Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – End of July – August, 2019
By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Summer marches on. After driving by the area in downtown Chicago where the annual Lollapalooza music event is being held (making motoring down Lake Shore Drive extra fun) and seeing the happy crowds enjoying the performances/shenanigans taking place there (although, with ticket prices starting at $130 for a one-day general admission pass and going up to $4200 for a 4-day “platinum pass”, which gets you “access to the luxurious, climate-controlled North & South Platinum Lounges featuring signature cocktails, craft beer, champagne, wine and curated culinary offerings; premium viewing areas in front of five stages; access to on-stage viewing at the North & South main stages; complete access to the VIP Lolla Lounges, including the new stage featuring performances by Lolla artists” and, my favorite perk, “golf cart transportation between the Platinum Festival entrance, Lounges, and front-of-stage viewing areas” – I mean, who can walk after all of that champagne and “curated culinary offerings”? – this is one fest I’ll have to live without), it reminds me that there are simpler and no-less-enjoyable ways to spend a few minutes of your time, such as reviewing this month’s easy-to-digest run-down of all of the album cover artist/art-related news I think might be worth your time investigating:
WAIT – BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE – ARE YOU AN ALBUM COVER ART CREATOR? If so, now’s the time to show the world just how innovative and talented you are. From now thru August 9th, the nice people who stage the ever-more-impressive “Making Vinyl” conferences are accepting entries into this year’s album art/packaging awards competition. Last year’s “Best In Show” winner – the team behind The Decemberists’ I’ll Be Your Girl, including art directors/designers/illustrators Carson Ellis, Glen Nakasako and Jeri Heiden – also won two top awards at the 2018 PPP (Paperboard Packaging Council) Awards show and received a nomination at last year’s Grammy Awards for Best Recording Package, Boxed and so, if past history is any indicator, the winners in this competition’s 15 categories do indeed represent “the best of the best”. Another Making Vinyl Award winner – the creative team Meghan Foley, Annie Stoll & Al Yankovic, art directors, who put together Weird Al Yankovic’s box-set-in-an-accordion called Squeeze Box, also would go on to win the aforementioned Grammy Award for “Best Recording Package, Boxed”, so it should give all of you working in this field some incentive to add your most-recent works to this year’s contest. I was asked again to be one of the judges for this year’s competition and look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to this past year.
The winner’s will be announced at this year’s Making Vinyl Music Packaging Awards ceremonies In Los Angeles, scheduled during the 2-day conference to be held October 14-15 at the W Hotel in West Hollywood.
Enter via the link – http://makingvinyl.org/music-packaging-awards/?
If you’d like to read my interview with Jeri heiden and Glen Nakasako that I did after their win last year, here’s the link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/2270-ill-be-your-girl-the-decemberists/
New Exhibitions/gallery shows –
1) NEW – There’s a new exhibition that opened on Saturday, July 20th at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA that I urge any fan of great design – particularly in the realm of album/poster art – to make a beeline to ASAP. Era of Cool: The Art of John Van Hamersveld (running now thru Sunday, October 20, 2019) includes a selection of Van Hamersveld’s album covers, poster designs, drawings, mural designs, photography and paintings. His portfolio of music-related artwork is legendary – Exile on Main Street for the Rolling Stones; Hotter Than Hell for KISS; The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour; Blondie’s Eat To The Beat and Autoamerican; Skeletons From The Closet for the Grateful Dead and many others for Steve Miller, Van Morrison, Jefferson Airplane and more. If you’ve been to Fatburger, you’ve seen his work (that’s his logo). And that “Endless Summer” artwork you see on t-shirts, beach bags and on a poster that hangs in the lobbies of many beachfront hotels – it’s his work as well. Quite the portfolio, you have to admit…
Nice interview with JVH by Bonnie C. West, the curatorial assistant at The Westmoreland – https://thewestmoreland.org/blog/
For more information on this exciting new show featuring one of the best-recognized album cover artists/graphic designers in the business, click on over to the museum’s web site at https://thewestmoreland.org/exhibitions/era-of-cool-the-art-of-john-van-hamersveld/
Local reporter Lisa Cunningham, writing for the Pittsburgh City Paper, provides us all with more background on John and this news show – https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/artist-behind-hundreds-of-iconic-album-covers-debuts-first-solo-show-at-westmoreland-museum-of-art/Content?oid=15431122
John’s work has been featured many times in many different articles on the ACHOF site. I’m a proud owner of several of his works of art and had the pleasure of meeting him (and his wife, Alida), interviewing him and, back in the day, selling his works in my gallery, so you can imagine how happy I am to see such a retrospective made available to fans of great art and design. Go, Go, Go!
2) NEW – The Bob Gruen photo show that was on display at the Brian Liss Gallery in Toronto, Canada earlier this month is moving to a new home – the Art Lovers Gallery inside the Delta Grand Hotel in Kelowna, B.C., Canada.
You’ll see many of Mr. Gruen’s “greatest hits” – his photos of John Lennon in NYC (one wearing his “New York City” t-shirt and the other with Lennon flashing a peace sign in front of the Statue of Liberty), his photo of Led Zeppelin in front of their tour plane, etc. – along with others from his 40+ year portfolio compiled while covering the rock scene for many publications and television shows. Of course, we here at the ACHOF are very appreciative of the album covers he’s produced, such as Dressed To Kill for KISS; John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band’s – Sometime in New York City and Raspberries for the Raspberries, among others (it was his photo that was featured on the beautiful John Lennon postage stamps issued last year by the USPS, too). Visitors to the gallery will find, in addition to a fine selection of fine art prints for sale, that they’ll also have copies of his 2011 career retrospective book Rock Seen for you to take home as well.
More info can be found on the gallery’s web site – https://artlovers.ca/ (scroll down the page a bit to see the info on the exhibition).
3) NEW – NOT SURE HOW I MISSED THIS ONE LAST MONTH! – While some may think that the most-notable Black Sabbath-related event this year was the “Grammy Salute to Music Legends” event on May 11th in Los Angeles when they received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy – an event highlighted by the reunion of Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler (Ozzy was home recovering from a spill) with long-time drummer Bill Ward – those with a respect for “the big picture” will give a nod to the Home Of Metal: Black Sabbath – 50 Years exhibition currently up and running (now through September 29th) in the band’s home town of Birmingham, U.K. at the city’s Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
One of the things that makes this exhibition so special is that it pays tribute to the fact that it was the band’s loyal fans who embraced them as a proud product of their upbringings in the area – “to show the impact and cultural legacy of the band as pioneers of Heavy Metal, and to celebrate this unique, significant part of British music heritage.” According to the show’s producers, the exhibition puts on display an impressive collection of “historical photos, ephemera, and memorabilia sourced directly from all of the original Black Sabbath members” and highlights “personal stories that will demonstrate the extraordinary scale and diversity of Black Sabbath’s international fan-base together with a vast photography collection of over 3,000 portraits of fans from all corners of the globe.” I was particularly impressed with the photo I saw of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that had been customized with several examples of the band’s great portfolio of album cover images. What’s more, on August 3rd, at the Custard Factory nearby, artists Robert Ashby, Holly Ashby, Elle Donlan and Ellie Williams will be offering tattoos inspired by the Home of Metal exhibition. Motorcycles, loud music and tattoos – how metal can you get? In any case, if you’d like to learn more and see the details, click on the link – https://homeofmetal.com/
ONGOING Exhibitions/Gallery Shows:
1) A show at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI looks to be a must-see for students of the art of the album cover. According to the advance press, “For the Record: Artists on Vinyl mines a unique vein of creative expression, the design of the record album cover and the use of phonographic recordings by artists as a vehicle for creative expression…This exhibition features more than 50 designs, many of which are paired with artworks, drawn from our permanent collection, by the same artist.” Most readers of this site know how often it is that now-famous artists either got their start in the album cover art business (Andy Warhol and Drew Struzan are prime examples of this) or, as musical and graphical artists are often on the same wavelength, how many successful collaborations there have been between music and art makers.
For the Record: Artists on Vinyl is organized by Cranbrook Art Museum curator Ian Gabriel Wilson, the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow, with the assistance of Frank M. Edwards, with many of the artworks on display drawn from the collection of Mr. Edwards. Previously, Mr. Edwards and his wife, Ann M. Williams, who serve on the museum’s board, were the principal sources for another Crankbrook exhibition – Warhol On Vinyl The Record Covers, 1949-1987+ that was on display there June 21, 2014 – March 21, 2015. Artists in the show include: Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Harry Bertoia, Salvador Dalí, Richard Diebenkorn, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Robert Rauschenberg, Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, among many others.
For the Record: Artists on Vinyl can be found in the museum’s deSalle & Lower Level Galleries – now through April 19, 2020 – https://cranbrookartmuseum.org/exhibition/for-the-record-artists-on-vinyl/
2) Having wowed the crowds in Los Angeles last year with a huge show in Chinatown that drew thousands of fans, street art/graffiti art fans in the NYC area can now traipse on over to a new show called Beyond The Streets that opens to the public this weekend in a large space (over 100,000 square feet!) of its own in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. According to the show’s advance PR, “BEYOND THE STREETS celebrates society’s most pervasive mark makers and rule breakers with unprecedented purpose and scale. The exhibition explores the collective urgency of using the street as a canvas for expression”…and features “enlightening panel discussions hosted by legendary street art icons and presentations by contemporary artists who are continuing to redefine and reshape the art form.” Album cover art fans will see examples of work from many of their favorites, including Cey Adams, J-M Basquiat, Martha Cooper, Shepard Fairey, Glen E. Friedman, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami, Mister Cartoon and Kenny Scharf, among others.
The show runs thru August 25th, 2019 and is located at 25 Kent Ave, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The entrance is on North 12th between Wythe and Kent Avenues, right next to the Wythe Hotel, William Vale Hotel, and Brooklyn Bowl. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 8pm. Closed Monday & Tuesday. Gen admission is $25, kids 6-11, $12. https://beyondthestreets.com/
My friends Rocky Bucano and Adam Silverstein from the Universal Hip-Hop Museum (www.uhhm.org) toured the show with some friends of theirs (including LL Cool J) and enjoyed it immensely.
3) Now running at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland is a show whose history began almost 20 years ago when the curators from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum put on a show called The Art of Selling Songs: Graphics for the Music Business 1690 – 1990 that dug deep into the museum’s impressive collection of music-related graphics to show how graphic design was used to promote and sell musical performances and products. The updated version of this show now on display in Belfast presents an “A side” – artwork from “the olden days” thru the introduction of pop music – and a “B side” of more recent work, featuring works from artists and designers including Julien Opie, Peter Saville, Andy Warhol, Albert Watson and many others. A bonus show called Overtones: Irish Music Art celebrates artwork created by Irish artists/designers and works for Irish acts including Ash, Snow Patrol, Them, U2 and others. Here are a couple of recent articles – one in the Irish Times– https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/great-irish-album-artwork-goes-on-display-at-ulster-museum-1.3924937 and one on the Irish News.com site – https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2019/06/14/news/sgt-pepper-and-alternative-ulster-star-in-striking-new-exhibition-of-album-artwork-1641599/ – that serve to provide overviews of the show, with the second one also including a short video interview with the exhibition’s curator, Anna Liesching, curator of art at National Museums NI.
The displays are available for your enjoyment from now through the 15th of September, with more info available on the museum’s site at https://www.nmni.com/whats-on/the-art-of-selling-songs
4) Fans of photographer Jim Marshall can still catch one of the two recent exhibitions of his work curated by the team at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Last year from late July thru late September, the Summer of Love poster show was staged at the Andaz Gallery/Hotel in Hollywood, CA featuring 17 original posters from the 1960s by noted visual psychedelic artists including Wes Wilson, Bonnie MacLean (AKA Mrs. Bill Graham), Jim Blashfield, Greg Irons and Stanley Mouse.
The partnership proved to be a good one and, to our benefit, they’re joining forces again to provide a new show based on selections from the late, great photojournalist Jim Marshall’s portfolio. Just launched at the end of June and running through the end of the year, the GRAMMY Museum® has once again teamed with Andaz West Hollywood hotel to showcase a collection of 12 of Marshall’s original photographs documenting the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) peace symbol. Marshall, best known for documenting the lives of rock bands and artists (including the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and the Beatles), along with producing images for hundreds of album covers, also excelled as a photojournalist for several major publications (including Rolling Stone and Life magazines), documenting the emerging (and rapidly-expanding) cultural movements begun in San Francisco during the 1960s. The photographs will be located in the hotel’s public space and available for public viewing. The Andaz West Hollywood is located at 8401 West Sunset Blvd.,West Hollywood, CA, and the photographs – available for public viewing – are located in the hotel’s public space.
5) Album cover fans will know his work on the covers of records such as Blonde on Blonde for Bob Dylan, We’re Only In It For The Money for Frank Zappa & The Mothers, Sonny & Cher’s The Wonderful World of Sonny & Cher and others; while film fans will remember his string of award-winning movies in the 1970s including Panic in Needle Park (1971 – starring Al Pacino), Scarecrow (1973) and 1979’s Seduction of Joe Tynan. Whether you’re a fan of his for those works or for the many photos of his that have graced publications including Esquire, Glamour and Vogue, New York City’s very own Jerry Schatzberg’s images are always memorable, so when I heard about this new show that just launched in France – Off Grand Concourse: A Jerry Schatzberg Retrospective, presented by Château de Chamarande, I knew that fans of his work would be pleased and eager to see it in person.
According to the show’s press – “The theme of Schatzberg’s retrospective at Château de Chamarande materialized organically from his formative years spent in the Bronx. His vision as an artist is a direct result of his first 14 years living literally off Grand Concourse, where he absorbed the culture created by the first, second and third generation immigrants in his neighborhood. An immense pool of talent emerged from the competitive spirit and ingenuity of these people, who had journeyed to The Bronx in search of affordable housing. Though it takes greater struggle, imagination, and innovation to thrive as an immigrant in America, the benefit of being in the margins is that when no one is paying attention, there is much greater freedom to take risks, make mistakes, and buck convention. Analogous to Off Broadway and how it functions in the theater world as a safe space for experimentation and exploration of varying perspectives, Off Grand Concourse represents those on the fringe willing to thumb their noses at the mainstream with audacity, quirkiness, grit, and fortitude. Everything Jerry Schatzberg produces is informed by these indelible Off Grand Concourse roots.”
Château de Chamarande is a 16th Century castle which sits upon 90 acres of land in the suburbs of Paris. “The grandeur and history of the space juxtaposed with the cutting-edge contemporary art exhibited within” will certainly provide fans with an exciting overall experience. The show runs from now thru August 31st at Château de Chamarande and will travel to New York City later this Fall (details to follow, as they’re available). More information is available on the venue’s web site (mostly in French, but with some pages in English) – http://chamarande.essonne.fr/exposition-off-grand-concourse-du-27-mai-au-1er-septembre-2019/
To see more examples of Jerry Schatzberg’s work, please visit his web site at: http://www.jerryschatzberg.com and, if you’d like to read the interview I did with him a while back about his work on the aforementioned Frank Zappa cover, click on over to https://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2007/10/cover-story-fra.html
6) ENDING SOON – The Contact High hip-hop photography show in LA – One of the first books I found when starting to source some of the content I’d need for the Hip-Hop Historical Timeline project I’m working on was Vikki Tobak’s beautifully-done photo book Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop which, per the book’s intro, “is an inside look at the work of hip-hop photographers told through their most intimate diaries – their contact sheets”. Beginning with Joe Conzo, Jr.’s 1979 photo of party-meister Kool Herc and Cold Crush Brothers founding member Tony Tone and taking us through the highlights of hip-hop history (ending with Phil Knott’s cover shots for A$AP Rocky’s 2012 record Long,Live.A$AP), the book now serves as the basis for a show that opened recently at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles (one that runs there through August 18th). The show includes nearly 140 photos from 60 different shooters and includes over 75 of the original contact sheets of the photo sessions that produced the shots we’ve come to know and love.
More info on this show is available on the museum’s site at https://www.annenbergphotospace.org/exhibits/contact-high/
7) ENDING SOON – Commercial banker/punk art/ephemera collector Andrew Krivine’s incredible collection has been tapped over the years for shows on the topic (items from his collection have also served as the basis of a 2011 exhibition at the Steven Kasher Gallery in NYC – Rude and Reckless: Punk/Post-Punk Graphics, 1976-82 – a survey of “the extraordinary diversity of Punk and Post-Punk graphic design” – and the 2014 show staged at the Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, PA that opened in January, 2014 called Pretty Vacant: The Graphic Language of Punk). Now, at Museum of Art and Design in NYC (also running through August 18th), a comprehensive new show pulls out all of the stops to give fans a sense of what things looked like after everything punk invaded our collective sensibilities forty years ago.
Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976-1986 was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and curated by Andrew Blauvelt, Director, with the assistance of Steffi Duarte. The presentation at the Museum of Arts and Design was managed by Curatorial Assistant Alida Jekabson, with more information available at https://madmuseum.org/exhibition/too-fast-live-too-young-die The show’s opening night featured an appearance by none other than Mr. Johnny Rotten himself – – https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/johnny-rotten-museum-art-design-1526224?
8) ENDING SOON – The exhibition in Malmo, Sweden at the Moderna Museet that features the works of Pop Art master Andy Warhol continues on display now through September 8th. What makes this show all the more impressive is that it is one in which a fellow album cover lover/blogger – Dr. Richard Forrest – had given his entire collection of Warhol-crafted album covers (some 81 covers in all, spanning from the 1950s through the 1980s and including Warhol’s work for clients in the jazz, rock and pop genres) in support of.
Since that time, the show has attracted fans from all over the world, and Dr. Forrest was kind enough to send along several photos of his collection as it’s on display, and all I can say is WOW and suggest quite strongly that anyone travelling to that part of the world be sure to take the time to see these covers – and the entire Warhol collection – in this setting.
More details on the show (and its previous staging in Stockholm) can be found on the museum’s web site at https://www.modernamuseet.se/malmo/en/exhibitions/warhol-1968/
BONUS CONTENT – I just put the finishing touches on my interview with Mr. Forrest in which we learn more about his fascinating collection of album covers/cover art. You’ll find it via this Shortlink – https://wp.me/p15kTT-BS – and I do hope you’ll read it and share it with your friends and neighbors.
9) ONGOING – Let’s begin with a fun fact – although Linda McCartney had great talent with the camera and had the last name Eastman, she was NOT, as was widely thought, a scion of the Eastman family associated with the Eastman-Kodak company (her dad was, in fact, a copyright attorney). Nevertheless, after graduating from high school in Scarsdale and then becoming an Art History major at the University of Arizona, where her love for nature motivated her to purchase a Leica camera and stud the photography of horses under the tutelage of Hazel Larsen Archer (and then marrying/divorcing cultural anthropologist Melville See, with whom she had her first child, daughter Heather, in 1963), Linda and her daughter moved back to New York City, living off an inheritance her mother had left her and take a job as a receptionist/editorial assistant for Town & Country Magazine in 1965.
A romantic relationship with photographer David Dalton allowed Linda to study how a professional shooter works and, soon after, she began to manage her own photo sessions, using her knowledge, good looks and ability to communicate with even the most-difficult subjects to secure gigs featuring people in the music business. She became a house photographer at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East venue and, over time, she’d shoot music superstars including Eric Clapton, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young (one of her photos of Young performing in 1968 at Canterbury House would later become the cover of a record called Sugar Mountain) and others – in fact, her photo for Rolling Stone Magazine’s May 11, 1968 issue was the first cover taken by a female photographer to appear in that magazine – and so when she met Beatle Paul McCartney while covering the release of the band’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP and married him a couple of years later, it marked the beginning of a long and productive creative relationship as well – one that ended, sadly, with her death in 1998.
So, while she might not be with us, her portfolio lives on and is the subject of a show which has toured the world for the past 5+ years, with stops in Vienna, Montpellier and Seoul and is launching today at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland – it’s first display in the U.K. and is on display now through the 12th of January, 2020. Simply titled “The Linda McCartney Retrospective,” the show was curated by the photographer’s husband, fellow musician Paul McCartney and their two daughters, Mary and Stella, and, according to the pre-show press, “It brings together dozens of Linda McCartney’s photos—from famous portraits of 1960s rock icons to more personal snapshots of her quiet home life with Paul—as well a trove of archival materials being shown in public for the first time, including cameras, her personal magazine collection, and even a diary from the ’60s.” More info is available at https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/event/1/linda-mccartney-retrospective
Linda was also credited with a number of well-known-and-loved album cover photos, including the shot of Paul and his newborn daughter Mary taken in Scotland that was used on the back cover of Paul M’s solo debut album in 1970 titled McCartney. Available in the museum’s shop – quite the nice souvenir – is a limited-edition (one of 12), 20” x 24” fine art print of that photo (signed by Mary, who is now old enough to sign her name), priced at only £4,200.00 https://shop.glasgowlife.org.uk/mccartney-album-cover-scotland-1970-limited-edition-print. Get one for someone you love.
More details also at https://www.lindamccartney.com/the-linda-mccartney-retrospective/
10) ONGOING – Continuing on now through October 1st at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC is the Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll exhibition co-organized with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve written about this show previously and, while it’s not a show with a focus on album cover imagery, the fact that approximately 130 of rock music’s most-recognized instruments (and costumes, posters, etc.) – many of which have appeared in photos that have been used on album packages – are on display and, at several points during the show, will be played by their owners – is a unique opportunity for us mere mortals to see the instruments that made the music that made us so happy over the years.
Artist News and Interviews
1) I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented designer Gerard Huerta a number of years ago regarding his work for AC/DC (yes, he’s the one who created their logo!), but did you know that he’s also responsible for creating the memorable logos and other imagery for clients including Arista Records, Calvin Klein’s Eternity, CBS Records Masterworks, Swiss Army Brands, MSG Network, Nabisco, Spelling Entertainment, Type Directors Club and Waldenbooks, along with the mastheads of Time, Money, People, The Atlantic Monthly, PC Magazine, Adweek, Us, Conde Nast’s Traveler, Working Mother, WordPerfect, The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, The National Catholic Register, Illustration and Architectural Digest. Just an amazing list of accomplishments, wouldn’t you say? While it’s been a while since I’ve been in touch with Gerard, I am happy to share a link to a recent article about him and his more-recent work (with a focus on his typography) – https://www.ceros.com/originals/gerard-huerta/?fbclid=IwAR0sZV9-FBZOaM00fPFrT3YP7NCCHPgybFlr16MW5rrzX2Qp9gHeKxSeHH8 and it is still apparent that he’s continuing on in his role as one of the most-important designers working today…
If you’d like to read my interview with Gerard, here’s a link to my archive where it can be found – https://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2007/07/cover-story—a.html
2) Inspired by the look of LA-area band album covers from the 1960s/70s (I see traces of Henry Diltz, Kosh and Jim McCrary in their work), the work behind the production of the latest album cover work from the LA-based design studio founded by Ramon Coronado and Marshall Rake known as Public Library – a project for Local Natives for their record Violet Street – is discussed in a recent Interview with agency’s principals by reporter Nada Alic for the Working/Not Working (WNW) site – https://magazine.workingnotworking.com/magazine/2019/7/10/public-library-local-natives-violet-street. The agency has also produced work for other musical acts including Drake and Vampire Weekend, as well as projects for clients including Nike, the Grammy Museum and Bishop’s Barber Shops (my old hair-cutting establishment in Portland, OR!), and so it was enlightening to learn more about these young creatives, their work and their commitment to delivering “a pure expression that holds up to what they have spent years agonizing over”.
You can see the agency’s backgrounder at – http://public-library.org/information
3) Several years ago, I reported on a photo of a submerged sculpture that was used by designer Regan Hagar on the cover of Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder’s Ukelele Songs solo effort and, while researching for that article, I was re-introduced to a photo that every serious student of the photographic arts has seen – Toni Frissell’s 1947 black and white underwater view of a partially-submerged woman in a flowing white gown taken at the Weeki Watchee Springs amusement in Florida. While perhaps the best-known underwater album cover is Kirk Weddle’s “baby in a pool” photo featured on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind, photographers throughout the history of the medium have crafted some pretty-spectacular underwater shots to tantalize our eyes and optically-attached imaginations. In this recent article by Dunja Djudjic found on the DIY Photography site, you’ll meet a modern master of this artform – Brett Stanley – who invested a tremendous amount of time and resource into crafting an underwater 1980’s-inspired bedroom that was used as the backdrop for the fantastic shot used on the cover of musician Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising album. The effort then motivated Stanley to push the idea even further, building more rooms in the pool of his California home, with some very impressive results on display in the photos that accompany the article – https://www.diyphotography.net/this-photographer-creates-epic-underwater-rooms-in-his-backyard/
To see more of Stanley’s portfolio, please visit http://brettstanleyphoto.com/
Those of you who might have missed my interview with Regan Hagar regarding the Eddie Vedder cover and click on over to my archive site – https://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2011/10/uncovered-interview-designer-regan-hagar-on-his-work-for-ukulele-songs-by-eddie-vedder.html, and if you’d like to continue down this path, I’d invite you to look through my Featured Artist Portfolio article on Kirk Weddle’s work, available here – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/featured-album-cover-artist-portfolio-kirk-weddle/
4) When you see someone wearing an “I Love New York” t-shirt – you know, the one with the heart symbol replacing the word “love” – you’ve just seen the work of Milton Glaser. When you’ve picked up a copy of New York Magazine and glanced at the logo, you’ve seen Glaser’s work again. If you bought a copy of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits (1967) and soon after hung the psychedelic poster of Dylan that came packaged in the LP up on your wall, you’ve collected a work of art by the talented Mr. Glaser. We can repeat this hundreds of times.
Suffice it to say, Glaser is one of the country’s design treasures and, as you’ll see in this recent article in the New York Times about the 90-year-old designer, the Milton Glaser Design Studio – launched in NYC in 1974 – is still making the city proud with its output – https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/04/nyregion/why-this-famous-graphic-designer-at-90-still-ny.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
1) UPDATE – The World Illustration Awards (U.K.) Exhibition 2019, which ended its public exhibition in late July, was presented by the Association of Illustrators (AOI) in partnership with the Directory of Illustration. The exhibition features a range of materials and design/production processes that help us all better appreciate the imaginative approaches to record packaging and, included in the Design Category (where designs for album covers, AKA “record sleeves”, were found) were several works showing off the latest in album cover design. On July 10th, at the awards ceremony held at Somerset House, the winner in that category was the impressive example of hand-crafted design submitted by Illustrator Tim Easley that featured a painstakingly-created circuit board made of Plasticine that were be used on the record sleeve for the band Modified Man – https://theaoi.com/wia/tim-easley-modified-man/ Congratulations to Tim – very nice work!
If you’d like to see the Shortlist of all of the nominees in the Design category that were under consideration for this award, click on over to – https://theaoi.com/wia/?orderby=rand&award-year=2019&award-list=shortlist&award-category=design
2) Since I’m not a subscriber and, as such, can’t read the story in the Washington Post about the well-known cover of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, perhaps one of you can read it and let me know what was discussed (subscription required) – https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/how-joy-divisions-unknown-pleasures-image-went-from-underground-album-cover-to-piece-of-cultural-ubiquity/2019/06/14/26e75338-8c76-11e9-adf3-f70f78c156e8_story.html
3) My Google Alerts continue to deliver links to stories about album cover artists are doing all over the world, and so while I’m not familiar with the people who are responsible for the designs you’ll find in this story about independent music cover design in India, I do think that you’ll be as intrigued as I was with the work you’ll find featured on album covers for musical acts of all types in that far off corner of the world – https://ahummingheart.com/features/what-independent-music-visuals-do-designers-dig/
4) July brought us three new entries in the Juxtapoz Magazine “Sound & Vision” album art series:
a) Patrick Pantano’s photograph made for the cover of the White Stripes’ 2003 record Elephant – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-the-white-stripes-elephant/
b) David Hollander’s up-close-and-personal cover photo for Nina Simone’s 1967 classic Nina Simone Sings The Blues – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-nina-simone-sings-the-blues/
c) Adam Yauch – MCA of the Beastie Boys – providing the cover photo of a shop taken at the corner of Rivington and Ludlow in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, just a couple of blocks away from The Mercury Lounge – for their 1989 opus Paul’s Boutique – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-beastie-boys-paul-s-boutique-by-adam-yauch-aka-mca/
5) R.I.P. – Woodstock, 50th Anniversary edition – no place to go, no one to play 😦
Give me an F…Give me a U…etc.” https://relix.com/festivals/detail/michael-lang-declares-woodstock-50-officially-canceled/?
That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back when we can with another monthly summary for you.
Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2019 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.