Posted July 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Early Summer greetings to you all from Chicagoland – where it’s not 115 degrees in the shade, thank goodness – and welcome to this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary. As we approach the Independence Day weekend break, where many of us will be experiencing our first in-person get-togethers in over a year (us with a pre-cleared group, just to be safe), I thought that I’d cobble together a quick-and-to-the-point monthly news summary for you all to read in case you get a moment or two to yourselves and want to escape a bit into the fantasy world that surrounds the lives and work of our favorite album cover artists.
I know that I’ve been promising the imminent publication of my article on box sets and limited-edition packages and my interview with Dave and Frank from Sony Music, so while I’m late with those, I can report that I’ve finished the transcription and should have the interview up for your review very soon. In prepping that interview, I also found an interview that I’d never published with the talented team (also from Sony) who had put together the Grammy-winning package for Weird Al Yankovic a couple of years back, so I’ll be able to reward you for your patience with some nice bonus content as well.
I would be remiss by not sending out a message of thanks to the many of you who also took the time to look at the mid-June auction of my album art collection at Backstage Auctions and, in particular, those of you who were kind/wise-enough to buy one of the hundreds of items that were sold. I know that the unsold items will be made available soon via the Backstage web store, so if you missed out on the bidding, there will still be a chance to find something there that will enhance your collection, so do feel free to visit Jacques’ site soon. https://www.backstageauctions.com/
What you’ll find below is a summary of the articles/posts/announcements I found recently regarding all things album cover artist and art. It continues to be my pleasure to report on – and promote – this work and the people who do it and so, without further delay, let’s dive into this month’s summary:
Exhibitions and Gallery Show Info –
a) Factory Records exhibition in Manchester – Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum launched a new exhibition on the 19th of June called Use Hearing Protection: the early years of Factory Records – that looks to be a must-see for fans of the indie music label founded by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus that got its start in that city. They’ll have dozens of early (1978-82) items on display, including a number of well-known images (such as Peter Saville’s iconic FAC1 gig poster for the May/June 1978 shows at The Factory featuring Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire and others). The show runs through January 3rd of 2022, with more details revealed in this article in the local news – https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/major-factory-records-exhibition-open-20736998
On a related note – for his work on imagery that has burned itself into the mind of music/art fans for several decades now, artist Peter Saville was recently award a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by Prince Charles in a ceremony held in late June. The Unknown Pleasures artist also has produced art for a number of notable events in England, including graphics for the country’s 2010 World Cup soccer/football efforts – https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/factory-records-co-founder-saville-20885700
b) In a new show which opened on June 25th with a collectors/VIP event during which the artist was on hand for a chat and to sign works available for sale, artist Hugh Syme put up more than 20 of his classic and newer prints for fans to enjoy while visiting the Ao5 Gallery in Austin, TX. In addition to the many covers Mr. Syme has done for Rush (with prints of those classics, such as 2112, Permanent Waves, the very Magritte-like Hemispheres and many others on display), you’ll get to see a number of other works that show off this talented artist’s skills as a maker of ultra-realistic fantasy images that always bring a smile to my face…you can see the entire collection online on the gallery’s site at https://ao5gallery.com/collections/hugh-syme and read more about the show in this recent article on the Blabbermouth.net site – https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/rush-artist-hugh-syme-to-open-new-exhibit-in-texas/
c) To both commemorate the mind-numbing 40th anniversary of MTV’s launch on the first of August, 1981 – a day that certainly rocked music industry priorities and brought new opportunities for those people responsible for the visual aspects of record making and selling – and to illustrate the effects on the music business caused by what was going on in New York City in the several years just prior to that date (AIDS, drugs, poverty and the city’s near-bankruptcy), the talented team at the Museum of the City of New York have put together an exhibition (that opened mid-June) that puts on display artifacts from that time that are sure to be both thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining. Read more about the show, titled New York, New Music: 1980-1986, on the museum’s site at https://www.mcny.org/exhibition/new-york-new-music and read an intro to the show, with comments from exhibit curator Sean Corcoran, on the ArtDaily site at https://artdaily.cc/news/136670/In-the–80s–post-punk-filled-New-York-clubs–Their-videos-captured-it-
d) The people behind the ArtVinyl album art framing products and the annual Best Art Vinyl Awards have just curated a nicely done virtual online exhibition – https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=LTDMU9Y33Zd
Hosted at the London headquarters of the UK-based house music label Defected Records, site visitors are encouraged to take a tour through 25 years of design as featured on album covers from Tony Colman and Chriss Goss’ Hospital Records, one of the UK’s leading proponents of dance music (drum & bass, breakbeat and similar electronic music).
e) REMINDER – I’d shared some info with you last month about the “Flights of Fancy” show curated by the Hypergallery team that puts the talents of surrealist James Marsh front and center for fans to see up close. The show is being staged at the Haddenham Art Centre near Ely, Cambridgeshire (about 15 miles north of the city of Cambridge) and will be on display from Tuesday through Saturday (10AM – 4PM, with free admission) now through August 31, 2021. The gallery is offering for sale of a collection of signed, limited edition silkscreens and archival inkjets“ showcasing the jewels in Marsh’s impressive and distinctive portfolio” so, if you’re keen on touring through this show of mind-blowing examples from Mr. Marsh’s storied career, click on over to https://www.haddenhamartscentre.org.uk/events/james-marsh-flights-of-fancy-exhibition?
Hypergallery’s Emily has a more up-to-date, 30-minute video interview with James that’s titled “The Party’s Over” which I’d also invite you to watch – https://youtu.be/_XX5n3KsYxc, and to see the gallery’s selection of prints for sale, please click here – https://hypergallery.com/collections/james-marsh
f) REMINDER – ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT – An article in LA’s Japanese daily newspaper The Rafu Shimpo details a show running now through July 5th at the LA County Museum of Art featuring a 30-year-plus retrospective of the works of Yoshitomo Nara that Includes a large display (over 350 records) of album covers from his personal collection from which he draws inspiration – https://www.rafu.com/2021/05/naras-musical-milieu/ There’s an article on the LACMA site that shows the artist installing these albums and talking about why they’re important to him and how they influence his work. LACMA’s Michael Price worked with Nara on the install.
As exhibition curator Mike Yoshitake stated in the paper, “Music has been a passion for Nara since he began to listen to folk songs at age nine, and his relationship with music, namely with album cover art, provided him with an unconventional introduction to art history and artistic genres. This passion is seen through Nara’s vast record collection, selections of which visitors will see as soon as they enter this exhibition. Through more than 100 works on view, the exhibition will bring new light to Nara’s conceptual process.”
g) REMINDER – COMING SOON – The Pink Floyd touring exhibition “Their Mortal Remains” (originally staged in 2017 at V&A Museum in the U.K. before moving to Italy, Germany and Spain in 2018-19) moves to the Vogue Multicultural Museum on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles and is set to open August 3rd (thru November 28th) – https://ultimateclassicrock.com/pink-floyd-museum-exhibit/ and https://kfiam640.iheart.com/content/2021-05-05-pink-floyd-retrospective-headed-to-la-museum-for-four-month-run/
More info and reservations are available on the show’s site at https://www.pinkfloydexhibition.com/
h) REMINDER – Brian Griffin’s Black Country Dada photo show is available for viewing now thru September 5th at the Quad in Derby, U.K. – https://www.derbyquad.co.uk/BlackCountryDada.
Artist News and Interviews –
a) Two talented music industry art makers – Emek Artman and Sean Moser-Smith – are featured in two episodes of Spencer Drate’s video interview-based Designing For Music series with Zach Martin –
Emek – “Designing for Music” interview series special with Emek Artman, Spencer Drate, and Patrick Bamburak. This link is a playlist that includes The Zach Martin Show interview episode, followed by 2 documentary videos that explore Emek’s design career. Emek was profiled in the 2003 Drate/Salavetz authored book SWAG: Rock Posters Of the 90s (Abrams Books) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDNL4uT3kJY&list=PLD1rm_31GQ-M74OPnWpPRfWr-hYRINpT2&index=2
SMS – Another talented artist working in the music business – Sean Mosher-Smith – who was featured in the Drate/Salavetz-penned 2005 follow-up titled SWAG 2: Rock Posters of the 90s and Beyond – does a nice show-and-tell with Spencer and crew built around a nice selection of his notable poster designs –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBYYfqlxmWQ
Spencer and Judith were also featured recently on Marc Henshall’s site devoted to the importance of vinyl records in the digital age, SoundMatters (found at yoursoundmatters.com). In this video interview, Marc and his guests set out to answer the question “What Makes A Great Album Cover?” – https://www.yoursoundmatters.com/what-makes-a-great-album-cover-with-spencer-drate-judith-salavetz/
As Marc so rightly points out, “a stellar cover is imperative to the success of a record as it acts like a gateway to the music. First impressions matter”, and so the discussion centers on that fact and how designers try – to varying degrees of success – to work with their clients to create retail packages that both inspire fans’ continued support and motivate them to plunk down hard-earned money to bring records home to add to their collections.
b) Outsider Rock’s Kevin Julie continues to deliver the stories behind some of today’s most-interesting album covers with two new interviews – the first with photographer Paul Till and art director Murray Brenman about their work on the cover (one of several their credited with) of FM’s 1994 re-issue of their 1978 record Black Noise – https://outsiderrock.wordpress.com/2021/06/08/story-behind-the-album-cover-fms-black-noise/?
and the second with Richard Zoll who is, according to Kevin, both a “Blue Oyster Cult fan & artist” who is “fairly new to creating album covers” but has created a rather intriguing one that can be seen on the package for Albert Bouchard’s Re Imaginos – https://outsiderrock.wordpress.com/2021/06/14/story-behind-the-album-cover-albert-bouchards-re-imaginos/
You might recall my interview with Mr. Till a number of years ago about his experimental photo work (done as a 20-year-old) done for the cover of Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks album…in case you’d like to revisit that interview, here’s the link – https://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2008/06/cover-story-interview—bob-dylans-blood-on-the-tracks-with-photography-by-paul-till.html
c) A young Turkish-born designer named Askel Ceylan is profiled on the Art Insider.com site – https://www.art-insider.com/aksel-ceylan-gains-global-recognition-as-a-creative/2329 He won the award in 2020 in the “Best Album Cover Design” category at the prestigious GMK Awards.
d) Canada seems to be home to an extraordinary number of talented people working in the music business (you’ll read/see more evidence of this in the item below about the winner of this year’s Juno Award in the album art category), with artist Mihailo Andic getting a lot of attention for his work for some of the music industry’s top attractions. Here’s a recent article on the Hypebeast site that gives you more details about this in-demand young talent – https://hypebeast.com/2021/6/mihailo-andic-hip-hop-album-cover-artist-art-director-interview
e) LA-based rapper Tyler the Creator has shown an appreciation of all sorts of art/design industry talent when choosing someone to create memorable album covers for him, with his latest effort being a collaboration with Washington, DC-based painter Gregory Ferrand for his Call Me If You Get Lost release. Writing for the Complex.com “Style” section, Lei Takanashi gives us the story – https://www.complex.com/style/tyler-the-creator-call-me-if-you-get-lost-album-cover-interview
f) REMINDER – Premiering soon on PBS – the six-episode series ICON: Music Through The Lens – which had its premiere in the U.K. late last year – will be available to PBS subscribers beginning in mid-July. The series was produced by a top-notch team which included Executive Producer Andy Saunders, acclaimed music director Dick Carruthers and legendary music photographer Gered Mankowitz (who served as the series curator and Exec. Producer and who was interviewed last year by reporters from TheWeek in the UK regarding his roles in the making of this series – https://www.theweek.co.uk/108601/gered-mankowitz-music-photography-uncovered).
ICON follows the lives and often wild experiences of the artists who documented popular music in images, from the earliest darkrooms to the fast-evolving digital landscapes of the present day. The series premieres Fridays, July 16-August 6, 2021, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET & August 13, 2021, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video app.
Just some of the photographers interviewed alongside Gered Mankowitz about their work in music include: Jill Furmanovsky, Kevin Westenberg, Terry O’Neill, Kevin Cummins, Bob Gruen, Rachael Wright, Deborah Feingold, Baron Wolman, Neal Preston, Roger Sargent, Dean Chalkley, Tom Sheehan, Pooneh Ghana, Michael Zagaris, Mick Rock, Danny Clinch, Christie Goodwin, Albert Watson, Lynn Goldsmith and Rankin to name but a few. Sharing eye-opening insights from a musician’s viewpoint are Alice Cooper, Craig David, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Ziggy Marley, Lars Ulrich, (Metallica), Zara Larsson, Stefflon Don, Julian Lennon and Dizzee Rascal and many others.
To watch a video intro to the series, click on over to – https://iconmusicthroughthelens.com/.
g) The team behind the ongoing Art of the Album series of artist/designer/fan-driven articles about album cover art continued on in their quest to deliver articles written by people in/around the music business. New for June is photographer Dana Trippe’s selections of her 10 favorite album covers – https://musebycl.io/art-album/10-great-album-covers-chosen-photographer-dana-trippe
Eager to see what turns up on next month’s collection of articles – keep up the good work, Team Clio.
Items for Sale and/or at Auction –
a) KnuckleBonz has announced the pre-sale of two Pink Floyd cover-related three-dimensional sculptures – Division Bell and the Flying Pig from Animals – which will be in limited-editions and, based on what we all know about the PF-related collectibles market, should be snapped up quickly, so shoot on over there ASAP to grab yours before they’re gone – https://knucklebonz.com/product/pink-floyd-projection-screen-division/?
b) Back in April of this year, I reported the news about photographer Karl Ferris’ new limited-edition coffee table book – The Karl Ferris Psychedelic Experience – and now, he’s worked on a less-costly version (the original, signed “lay-flat” version was priced at £600, or about $830) that should prove to be irresistible to fans of psychedelic 1960s imagery, shot by one of the originators of that era’s “look”. The book features “my career Autobiography/Memoirs; Album Cover Photo Session portraits and anecdotes about Jimi Hendrix, Donovan, Eric Clapton (Cream), The Hollies/Graham Nash, The Fool art collective and others and notes from my interactions with The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Walker brothers and 60’s Superstar Fashion models.”
If you’d like the new unsigned (and normally-bound) version, follow this link to his store on Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1006823379/ref=sr_1_1dchild=1&keywords=9781006823374&qid=1623887597&sr=8-1? Karl did share with me that, if you’d like him to provide you with a signed copy of that version of the book, you can buy it directly from him (send your name/address and $450 plus $30 for shipping via Paypal to email@example.com).
c) July 1, 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic Allman Brothers Band LP At Fillmore East live recording and, to celebrate, the crew at the San Francisco Art Exchange is working with the estate of the late great photographer Jim Marshall to release a series of five limited-edition photo prints built around his deep portfolio of ABB images – “July 6th marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East record. the famous cover image, taken by the late, great Jim Marshall, has similarly become part of Rock History…The photographs released by Jim’s estate are exclusively images that Jim never printed or sold during his lifetime. This ensures that the differentiation between his “Lifetime” photographs and the “Estate” photographs remains clear. As with the other estate limited editions, only ONE size is available, and the editions each consist of only 25 pieces, so please be aware that prices on each one will increase as quantities sell.”
Here’s a link that’ll take you to a request via email for a PDF catalog of what’s available – PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REQUEST THE PDF CATALOG
d) How much cooler can a cooler get – check out the new Iron Maiden Eddie-themed drink/beer chest now available from Igloo – https://www.loudersound.com/news/cool-your-iron-maiden-beer-with-an-iron-maiden-beer-cooler-and-chill-with-the-beast
e) The previously-mentioned Gered Mankowitz is now offering a new Hendrix book that features a colorized version of one of his best-known photos – https://mankowitz.com/product/jimi-hendrix-the-experience-jimi-hendrix-at-masons-yard/
f) – Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band’s smash album Nevermind with a signed edition of this book! Pre-orders are now being accepted for photographer Kirk Weddle’s new book of Nirvana photos – avail thru Modern Rocks gallery – https://www.modernrocksgallery.com/bookshop/nirvana-book
g) New book about photographer Sukita’s career – https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/photography/sukita-eternity-david-bowie-music-photography-b1856366.html
h) Just a head’s up – Heritage Auction house will be auctioning off some really rare art this coming October (16th and 17th, with bidding beginning online September 27th) in Dallas, inc. based around a collection– The David Swartz collection – of some “banned” covers– with an intro to the collection now available for viewing in their Intelligent Collector magazine – https://intelligentcollector.com/the-swartz-archive/? Catalog online at https://entertainment.ha.com/c/auction-home.zx?saleNo=7233&type=surl-7233a
Special Award Show updates –
a) As I noted in last month’s summary, the 50th Anniversary presentation of Canada’s top music award show – The Juno Awards – was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 16th, 2021 on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (broadcast nationwide that Sunday beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBC Music, CBC-TV, CBC Gem and CBC Radio One, and globally on CBCMusic.ca/junos, as per the info provided by CARAS, the Canadian Recording Academy). Due to COVID and other concerns, the show was re-scheduled to Sunday, June 6th and the winner in the album cover category was the team responsible for the package for NOTRE-DAME-DES-SEPT-DOULEURS, by Klô Pelgag, on the Montreal-based label Secret City Records. The winners include Julien Hebert (Art Director), David Beauchemin (Designer), Florence Obrecht (Illustrator) and Marc-Etienne Mongrain (Photographer). https://www.secretcityrecords.com/shop/notre-dame-des-sept-douleurs/
Downloads available at https://klopelgag.bandcamp.com/album/notre-dame-des-sept-douleurs
This is the third studio album by Canadian “baroque pop” singer-songwriter Klô Pelgag, released in June of 2020. Klô Pelgag is the stage name of Chloé Pelletier-Gagnon, a Canadian singer-songwriter from Quebec. The album received two Juno Award nominations at the Juno Awards of 2021, one for “Francophone Album of the Year” and the other for “Album Artwork of the Year” (won).
Once again, congratulations to all of the winners and nominees – a list of which can be found on the CBC web site at https://www.cbc.ca/music/junos/news/here-are-all-the-2021-juno-award-winners-1.6036001
Miscellaneous Items –
As always, I’m going to have to keep these short-and-sweet (well, most of them, anyway):
OBITS) While not best-known for album art, artist/curator Diego Cortez made an indelible mark on the NY music scene and, in particular, the then-emerging hip-hop art world – https://artdaily.cc/news/136937/Diego-Cortez–a-scene-shaper-in-art-and-music–dies-at-74 While doing research for the Universal Hip-Hop Museum’s web site, I found myself immersed articles about the rise of the “underground art” scene in the city, one where now-established artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring got their start. Cortez is probably best-known for his efforts to provide these artists a place to both be seen and to meet each other, with one particular show held in 1981 at a venue in Queens (now home to the Museum of Modern Art’s PS-1 exhibition space) bringing together the works of scores of artists – many showing their works in a “formal” setting for the first time – and introducing fine art collectors to these talented individuals. Cortez was Born James Allen Curtis on September 30, 1946 in picturesque Geneva, IL and changed his name in 1973 after his move to explore opportunities in NYC. He died in June in Burlington, NC at the age of 74.
a) Mixing a 25th anniversary celebration of a seminal hip-hop record release – Jay-Z’s 1986 ground-breaker Reasonable Doubt – with one of the most-exciting developments in the arts world lately – i.e., the making and sale of NFTs – this story on the Art Daily site about the collaboration between his Jeezy-ness and artist Derrick Adams that is producing animated clips based on the record’s artwork – https://artdaily.cc/news/136985/JAY-Z—Derrick-Adams-celebrate-25th-anniversary-of–Reasonable-Doubt–album-with-NFT-auction-at-Sotheby-s
Bidding began on June 25th at $1,000 for the one of a kind digital file – titled Heir To The Throne (the record’s original title) – and ends tomorrow, July 2nd. You can learn more about the item – and watch a video of Adams on the topic – by clicking on over to the Sotheby’s site at https://www.sothebys.com/en/digital-catalogues/heir-to-the-throne . As of this writing, the bidding had hit $40,000, so serious collectors only need apply.
b) To emphasize the fact that he’s working to protect the use of his likeness from any commercial use he’s not getting a piece of, Jay-Z recently sued photographer Jonathan Mannion for using his image and name to sell art prints based on his photo portfolio of the rap star/music mogul – https://www.tmz.com/2021/06/15/jay-z-sues-reasonable-doubt-album-cover-photographer-likeness-use/
c) Hello Beautiful’s Shamika Sanders published a story titled “5 Fashionable Album Covers That Shifted The Culture” – a discussion with a focus on “classic Black albums that have style” – https://hellobeautiful.com/3386827/fashionable-album-covers/
d) Writing for the DatingNews.com site, Amber Brooks shares the details about a service called “And Vinyly” that provides one possible answer to the question “what might be the most-intriguing (or, perhaps, creepiest) way for a family to memorialize their favorite now-deceased music-loving relative”? That answer – add their cremated ashes to a custom-packaged vinyl LP – https://www.datingnews.com/daters-pulse/and-vinyly-records-memorialize-relationships/
Bring your checkbook (packages start at £1000) and learn more about how to “live on from beyond the groove” (I didn’t make this up) – https://www.andvinyly.com/
That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feeds (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and by free subscription on the ACHOF web site – and returning right around the first of next month another news summary for you.
Peace and Love and Health and Happiness to you all.
Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2021 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of the trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.