It starts with a sketch.
The room, the stage, the rafters, the 2,500 seats and every ticket, T-shirt and trinket that guests carry inside.
That’s how Los Angeles street artist Joshua Vides sees it at least. “Everything we’re surrounded by starts as a drawing,” Vides says, glancing around the lobby of the Pearl theater at the Palms, where Billy Idol launches his residency on Friday.
Vides’ latest project is an immersive exhibit to complement the occasion.
Vides has lended his graphic, monochromatic stylings to make a fully functional wedding chapel. It debuts with Idol on Friday — which is as nice a day as any for a “white wedding.”
Part art, part venue
At first glance, the “‘Til Death Do Us Part” chapel is convincingly two-dimensional. The white space is defined with simple and bold black outlines in the shape of curtains, windows and pews. From a distance, it reads as a mural.
But the small room has lighting, seating for about 24 and a small pulpit.
“It’s perfect,” Vides says about the concept. “I don’t repeat things, and this is something I’ve never done before. All my other exhibits have been for just a few days, so that’s crazy how this will be here for the majority of 2019.”
It’s been a whirlwind year for Vides. His style of art, “Reality to Idea,” started in May 2017, when he re-created the sketches for the Nike Air Force 1 by drawing bold black lines directly on the off-white sneaker. “I drew on the shoe and was like, ‘This is (expletive) crazy,’ ” he says.
He proceeded to ransack his home for more objects to transform: a bowl, a spoon, a chair. “I realized I was creating this space in my home and thought, ‘What if I did an entire room?’ ”
For months, he took his art to public spaces. A basketball hoop, a fire hydrant, a staircase behind a warehouse and a couple of rogue street signs were a few of his less-than-legal targets. “I was just expressing myself and people liked it,” says Vides about the Instagram fame that his art brought him. “I thought I’d open it up for people to see it in person.”
In February 2018, Vides rented a space in Los Angeles for his first exhibit. Using social media to get the word out, he saw 1,500 people line up to view his office-inspired installation.
One month later, he unveiled “The Garage,” another two-day L.A. exhibit featuring a hand-painted Acura NSX.
By May, Vides secured a weekend gallery space in New York that attracted 3,000 visitors — including representatives from Major League Baseball.
He was invited to create a temporary activation for the 2018 MLB All Star game. He constructed a monochrome cartoon-style locker room 10 feet from the Nationals’ home plate. .
A call from Vegas
Just a few months after wrapping his first L.A. exhibit, Palms’ creative director Tal Cooperman reached out with ideas for a collaboration.
The two Los Angeles natives go back nearly nine years to when they both worked and partied in the L.A. street art and streetwear scene.
“We started talking maybe eight months ago about a collaboration. We were throwing around some pretty outlandish ideas,” Cooperman recalls.
“Josh came to me with the idea for a chapel because it’s Vegas and people get married here. He didn’t know this yet, but we were already securing Billy Idol and it was like a lightbulb: a white wedding chapel for Billy Idol,” Cooperman says.
Idol’s song, “White Wedding” peaked at number 10 on the Billboard charts in 1982.
For three days, he and his crew, Ronald Castro and Marco Garcia, converted an all-white room near the Pearl’s concession stand.
The trio methodically laid out lines of blue painter’s tape, layered black paint on eight identical pews and created the illusion of textured curtains on bare walls.
Keen observers will notice a small eight-legged critter in the chapel.
Bugs have become a small motif in Vides’ projects. His New York exhibit, which emulated the home of a young person still learning to pick up after himself, featured a cockroach near old food cartons.
A mobile exhibit in the back of a U-Haul made to look like an RV carried a trail of ants.
“In a church, you might find a spider,” Vides explains. “The web is near the front of the altar and he’s near the center. It gives the idea that this is his home. Maybe he’s been here a while.”
The Pearl lobby is also home to street art piece by artist Felipe Pantone. He applied the same vivid style to his mural as he did to the Art Motel at Life is Beautiful in 2016.
“The idea with (Palms owners) Frank and Lorenzo (Fertitta) when curating was always to bring in the up-and-coming guys,” Cooperman says. “This is a big deal for Josh and also for us to have him in our library.”
Vides agrees. “Right out that door is a $20M piece by Damien Hirst. It’s crazy company to be in.”
When asked if he could have foreseen his first year of exhibiting wrapping with a collaboration with a Las Vegas casino, Vides isn’t one for false modesty.
“Did I expect it to be exactly this?” Vides asks himself. “No, not this exactly. But, creatively, when I looked at that shoe in my hand, I knew I had something. I believed in my vision.”
More about the chapel
The chapel will be open to ticket holders during Pearl concerts beginning with the kick off the Billy Idol Las Vegas residency on Friday.
The chapel is also available for weddings and photo shoots. Packages include:
“Our Marriage Looks Perfect – On Instagram” ($250) Includes an hour in the chapel to take photos. (Photographer not included, must reserve time in advance).
“The Shotgun Wedding” ($500) Includes an hour ceremony and time for photos in the chapel and a complimentary bottle of Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial.
“Black, White and Wed” ($500 to $5,500) Includes a ceremony in the chapel and a four-course plated dinner at Scotch80 Prime or Vetri Cucina with various beverage packages available for up to 24 people. Take the after party to APEXSocial Club with complimentary VIP admission.
“For Better Or For Worse” (from $4,500) includes a one-night stay in the Make Good Choices Suite, a two-hour catered reception in the suite that consists of tray passed hors d’oeuvres, food stations, dessert station and a beverage package.
To book any of these packages, call 702-942-6862 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.palms.com.