Bernard Pras (b. 1952)
Dave Grohl, 2019
Found Artifacts / Mixed Media
“This is one of the best places we’ve ever played at in our entire lives. Congratulations, Washington, D.C., you now have the baddest-ass venue in the United States of America!“
– Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters
Two DC institutions collide in this creative sculpture by Bernard Pras, highlighting the inseparable history between the DMV’s hometown hero Dave Grohl and I.M.P. Officially unveiled at the Grand Opening of The Atlantis and now on permanent display at The Anthem, the life-size sculpture was constructed in Pras’ signature anamorphic style consisting entirely of found objects and recyclables. But these weren’t just any found objects – the artifacts on display within this piece tell the story of both Dave Grohl and I.M.P., from a handwritten letter a young Dave wrote to one of his hometown heroes Ian MacKaye and the Scream record that put him on the 9:30 Club stage for the first time in 1986 to the keys to the original 9:30 Club and the gas tank from one of late 9:30 Club Lead Sound Engineer Shawn ‘Gus’ Vitale’s motorcycles.
From every angle the sculpture reveals more of both Dave Grohl’s and I.M.P.’s history, capturing his iconic likeness from straight-on while fading into individual relics like posters, passes, setlists, contracts and credentials from the sides, representing just how intertwined the two DC institutions have become over the years.
Artifacts were sourced from the I.M.P. archives with donations from Dischord Records, Big Tony, and Dave Grohl himself.
Additional highlights include Dave’s necklace, the official Certificate of Authenticity for Dave’s Gibson guitar, and a handwritten letter from Dave’s youth that he sent his hero, Ian MacKaye, from when he was an aspiring musician himself.
“Historical ‘easter eggs’ abound – What can you find?”
– Lost and found items at The Anthem (from keys to fobs to jewelry)
– Various posters from Foo Fighters concerts promoted by I.M.P.: 4th of July concert at RFK, D.A.R. concert, etc.
– Various 9:30 and The Anthem merch items
– 9:30 credentials and old flyers
– I.M.P. Holiday postcards
– Various Playlists
– Seth’s booking case
– Dischords Records vinyls: Scream “Fumble” and Minor Threat 7”s
– Official Certificate of Authenticity for Dave’s Gibson guitar
– Replica of Dave’s necklace (not on his neck though)
– Copy of the letter young Dave sent to his hero Ian Mackaye
– And more personal Easter eggs.
MEET THE ARTIST:
Born in 1952 in Roumazières, France, Pras trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse where he became inspired by Salvador Dali, Edvard Munch, Hiroshige, and Giuseppe Arcimboldo. A painter, sculptor, and photographer, Pras lives and works in Montreuil, near Paris.
Pras’ work can also be found at Merriweather Post Pavilion’s new sculpture garden, featuring the likes of legends Miles Davis, Dolly Parton, Robert Plant, Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, and Willie Nelson.
Click here to be amazed.