The art of pleasing the boss

A Guns N' Roses super-fan not only has a flash Slash being airbrushed, but has also splashed cash on a Slash axe.

Dunedin artist and signwriter Ian Formston has spent two years painting Slash and his guitar for his Guns N’ Roses-mad boss.

"It’s like five or six paintings in one . . . there’s a lot in this painting. I incorporated lots of different things."

Speedy Signs owner Adam Cullen said the idea had come from seeing other art pieces his employee had produced.

"I’ve always been a Guns N’ Roses fan, since 1987, particularly Slash, being a guitarist myself.

Dunedin artist and Speedy Signs signwriter Ian Formston has spent two years completing an...
Dunedin artist and Speedy Signs signwriter Ian Formston has spent two years completing an airbrush painting of Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash for his mega-fan boss Adam Cullen. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

"I got talking with Ian as I’ve seen his work and we decided it would be a good idea to get something made."

Mr Cullen bought a limited edition guitar in 2008 based on Slash’s guitar, one of only 600 in the world, for just under $4000.

He was thrilled to hear the band was coming to Dunedin.

"I couldn’t believe it. I’ve seen them before, and Slash in his other band, but having them here is crazy.

"I’d love them to see [the painting], get it signed."

The pair had worked together to figure out what went in the painting, which used an airbrushing technique, including Mr Cullen’s favourite lyrics and album covers.

Mr Formston, who has painted since he was 7 years old, estimated he had put in more than 106 hours of on-and-off work over the years, but said it had been well worth it.

"I’m very happy with how it’s turned out. It is quite personal. I’ve gone all out to make it a good project.

"I had different Guns N’ Roses songs in my head while painting it."

It would be complete in several months, he thought, well before the band’s arrival in Dunedin next November.

The painting will be hung in Mr Cullen’s game room.

Pre-sale tickets are available for the Dunedin concert now and general tickets go on sale tomorrow.

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