Album Cover News Recap – August 17 – August 31, 2013
For those of you who might have missed some of my daily reports, here’s a re-cap of the most-interesting album cover-related articles I’ve found since the middle of the month:
August 17 – Nice interview article on poster/album cover artist Scott Cook by writer Rashod Ollison in The Virginian-Pilot (as promoted on the HamptonRoads.com web site). It’s a good read on how his favorite album cover as a kid (the spacey cover for Boston’s first LP) inspired him to seek out a career, now spanning over 20 years, with credits including covers for Vanilla Fudge and Canned Heat.
August 17 – Now posted on the AlbumCoverHallofFame.com site – my interview with noted designer/video director Nick Egan about his work on the seminal 1983 album by punk impresario Malcolm McLaren titled Duck Rock. The critically-acclaimed album featured the hit “Buffalo Gals” and album art illustrations and lettering by artists Keith Haring and Dondi White. With all of the publicity about the punk fashion exhibition at NY’s Metropolitan Museum (featuring works by Vivienne Westwood, McLaren’s partner), I thought that it’d be interesting to learn more about “the making of” this influential album. Hope that you enjoy it and share it with your friends – enjoy –
August 20 – Fans of the work of Storm Thorgerson and his compadres at Hipgnosis/Storm Studios will surely want to take a look at the book due out later this year. Titled “The Gathering Storm”, the book puts together many of the best-known album cover images created by the firms over the past 50 years. The book, co-published by De Milo Art, will be shipped in 3 versions – Hardback (standard), Collector’s (packaged with some additional roughs of work done) and Deluxe, which will include a limited-edition print of the book’s cover, a color variation on their iconic “Dark Side of the Moon” prism. More info is available on the De Milo site –
Thorgerson approved the book’s design shortly before his death earlier this year, and it looks to be a fitting tribute to the talented designer, his team, and their impact on album cover design.
August 21 – You know the ones that were selected, but have you seen the ones that were passed over? In this recent article by Jordan Runtagh on the VH1 Tuner site, 15 of the best-known album covers are featured along with images that were submitted-yet-rejected. One I was happy to see was the design done by Simon Posthuma and The Fool art collective for The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers record – a psychedelic masterpiece in its own right, passed over for the now-iconic Peter Blake design. Other covers on display in this article include more from The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Guns N Roses and others. Well done and illustrated and worth a read, for sure –
August 22 – Always happy to see a new place for people to discover great album cover art – located in North Shields, Tyne & Wear, UK, the Rock and Roll Icon Gallery opened with a display of photographs by the talented Gered Mankowitz, including his well-known images of Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Traffic, The Yardbirds and many others. In addition to this exhibition (Gered’s 50th anniversary in the business!), the gallery has an impressive display of Marshall Amplifiers. I’m sure that they’re all set to “11”!
August 23 – So many things to report, so let’s get started –
1) San Francisco-area rock art fans are in for a treat – musician and accomplished photographer Graham Nash will be on hand Saturday, Aug. 24, beginning at 7pm to kick off his new exhibition at the San Francisco Art Exchange gallery. Titled “This Could Be You: Photographs & Paintings by Graham Nash”, the show will provide a great lead-in to the publication of his new autobiography “Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life by Graham Nash”, due out Sept. 17th.
2) On the other side of the country – on display now through September 8 – is the “Sound and Vision: Monumental Rock & Roll Photography” show at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi. Curated by Govinda Gallery’s Chris Murray, the exhibition includes 40 photographs by 20 different artists (inc. Joel Brodsky’s great image used on the cover of Best of The Doors).
As reported in the Jackson Free Press –
3) Slate’s Forrest Wickman has assembled an interesting article that attempts to answer the question “why do so many rappers put their baby pictures on the covers of their albums”? Included in the discussion are the covers of Notorious BIG, NAS, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar and others. Is it to show their cuddly side? I’m not so sure –
August 26 – The works of famed pop artist and album cover designer extraordinaire Jon Van Hamersveld are going up on display today at a show at the Coolhaus Gallery at So. California University in Northridge, CA. Titled “Drawing Attention”, the show will include a retrospective of JVH’s art and illustration work. If you’ve seen Exile of Main Street (the Rolling Stones), Magical Mystery Tour (The Beatles) and the Fatburger logo, you’ve seen his work. The show runs through October 12, with the artist appearing at the show on both Sept 7 for a reception and Sept 9 for a gallery talk. If you’re in the area, this is a must-see!
August 27 – Pink Floyd, illustration and animation fans near Prague should be sure to stop by the Kampa Museum between now and October 13 to tour the exhibition of the art and artistry of Gerald Scarfe on display there. Over 50 drawings, paintings and animations are on display, with a large part of the show dedicated to his work for The Wall (album cover art fans will also recall his work for Roger Waters’ LP The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. March on over – it’s a scream, for sure.
August 28 – Looks like it’s a hip-hop themed Wednesday, with two interesting album cover stories:
1) Drake worked with fine artist Kadir Nelson (who was chosen to create the album cover for the upcoming Michael Jackson release) to create two beautiful paintings for the singer’s new album titled Nothing Was The Same, due out Sept. 24. Nelson, who has also produced paintings used on the front covers of books on Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, talks about his approach to the commission in this interview by Cedar Pasori on the Complex.com web site – http://www.complex.com/art-design/2013/08/kadir-nelson-drake-interview
2) In Dan Jackson’s article for XXL.com titled “20 Hip-Hop Albums with Cartoon-Like Graphic Art Covers” leads off with the Drake image and then takes us through a recent history of graphic-based (or, in the case of 50-Cent, graphically-enhanced) record covers, including those for NWA, Pharcyde, Snoop Dogg, Kanye and others –
August 29 – Wow – write a few good songs, paint a couple of pictures and BAM, you’ve got an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London… On display now through next January are 12 new portraits painted by Bob Dylan in a show called “Bob Dylan: Face Value” (I wonder if Phil Collins is due any royalties for that). Dylan’s been painting for a long while, with some of his works showing up on his own records (most famously, on Self Portrait), and this is the first time that his works have been in a museum show outside the U.S.. It is also unusual for the NPG to show the works of a non-UK artist doing non-UK portraits, but the curator said that it was their opportunity to show just how multi-talented the man is. Now, if you can show me a video of him singing, playing guitar, playing harmonica AND doing a watercolor at the same time, perhaps THEN I’ll be impressed –
If you happen to be visiting the gallery after September 17, be sure to review the new photo exhibition by photographer Michael Peto, including a fine image of Paul McCartney and The Beatles shot during the making of the film Help!
August 30 – If you’re heading on up to Seattle for this year’s Bumbershoot festival, don’t forget to stop by the Armory building for the 36th showing of the American Poster Institute’s FLATSTOCK exhibition. Over 40 artists from around the country will have their wares on display and for sale. Meet the talent, bring a tube and take home some of the latest works from Mike King, Voodoo Catbox, Dan Stiles and many others.
Be sure to come back and visit our site often – new album cover news, as it happens!