Artists toast Bill Murray's comic genius

Bill Murray has inspired audiences worldwide with some of his legendary performances in such films as "Groundhog Day," "What About Bob?," and "Ghostbusters." In celebration of his 60th birthday, Murray is inspiring an entirely different form of art. R&R Gallery in downtown Los Angeles is hosting an exhibit entitled "Mr. Bill Murray" in honor of the iconic actor and comedian.  Nearly 50 artists have collaborated to produce this honorary art show.

"Mr. Bill Murray" included diverse pieces, from Murray's face plastered on a slice of toast in a piece of breakfast art, to an invasively large mural of a nude Murray.

Pyne Williams, an attendee and extreme Murray fan, found his favorite piece to be the toast but enjoyed all of the art.  "I'm just excited to see this many artists inspired by someone I love," said Williams. "They say the heroes of your childhood are the heroes that remain your entire life."

Upon entering the gallery, you immediately see a space "reserved for Mr. Bill Murray" just in case Murray decided to attend.

The exhibit was complete with a live DJ and a bar.  A "Ghostbusters" car and about ten real-live Ghostbusters staked their territory outside the entrance where attendees waited anxiously.  The line went down the street just to enter the almost hidden art gallery.  Whether it was an overwhelming passion for Murray or the free admission, the opening reception was filled beyond capacity.

While many were seemingly enjoying the scene, there were a few critics among the crowd.  Susan Campisi, another Murray fan, shared her peeves.  "I love Bill Murray, I've loved him for years." Campisi said. "This is a total hipster event, but whatever.  There are a couple of pieces that really stand out."

Murray's extensive resume lent much material for the show.  After a young Murray began with Second City comedy troupe based in Chicago, he went on to join the original cast of "Saturday Night Live" alongside the likes of Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi and Gilda Radner.

Murray soon scored the memorable roles in "Caddyshack," "Meatballs," and "Stripes." With one of the most lucrative careers in the 80's and 90's comedic films, Murray has changed his image more recently, appearing in such films as "Broken Flowers" and "The Darjeeling Limited."

"When I was growing up some of my favorite comedians like Steve Martin and David Letterman, their humor and body of work hasn't really aged well," tells Williams.  "I kind of lost a little respect for them artistically.  Unlike Steve Martin and David Letterman, Bill Murray's never lost a beat."

"Mr. Bill Murray" will be at 929 E. Second St., Suite 106, Los Angeles.  The event is free and is open by appointment through September 30.  For an appointment or more information call (213) 626-2261 or visit