Val Kilmer’s Wonderland Art Project

One more post for the weekend!

I had first learned of this art project from a video on YouTube. I think I even “borrowed” one of their images as a rotating header/banner on this site. It’s the one with the bloody hand print over the image of the Wonderland house.

Some of the artwork is on eBay… Here. That’s a nice photo of Kate. Val looks funny. Here is another eBay find, a 24″ x 16″ art poster signed by Kilmer. Heck yea! I have spent $100 on more trivial stuff before in my life. I will have to decide this weekend if I want one of those or not 😉

Pretty cool photos and stuff. I really dig it! Especially a dress stitched together from Wonderland images? That’s what my girlfriend would have to wear (daily!). LOL.

I cannot find that video now, please post it in the comments if you see it on YouTube.

Read on…

The art project had begun in Mr. Kilmer’s movie trailer on the set of ”Wonderland,” which also features Lisa Kudrow, Kate Bosworth, Tim Blake Nelson, Dylan McDermott and Eric Bogosian. Mr. Alborzi, a protégé of the collage photographer Peter Beard, was taking pictures of the cast and keeping a daily diary.

Soon the Kilmer trailer was filled with emotionally charged collages of the scruffily dressed and groomed cast with added texts. ”I saw them snapping pictures, but I didn’t realize the kind of art they were creating,” Ms. Kudrow said. ”They weren’t just set stills. They were writing on pieces of the script and splattering it with blood.”

”The intensity of the art,” she added, ”matches the intensity of the set.”

Mr. Kilmer’s ”Wonderland” character, John Holmes, was a real-life star of pornographic films who died of complications from AIDS in 1988. The film takes its name from Wonderland Avenue, a serpentine street in the hills of Laurel Canyon where four drug dealer-burglars were murdered in a tawdry party house in 1981.

The killings were linked to Holmes, although he was later cleared of charges. In the film, Ms. Kudrow is Holmes’s wife, Sharon, and Ms. Bosworth is his teenage girlfriend.

Mr. McDermott, cast as a goateed drug dealer, visited Room 55 one evening and recalled:

”You could walk into the trailer and light something on fire or splatter some paint. It was cool to participate in this little bit of madness specific to a time — and now it goes on in the room.”

Mr. Kilmer and Mr. Alborzi made up T-shirts of various designs, and so many people visited their suite that the T-shirts began blanketing West Hollywood, from the Viper Room to the Whiskey, worn as cool keepsakes.

On Aug. 24, more than 1,000 revelers showed up for an exhibition of the collages (priced at $2,000 to $10,000) at the Off Main Gallery in Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. The model Angela Lindvall wore a dress stitched from ”Wonderland” images. The party continued back at Room 55, fueled by cases of Precis vodka and Fiji water stacked on the kitchen floor.

William Monahan, a screenwriter and a long-term hotel guest, said he had struck up a friendship with Mr. Kilmer, who gave him an artwork (and offered the use of his 1969 GTO convertible).

”I’m pretty exacting about art, and I think this stuff is very clever and a good use of time, materials and the exact circumstances,” Mr. Monahan said. ”If you had an on-set still of Greta Garbo in ‘Queen Christina,’ across which she had personally written ‘Help me’ or ‘I like cheeseburgers and Jesus’ 80 times in gold paint — it’d be worth a bit more than usual, don’t you think?”


NY Times. 2003.