Bill’s Bar in LA Celebrates Tattoos, Neon & Good Vibes
- Erica Iannitti
Behind American Electric Tattoo on Sunset Blvd in Silver Lake sits Bill’s Bar, a gallery pop-up and event space sponsored by PBR Art. Look for “HAULIN ACID” in crisp red neon and you’ll know you’re in the right place. The sign, made by graphic design and tattoo artist Austin England, is one of the pop-up’s current pieces on view and doubles as the exhibition’s title, Hauling Acid. The show was curated by design group Alien Ghost Collective, with works by Austin England, Sam Pierson, and Brian Smith.
To kickoff the show, they threw a small party on none other than 4/20, where they distributed free, limited-edition zines and other goodies thanks to sponsors PBR and Vans. The bulk of the works center on what someone at some point might have called the “3 B’s”: Beer, Bud, and Babes, distilled through such contemporary art forms as neon (another of Austin England’s pieces, titled “Titty Smile,” is not to be missed) tattoo flash, and hand-painted signs. The vibe at Bill’s Bar is decidedly chill, filled with art tends toward humor. The space has been home to pop-ups with other great members of the creative community like Blue Rooster Art Supplies.
Bill’s Bar has even hosted block parties, teaming up with hip coiffeurs Lost Hills LA , high-end menswear shop MUSEO, and American Electric Tattoo Co, inviting the community for “good times and bad decisions,” and tons of free beer. That “chill” is an aesthetic choice at Bill’s Bar is, of course, a wise marketing decision, one that openly appeals to PBR’s core demographic. Still, it is spots like Bill’s Bar that transform the ways in which we think about and interact with art nowadays. Community-centered and all-inclusive, Bill’s Bar chips away at the pomp and circumstance that bar (seriously, no pun intended) much of today’s relevant art from participating in the conversation. Be sure to check out Bill’s Bar while “Hauling Acid” is still on view, otherwise stay tuned for all the good vibes to come.