Title: Mike Ness
Medium: Acrylic on canvas (unstretched)
Size: 48" x 48"
Artist: Scotty Roller
Growing up in Anaheim and even living in Fullerton for a couple years in my early twenties, I always sorta had a loose connection to Social Distortion not unlike many other Orange County folks. I saw them for the first time in 1990 at Cal State Fullerton for free during a lunchtime concert in their outdoor plaza.Their music was and image was still hard-edged and punk rock and they weren't the legends then that they are now. KROQ in L.A. would start playing Ring Of Fire and Ball & Chain a week later. The audience still didn't know what to make of it. It was unfamiliar territory. I believe there's even video of that show on YouTube.
Fast forward years later to May of 2012 and I was living in Reno. Social D came to Reno for a two-night stand at The Knitting Factory. I did two screen printed gig posters for the band. One of Al Capone and one with John Dillinger as a nod to their single Machine Gun Blues on the record they were touring in support of. Later that year in Brooklyn, New York at an art fair Mike had stopped by my booth and we talked for probably 20 minutes about antiques, art, cars, and the atmosphere in New York and how humid it was. The band had a show that night at Brooklyn Bowl.
Five years later as part of an art show I produced in Long Beach, California I thought it was time to paint a portrait of the guy who by that time had changed a cultural landscape of Orange County through music. He bridged the gap between punk rockers, greasers, rockabilly, country and car fans. He gave all of those subcultures a red thread to bring them together. Mike's face is loaded with character, soul, pain, victory and wisdom and I tried to capture all of that in a grayscale portrait. I chose to do it in grays as an homage to his affinity for all things vintage and his love for the 1940's and 50's aesthetic.
Through a mutual friend of ours, Mike was offered this and another painting to hang in his studio and while he loved both of them he ultimately didn't have the room for them. If you know or have any sort of insight into Mike's collection of antiques in his space, then you know this is a huge understatement! LOL!
This painting is done with professional heavy body acrylics and high gloss museum grade varnish.