“Blending themes of pop culture with techniques of the old masters”: Epiphone quite literally tops off the Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection with Mark Ryden’s Queen Bee – the only guitar in the series to use front-facing artwork

Epiphone Adam Jones Custom Art Collection Queen Bee
(Image credit: Epiphone)

Epiphone has announced the seventh and final installment of the Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection, this time featuring Mark Ryden’s Queen Bee.

The new electric guitar is notable for being the only model in the collection that places artwork on the front of the instrument – namely, a stray bee that appears to have drifted onto the top plate. 

That said, it still reserves the main body of the image for the rear of the instrument. 

“Blending themes of pop culture with techniques of the old masters,” says Epiphone, “Mark Ryden blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art in a new genre of ‘Pop Surrealism’.”

Epiphone Adam Jones Custom Art Collection Queen Bee top

(Image credit: Epiphone)

If you’re thinking the image looks somewhat familiar, that is probably because the first guitar in Jones’ Art Collection series featured another Mark Ryden artwork, Veil of Bees, so the artist’s second inclusion marks a closing of the loop, as we round out the series and 2023 itself. 

As with the other models in the range, the Art Collection Queen Bee comes with a marquee back plate, documenting the name of the artist and artwork, but otherwise the changes are purely cosmetic and the spec follows that of his main signature guitar, the Epiphone Adam Jones Les Paul Custom

As such, you get a mahogany body and maple top with seven-ply binding, a three-piece maple neck, ebony 'board, Graph Tech nut and a pair of humbuckers, in the reverse-mounted Epiphone ProBucker Custom (neck) and Seymour Duncan Distortion (bridge).

Also like its predecessors, the Queen Bee comes complete with custom Protector hardcase and will be limited to 800 instruments worldwide, retailing for $1,299. 

Epiphone Adam Jones Custom Art Collection Queen Bee back

(Image credit: Epiphone)

We’re sad to see the series come to a close. It’s not every day you get to talk Greek mythology or surrealism in guitar design, but that’s exactly the sort of thing that’s happened as a result of the Tool guitarist’s limited-edition run.

Alongside this model and the aforementioned Veil of Bees, we’ve had Frazetta’s The Bezerker, Julie Hefferman’s Study for Self-Portrait with Rose Skirt and a Mouse and Self-Portrait as Not Dead Yet, Korin Faught’s Sensation and Ernst Fuchs’ Anti-Laokoon, 1965 all adorning Silverburst Les Pauls. 

For more information on the Adam Jones Custom Art Collection Les Pauls, head to Epiphone.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.