on November 22, 1997 of asphyxiation due to hanging. Adding to the tragedy of his passing, his girlfriend, Paula Yates, died of a heroin overdose in September of 2000. Their daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, is now being raised by Yates’ ex-husband, Bob Geldof. Rest in Peace, Michael and Paula.
On This Date, October 19th, in 1997: Glen Buxton, guitarist for the original band called Alice Cooper died of complications from pneumonia in Mason City, IA. He was 49 years old. Glen played guitar on all of the original band albums including Love It To Death, Killer, School’s Out, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Buxton number 90 on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. RIP Glen!