The Maiden Voyage Of Banegas + Weiss

March 1, 2012


This is like old school week for photographer Mark Weiss. Since the early ‘80s Mark has been shooting promo photos, tour books and traveling the world with the bands on board, as well as album packaging for Tesla, Dokken, and Cinderella’s debut album “Night Songs,” which brought the band to superstardom. Weiss first met Cinderella through their label mates, Bon Jovi, after shooting the epic, Slippery When Wet album cover. Mark’s special connection with “Monsters of Rock” began almost 25 years ago as tour photographer for Van Halen’s Monsters of Rock 1988 (OU812 Tour). It’s been quite a ride, and now through Mark’s creative collaboration with artist David Banegas, some of his iconic photographs have been resurrected as unique paintings – – live!
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, I can’t explain it.” 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.” The term Action Painting is very appropriate because David likes to paint “live.”

Mark Weiss has been auctioning his classic photographs to benefit Lunch Break, the soup kitchen in Red Bank, NJ.  At a Lunch Break fundraiser, David painted live from a photo of Elvis. David’s unique execution of the image caught Mark’s eye. The two had an idea to have David paint Mark’s most iconic rock ‘n’ roll images.  Both men, as artists who create visuals live, and in the moment, want their work to help bring focus and funds to charitable causes.

These two artists just returned from their first successful collaboration at NAMM for Guitar World Magazine’s inaugural roast of Zakk Wylde. Three months ago when Banegas and Weiss shared an idea to collaborate their passion for music, art and “giving back,” neither dreamed it would come together at such a high profile stage so quickly. As the guests arrived via the red carpet to the sold out event, attendees passed by the portrait of Zakk Wylde by photographer Mark Weiss and the mirror image was being created “live” by artist David Banegas.  David also painted “live,” Zakk’s Epiphone Signature Les Paul guitar on canvas, which will be auctioned off for MusiCares. Since then, David has completed an Axl Rose painting from Mark’s 1987 photograph taken at the Ritz during Guns N’ Roses’ historic MTV concert. Axl signed the painting for Mark last week after playing the Ritz – 25 years later. The painting will be auctioned and all proceeds will again benefit MusiCares, the foundation established by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to provide emergency financial assistance to musicians who are in need. Since 1989 the foundation has provided a way for musicians to help others in the music community who may need help with addiction recovery, senior housing, medical and other personal issues.

“I’ve known Mark for 25 years. He is absolutely the best rock photographer, period! He has a tireless energy and passion for the art of capturing rock and roll. Whether it’s live, studio, or candid, he always catches the cool moment!!! Here’s to many more years of Rock & roll and many more rolls of film my friend!!!!” –Tom Keifer