Eddie Van Halen Mural ‘Comes to Life’ in Augmented Reality Tribute
The Eddie Van Halen mural outside the Hollywood Guitar Center recently became part of an augmented reality experience that animates the artwork as if the painting's subject is moving.
It was a tribute to the late guitarist on what would have been the Van Halen co-cofounder's 67th birthday on Wednesday (Jan. 26). Through the graphic engineering of The AR Firm, on-site spectators could hold their smartphones up to the art to see the painted EVH's head bobbing and his arm moving along his guitar.
See a video of the EVH mural AR experience down toward the bottom of this post.
The AR Firm's Roman Gora said, "Eddie Van Halen was an icon that fans worship to this day. We knew we had a chance to create something really special. This way Eddie will shred forever." (via Blabbermouth)
Gora's co-executive, Drew Iwankiw, added, "Augmented reality technology is the next wave of experiential entertainment. We make things people dream about really happen. The waves of Van Halen fans holding up their phones to the mural and tearing up watching Eddie play after his death. I have the best job in the world."
The massive EVH mural, titled "Long Live the King," was first unveiled on Jan. 26, 2021, on what would have been the guitar legend's 66th birthday. It was created by the artist Robert Vargas, who completed the work in an accelerated time frame of just two weeks.
Vargas told Variety, "This is Hollywood — Sunset Strip, where the band made a name for themselves. I wanted to be able to celebrate that. They were famous all around the world, but this is home. If there was going to be an Eddie Van Halen mural that was going to go up here, I definitely had to be the one to do it. I wanted to do it bigger and larger than life, just like Eddie was."
Following the mural's installation, Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie's 30-year-old son, came to the defense of the art after seeing some Twitter users' critiques about it.
"The mural is incredible," Wold responded. "Literally flawless. I can understand 'not liking a particular piece of art' for whatever reason, but saying it doesn't look like him makes you look BIG dumb. It's not even a matter of taste, it's just straight up wrong."
Wolf, after replacing bassist Michael Anthony in Van Halen in 2006, performed alongside his father in the band until Eddie died in 2020. Van Halen then quietly disbanded. Wolf released his debut album as Mammoth WVH last year.