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Axl Rose is suing art writer and gallerist Mat Gleason. The Guns N’ Roses frontman and his lawyers issued a cease and desist letter to Gleason in advance of his gallery’s upcoming solo exhibition by photographer Laura London, Once Upon A Time…Axl Rose Was My Neighbor. What’s the fuss all about?
So, Axl Rose used to live down the street from Laura London. She’s a photographer, dabbling in the art and fashion worlds, and she made this series of work called Axl Rose Was My Neighbor. You can see the photographs on her website: there’s people dressed up like Axl Rose who are obviously not Axl Rose. She is doing something artists do: making fiction.
Axl Rose does not do nuance. According to the cease and desist letter obtained by TMZ, Rose is suing because of “blatantly false and defamatory statements” on the website of Coagula Curatorial, Gleason’s gallery. The statement in question comes from a description about one of London’s works, a photograph of graffiti on Axl Rose’s garage, which she claims was made by the singer:
“Axl Rose was having a fight with his wife at the time, Erin Everly, and spray painted graffiti of lyrics of one of his most popular songs ‘Sweet Child 0’ Mine,’ twisted into sick poetry and instead wrote ‘Sweet Child ’ 0Die you R 1 of many nothing special.”
Rose claims he never did such a thing and, like any rational human, he wants Gleason to cancel the exhibition. If that doesn’t happen, Rose plans to milk Gleason for the cash cow he thinks he is, seeking millions of dollars in damages from the art writer, among other demands. Of course. That makes total sense.
So far, the exhibition has not been cancelled, although the language on Coagula Curatorial’s website has changed to emphasize that Laura London’s exhibition about Axl Rose is, in fact, a “docudrama based on an interpretation and depiction of actual events.”
Let’s hope that art wins against the crazies. If nothing else, we have learned the lesson that Axl Rose has an appetite for injunction, and he continues to abide by those lyrics he wrote so many decades ago in “Welcome to the Jungle”:
You can have everything you want but you better not take it from me.