Artist Biographies – Sorted by Last Name – M – O
Iain MacMillan – Notable album cover credits include – The Beatles – Abbey Road and The Beatles Stereo Box Set; Paul McCartney – Paul Is Live; Various Artists – Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur; Kenny Rogers & The First Edition – Something’s Burning
(b. October, 1938; d. May, 2006) Iain Stewart Macmillan was born in Carnoustie (near Dundee), Scotland and graduated from the local high school in 1954. After working briefly at a local jute mill, Iain moved to England in 1958 to study photography at the Regent Street Polytechnic (now University of Westminster) in central London.
After graduating, Macmillan returned to the Dundee area in 1959 to document the people and scenes of the Dundee tenements and when local publishers saw his portfolio, he was offered a variety of commissions, including work for The Sunday Times, the Illustrated London News and Plays & Players magazine. In the mid-late 1960s, he found work shooting exhibition catalogs (including one for sculptor David Wynne titled “The Sculpture of David Wynne – 1949 – 1967”) and, as luck would have it, co-authoring (with writer J. Roger Baker) the 1966 photo book The Book of London in which he features a shot of local artist Yoko Ono performing “Handkerchief Piece”. Ono then asked Iain to photograph her upcoming exhibition at London’s Indica Gallery and, as Beatles fans know, this is the exhibit during which she met John Lennon. Remembering the photographer after being introduced at the gallery, in 1969 Lennon asked Macmillan to shoot the cover for the band’s next album, one being recorded at EMI’s studios on Abbey Road in London. Working based on a sketch from Paul McCartney, the resulting photo became the cover for Abbey Road.
MacMillan worked with the couple on a variety of projects, including photos for the packages of Live Peace in Toronto and the Wedding Album (1969) and Sometime in New York City (1972). He also participated in the production of the experimental film Erection which featured an animation of his photos of a London hotel under construction with a soundtrack by John and Yoko. With them in New York, he photographed most of Yoko’s projects and created the record label featuring the couple’s merging heads that was featured on the aforementioned album Sometime in New York City single “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”. After his time with the Lennons, Iain spent much of the 1970s teaching the technical and creative aspects of photography to students at a college in Stoke-on-Trent.
In 1980, Iain was hired to re-create his Abbey Road photo as a parody cover for the comedy duo Hinge and Bracket’s album titled Hinge and Bracket at Abbey Road. Throughout the 1980’s, exhibitions of his work were staged in the US, UK and Europe and The BBC licensed some of his photos for the “The Rock and Roll Years”, the long-running TV series that provided year-by-year capsule summaries of that year’s events in the popular music business.
Iain moved back to Carnoustie after his parents died and continued to document – often with a borrowed camera – the people and landscapes of the area (as well as his pet collie, Mac!). In 1993, to help Sir Paul prove, once and for all, that he was NOT quite dead yet, Macmillan brought the Beatle bassist back to Abbey Road, shooting him traversing the zebra crossing in front of EMI’s Abbey Road studio along with a sheepdog (and a crowd of onlookers/witnesses to his aliveness), with the resulting shot used on the cover of the Paul Is Live record.
Macmillan died of lung cancer in 2006 at the age of 67.
In 2010, an exhibition with a retrospective collection of Iain Macmillan’s photographs was staged in Dundee by the Dundee Heritage Trust titled Abbey Road, the Swinging 60′s, John & Yoko and Dundee, and in 2011, all of Iain’s Abbey Road session photographs were put on display at London’s Snap Galleries in an exhibition called Beatles and Bystanders.
Mat Maitland – notable album cover credits include – Various Artists – Band Aid 20: Do They Know Its Christmas; Garbage – Bleed Like Me; Goldfrapp – We Are Glitter, Supernature, Seventh Tree, Head First, The Singles, Tales of Us and Silver Eye; Beck – The Information; Lana Del Ray – Ultraviolence and Lust For Life; Michael Jackson – Xscape; Elton John – The Diving Board; Niki & The Dove – Instinct; Mark Ronson – Record Collection; Basement Jazz – Scars; Noah & The Whale – Last Night On Earth and Heart Of Nowhere
(b. 1971 in St. Albans, Herfordshire, U.K.) – After studying design at London’s Croydon College, Mat accepted a job working as a designer for Warner Bros. Records in the early 1990s, where he stayed for several years before joining award-winning creative consultancy Big Active, where he’s remained ever since, rising through the company from designer to art director to Creative Director at Big Active Design, where he has created client-pleasing campaigns and images for noted music industry clients including Basement Jaxx, Beck (earning a D&AD Yellow Pencil award), Lana Del Ray, Goldfrapp, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Prince, Mark Ronson, Simian and Snow Patrol, among others.
As a fine artist, he’s been specializing in creating collages, based on his unique vision and skill sets, for both music industry clients and other commercial endeavors including publications such as Inteview, King Kong, Please, Vanity Fair and Vogue/Japan magazines; Le Monde newspaper and companies such as Bose, Hunter, IKEA, Kenzo, Nike, Printemps and the English National Opera.
Gered Mankowitz – Notable examples of album cover work – The Rolling Stones – Out Of Our Heads/December’s Children and Between The Buttons; The Nice – Ars Longa…; Ultravox – Ultravox!; ABC – Lexicon of Love; Jimi Hendrix – The Ultimate Experience
(b. August, 1946 in London, England) Gered Mankowitz was the first of four sons of the late author, playwright and film writer Wolf Mankowitz and his wife, the Jungian psychotherapist Ann Mankowitz. Prior to leaving school at the age of 15, photos taken on a school trip to Holland (plus some inspiring words from the actor Peter Sellers) convinced him that he had a knack for photography. His photographs were later seen by the legendary photographer Tom Blau, who offered Gered an apprenticeship at his famous photo agency, Camera Press Ltd., in London. Over a period of several months Gered worked in all the various departments that made up Camera Press, finally moving to the studio and going on various assignments in and around London.
In 1962, Gered went to Barbados with his family and began taking photographs professionally, producing a range of work from architectural studies for the island’s top architect to the first Boeing 707 landing at Bridgetown airport for British West Indian Airways and, upon returning to London, he was offered a chance to go to Paris for the collections, working for the fashion photographer Alec Murray.
In spite of the glamour and exciting atmosphere, it was clear that this particular area of work was not for him, and on returning to London he went to work for the ‘show-biz’ portraitist, Jeff Vickers. Working for Vickers gave him an opportunity to develop his ‘show-biz’ contacts and to broaden his experience in the studio, taking portraits of many actors and other personalities.
During 1963, Gered met and photographed the singing duo Chad and Jeremy, and one of these photos was used as the cover of the duo’s first album, Yesterday’s Gone. With that, Gered found himself working in the music industry at a time when it desperately needed new, mold-breaking images. He began to work with a new generation of producers like John Barry, Shel Talmy and Chris Blackwell photographing artists who were of his own age group and who felt at ease with him in a way that had not been possible with other photographers. At the end of 1963, Gered opened his first studio, at 9 Masons Yard in the heart of London’s West End.
Within a few months, Gered had begun to make a name for himself, working with Marianne Faithful, producer Andrew Loog Oldham and, soon after, the Rolling Stones, which turned out to be a major turning point in his career. Through the 60′s and 70s, Gered continued in the music world working with Oldham at his famous Immediate label, and with many other major artists including Jimi Hendrix, Free, Traffic, The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, Soft Machine, Slade, Gary Glitter, Suzi Quatro, Sweet, Elton John, Kate Bush, Eurythmics, ABC, Duran Duran and many others.
In 1991, Gered teamed up with noted designer David Costa to form Ink Icon Ltd. and to produce a series of limited-edition silkscreen prints based on his archive. Subjects for these prints have included Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and others. Together with his partner David Costa, in 2003 Gered launched a Jimi Hendrix limited-edition Fender Stratocaster guitar that features one of Gered’s original photos of the great musician and is being produced with the full participation of the Hendrix Estate and Fender Guitars (see www.icon-guitars.co.uk).
Exhibitions of his work have been staged at London’s famous Photographers’ Gallery (in 1982, drawing record crowds and then touring the U.K. for over 2 years), 1992 at the Cromwell & Ward Gallery in London, 1993 in Portsmouth, 1994 in Europe, 1995 at The Govinda Gallery in Washington, DC, 1998 and 1999 again in Washington and New York (where he met Tommy Hilfiger, who became Gered’s single biggest collector in the U.S.), then on to Japan and back to San Francisco for a show at the San Francisco Art Exchange. In December 2001, Gered teamed up with the legendary Beatles photographer Robert Freeman and presented a 64 image show in Hong Kong which was so successful that it went on to tour Sweden and the U.S., for the next 4 years. He’s also toured with a showing of his huge (6′ x 4′) 3-D lenticular photo prints. much to the enjoyment of fans and collectors world-wide. A 45-year retrospective collection of prints was exhibited at London’s Red House Originals in 2012.
Books featuring his photographs include Hit Parade (published in 1984 and based on his 1982 U.K. exhibition), Satisfaction (also published in 1984 and based on his Rolling Stones photos), a 1995 limited edition book by Genesis Publishing titled Mason’s Yard to Primrose Hill (featuring his Rolling Stones photos) and another in 1999 called I-Contact. In 2002, he published a new book of Rolling Stones photos and toured as part of Universal Music’s launch of the re-issued CD catalog.
Throughout his career, Gered also worked in other areas of photography, including advertising, book covers and a brief spell taking ‘stills’ on movies, including several months in Sardinia with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on the ill-fated movie Boom. He has also been a regular contributor to several major publications, and still works in the music business, photographing bands and singers for album covers and magazines. He contributes regularly to The Sunday Times Magazine and Mojo magazine as well as shooting sessions with musical artists such as Oasis, Verve, Catatonia, Kula Shaker, Embrace, The Buena Vista Social Club and many others and has recently completed sessions with The Hives, Snow Patrol, The Duke Spirit, The Bravery, Blondelle, BMD and, most recently, Patrick Wolf and Maria Harvieu. Prints of Gered’s work are available in fine art and photography galleries throughout the World, including the U.K., the U.S., Ireland, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan and Dubai.
In 2007, Gered moved to Cornwall in the South West of England and spends most of his time working on his own projects and teaching at University College, Falmouth. Biographical information and quotes excerpted from Mr. Mankowitz’s bio on his web site at – www.mankowitz.com
Jonathan Mannion – notable album cover credits include – Black Rob – Life Story; Ol’ Dirty Bastard – The Dirty Story; Big Pun – Endangered Species; Sum 41 – Underclass Hero; DMX – The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter and It’s Dark and Hell is Hot; Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son of Chico Dusty; The Game – The Documentary and Jesus Piece; J. Holiday – Back of My Lac’ and Round 2; Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt, Heir To The Throne and The Black Album; Eminem – The Eminem Show; Little Wayne – Tha Carter III; NAS – God’s Son
(b. December, 1970 in Cleveland, OH, USA) The son of two well-known artists, Jonathan was around art from an early age, with his parents urging him to look at the world – and everything in it – from an artist’s perspective. He began working in watercolors when quite young and enrolled in Ohio’s Kenyon College to explore both Art and Psychology. The artistic aspects of photography grabbed him tightly in a senior year art class (he “found it such a beautiful blend of creating something that would never be the same again…while adding my perspective of the moment”, he states in a recent interview with his alma mater’s newsletter), but it was a unique opportunity to work as an apprentice with photographer Richard Avendon (who was on campus to receive an honorary degree and to critiqued the work of the senior photography class) that sent Mannion on his way to a career in photography.
After graduating in 1993, Jonathan found himself attracted to the world of hip-hop music and immediately immersed himself in the music, the culture and the people that made the genre so compelling at the time. In 1996, he moved to New York City and set to establishing himself as the “go to” photographer for rap/hip-hop artists working there. Often wary of – and overlooked by – those in the traditional press/media world, acts took to Mannion’s dedication to their music and culture and, when it came time for rapper Jay-Z’s label (Roc-A-Fella) to find a photographer to come up with imagery for his debut album (titled Reasonable Doubt), Jonathan was given the commission. From there, he soon accepted assignments with a wide range of soon-to-be-well-know rap/hip-hop acts, including Aaliyah, Busta Rhymes, Eminem, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Nas and many more DJs, MCs, rappers and others in the genre. He also collaborated with FADER Magazine after its 1998 launch to produce a long list of cover images for the rapidly-growing music and lifestyle publication.
Since then, Mannion has gone on to work – producing photographic and video content – for commercial clients in music, sports and lifestyle industries, with his list of patrons including Lance Armstrong, Tyra Banks, Busmills, Complex TV, Crown Royal, Foot Locker, Hennessey, LeBron James, Leica, Miller Brewing, Nike, Pepsi, Reebok, TDK, 24 Hour Fitness, Ultra Sheen, Johnnie Walker, and others. His editorial work has been featured in many periodicals in the U.S. and world-wide, including Dime, FADER, Striker, Trace and XXL Magazine.
His work has also been included in exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world, including Art Basel Miami in 2011, a retrospective at the MILK Gallery in New York City in 2012, a show at Maison Hennessey (Cognac, France) in 2013, then back to the MILK Gallery in NYC for a display of 50 celebrity photos taken on Polaroid 665 instant film. Other installations include shows at Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, the Govinda Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Proud Gallery in London.
A popular speaker on the subjects of photography and hip-hop culture, Mannion has spoken to audiences at events at venues including Apple’s store in New York, the Soho House Club in Berlin, the School of Visual Arts in NYC and, in late 2013, he spoke alongside actor/entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher at a TED Youth talk in New Orleans to students in attendance there about making sure to “do what they love” in life.
More about this artist is available at his web site – http://www.jonathanmannion.com/
Marilyn Manson (real name – Brian Hugh Warner) – notable album cover credits include – Andy Dick – Andy Dick & The Bitches of the Century; Marilyn Manson – Born Villain, The High End of Low, Get Your Gunn, Mechanical Animals, The Golden Age of Grotesque, Lest We Forget: The Best of…,I Don’t Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me), Antichrist Superstar, Holy Wood (In The Shadow of the Valley of Death) and mOBSCENE.
(b. January, 1969 in Canton, OH) While the motivation for his original forays into artwork might have been a bit unusual (he’s admitted that he made his first works in order to trade them to dealers of the substances he was abusing at the time), it has been his talent and celebrity that have made Marilyn Manson’s paintings much in-demand in the fine art world. The multi-talented singer/songwriter has also displayed his chops as an actor and journalist (he studied journalism in college and wrote articles for a South Florida lifestyle paper called 25th Parallel), but it is his devotion to the arts that has lead to his making a number of memorable album packages and, to separate his work from the norm, he’s even started his own “art movement” labeled the Celebritarian Corporation, whose slogan is “We will sell our shadow to those who stand within it.”
Of course, he’s best-known as the controversial and disruptive leader of the band which goes by his stage name, shocking the music world beginning in the 1990s with releases such as Antichrist Superstar, Smells Like Children and Portrait of an American Family and has continued to please fans with more-recent (but no less confrontational) records including The High End of Low and Born Villain and, along the way, gathered four Grammy Awards and sold millions of records to adoring fans.
While many critics in the fine art world have been less-than-kind about Manson’s paintings – primarily watercolors – and their popularity amongst collectors, his shows – beginning in September, 2002, with a display at LA’s Contemporary Exhibitions Center called “The Golden Age of Grotesque”, continuing on in September, 2004 with two shows in Paris and Berlin titled “Trismegistus” (featuring a 3-headed Christ painting) and appearing again in 2010 in a show in Vienna developed with film director David Lynch called “Genealogies of Pain” (the rocker had made his film-acting debut in Lynch’s 1997 film Lost Highway). He’s since also held shows in Mexico City and the Netherlands and sells his works directly to collectors via his web site and the Celebritarian Corporation Gallery of Fine Art in Los Angeles, which he opened on Halloween night in 2006 (open by appointment only). Fans who purchase VIP packages to his concert events are also sometimes rewarded with signed art prints…
More information on this artist is available on his web site at http://www.marilynmanson.com/
Robert Mapplethorpe – notable album cover credits include – Patti Smith – Horses, Wave and The Patti Smith Masters: The Collective Works; Laurie Anderson – Strange Angels; Paul Simon – Negotiations and Love Songs 1971-1986; The Swans – The Burning World; Scissor Sisters – Night Work; Peter Gabriel – Shaking The Tree; Television – Marquee Moon; Philip Glass Ensemble – Music in Twelve Parts and Songs From Liquid Days; Kronos Quartet – Howl, U.S.A.
(b. November, 1946 in Floral Park, Queens, NY; d. March, 1989) One of six children born to Harry and Joan Mapplethorpe, Robert Mapplethorpe was raised in an affluent suburb of New York City. Enrolling in 1963 to study the arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed-media, etc.) at the Pratt Institute nearby, leaving in 1970 and beginning his experimental efforts with Polaroid photography. He soon moved in to NYC’s famed artist’s haven, the Chelsea Hotel, with fellow artist (and musician) Patti Smith and together they supported each other’s career aspirations.
Mapplethorpe’s first substantial portfolio consisted of mixed-media works built around, primarily, pornographic images of men cut from magazines combined with photos he took with his Polaroid SX-70 instant camera. His work was discovered by Andy Warhol, who then offered Robert a position as a staff photographer for his influential Interview magazine. His portraits of celebrities, artists and musicians (including Joan Armatrading, Louise Bourgeois, Peter Gabriel, Richard Gere, J. Paul Getty III, Deborah Harry, Carolina Herrera, Grace Jones and, of course, Patti Smith and Andy Warhol) soon caught the eye of John McKendry, the Curator of Prints and Photography at NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, who persuaded Mapplethorpe to focus his efforts full-time on photography. In 1972, Robert met collector/curator Sam Wagstaff, who also supported Mapplethorpe’s efforts in photography (and, eventually, became his lover and career advisor, until his death in 1986).
In 1973, New York’s Light Gallery staged his first solo gallery exhibition, titled “Polaroids” and, after the purchase of some new, more-professional photo equipment, he began building his photo portfolio (and a list of commercial clients) in earnest. By the late 1970s, Robert had turned his focus on the local S&M scene, with the resulting portfolio drawing a lot of attention – both good and bad – from galleries, museums and a somewhat-shocked art world and the press. In 1977, his works featuring photographs of flowers and S&M imagery were the bases of two shows in NYC galleries. In the early 1980s, his photos of female bodybuilder Lisa Lyon helped establish what would be “his” style of portraiture, centered on the beauty of the nude male/female body.
1986 was a busy year for the photographer, as he was hired to design sets for a dance performance by Lucinda Childs’, creating a series of eight images for a special edition printing of Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell and contributed the artist portraits used by curator Richard Marshall for his book titled 50 New York Artists. It was also the year that Mapplethorpe was diagnosed with AIDS and, as a result, he threw himself into his work, taking on a number of new commissions and continuing to expand his creative efforts in the field of photography.
In 1988 – the year before his death in March, 1989, due to complications brought about by the AIDS virus – four major exhibitions of his work were staged, with one at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; one at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia (which continued to tour other museums after the photographer’s death and, later, after objections to the materials on display by religious and conservative groups, was moved from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. to the nearby Washington Gallery for the Arts); one at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum; and one at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Since his death, his works have been displayed in over 100 solo shows in galleries and museums throughout the world along with group shows featuring the works of Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Man Ray and Nobuyoshi Araki.
In addition to the titles previously mentioned, there are a large number of books that have been published featuring the work of Mapplethorpe, including (among others): Robert Mapplethorpe: 1970-1983 (published by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in 1983); Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment (published by the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1989); Altars (Random House, NY, 1995); Robert Mapplethorpe (teNeues, Germany, 2007) and Perfection in Form: Robert Mapplethorpe (teNeues, Germany, 2009).
Today, Mapplethorpe’s work is shown and sold in galleries and museum collections all over the world, with his legacy maintained by the Foundation he established in 1988 – the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation – which promotes photography as an art form and which also funds AIDS and HIV-related medical research.
For more information on this artist, please visit his foundation’s web site at http://www.mapplethorpe.org/biography/
Gail Marowitz – notable album cover credits include – Aimee Mann – Whatever, The Forgotten Arm, Charmer and @#%&*! Smilers; Paula Cole – Harbinger; Tears For Fears – Raoul & The Kings Of Spain; George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars – T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M.; Ric Ocasek – Troubilizing; Aerosmith – Nine Lives and Rockin’ The Joint; Jeff Buckley – Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk; Shawn Mullins – Beneath The Velvet Sun; John Mayer – Any Given Thursday; Evanescence – The Open Door; Seether – Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces; Lynyrd Skynyrd – God & Guns and Last Of A Dyin’ Breed; Nickelback – Here And Now; The Both – The Both; Patti Smith – Trampin’; James Taylor – October Road
A 2017 inductee into the ACHOF in the Art Director category. Multiple Grammy-winning designer – a more-detailed bio will be posted in the near future.
More information on this artist is available on her web site at – http://www.thevisualstrategist.com
James Marsh – Notable album cover works include – Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden, Laughing Stock and After The Flood; Jamiroquai –Emergency on Planet Earth ; The Lovetones – Lost; Steeleye Span – Now We Are Six
Born in 1946 in Yorkshire, England, James Marsh is a U.K.-based artist, designer, illustrator and writer who has worked in all aspects of the world of visual fine arts, with clients in advertising, publishing and other media. After moving to London in 1965 and graduating two years later with a National Diploma in Design, he started his music graphics-related career at Pie Records, moving soon after to Decca Records and then to join with artist Alan Aldridge (when forming “Ink Studios”) that led him to his most high-profile projects at that time, including their acclaimed book The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, published in 1969, and Andy Warhol’s “Chelsea Girls” posters.
Since then, his work has been featured in most leading magazines, book covers, music packages and promotional posters, winning numerous awards both at home and abroad. In 2003, the U.K.’s Independent newspaper included him in their list of the “Top Ten Leading British Illustrators”. His list of clients include Time Inc, the Times newspapers, Penguin Books, Harper Collins, Random House, British Airways, The Royal Mail, National Express, IBM, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, General Motors, Courvoisier, the Seattle Opera Company, and many others. Music clients include EMI, Polydor, Sony, etc., producing album covers for Jamiroquai, Steeleye Span, Gerry Rafferty, Erasure and others. In the Fall of 2012, James collaborated with Harwood King Fine Art to publish a series of large format, limited-edition screen-prints, launching with two very popular images from his Talk Talk series.
Jim Marshall – Notable examples of album cover work – Allman Brothers Band – Live At Fillmore East; Moby Grape – Moby Grape; Commander Cody – Country Cassanova
(b. 1936 in Chicago, Illinois; d. 2010) Moving at an early age with his family to the Fillmore District in San Francisco, and purchasing a camera while still in high school, Jim began his career early on capturing the musicians and artists working in the Bay Area on film. He served a stint in the Air Force and then moved to New York in 1962, shooting album covers for ABC, Atlantic and Columbia Records and photo assignments for The Saturday Evening Post.
In 1964 he covered performances at the Newport Folk Festival (which featured Pete Seeger, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jose Feliciano, Phil Ochs and others) and then moved back to San Francisco later that year. From that point forward, he was given unprecedented access to most of the iconic events in the history of popular music, shooting The Beatles’ final concert at Candlestick Park (the only photographer allowed backstage) in 1966, the Monterey Pop Festival and the pre-eminent acts performing during the “Summer of Love” in 1967 (Santana, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Cream, etc.), Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison in 1968, Woodstock, Johnny Cash “flipping the bird” at San Quentin and the album cover for The Allman Brothers Live At The Fillmore East in 1969, and publishing his first book with fellow photo great Baron Wolman titled Festival.
The 1970s found Jim continuing his streak of award-winning images, many of which graced the covers of Rolling Stone and LIFE magazines, including photos of the Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, T-Rex, Joni Mitchell, jazz greats Carmen Mcrae and Dizzy Gillespie and Karl Malden and Michael Douglas on the set of the TV series Streets of San Francisco. He took a well-deserved break during the early-mid 1980s, returning in 1987 to publish a new book titled Tomorrow Never Knows — The Beatles’ Last Concert (with text by Eric Lefcowitz) and Monterey Pop, with text by Joel Selvin in 1992. In 1997, another book (featuring a foreword by Michael Douglas) titled Not Fade Away was released, followed by Early Dylan, published in 1999, featuring photos by Jim, Barry Feinstein and Daniel Kramer and Jazz, a 2005 collection of his photos of great jazz musicians.
In 2004, Jim received the Lucie Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Music Photography” and a book, titled Jim Marshall: Proof, which provided a rare look at the creative process, was published. In 2005, he was the recipient of MOJO magazine’s 2005 “Honours List Image Award”. Recent exhibitions of his work have included “Marshall in Platinum” at San Francisco’s Gallery 291, another at NYC’s 7 For All Mankind Gallery and shows at the Morrison Hotel Gallery (in support of a new book of never-before-seen images titled Trust) and at Staley Weiss Gallery for his 2009 book titled Match Prints. One last book – titled Pocket Cash – was developed shortly before his death and released in 2010. Biographical information and quotes excerpted from Mr. Marshall’s bio on his web site at – www.marshallphoto.com
Bob Masse – Notable album cover work examples – Vanilla Fudge – Then and Now, Albert Collins – The Iceman at Mount Fuji, Canned Heat – Then and Now, Mountain – Eruption
Bob Masse is from Canada’s West coast and has been producing concert posters since the 1960s. While attending art school in Vancouver, British Columbia, he began his career doing posters for the folk acts that came through town, in exchange for free drinks, tickets, and the opportunity to meet the musicians. As folk became folk-rock, and Vancouver was visited by such bands as the Grateful Dead, The Doors, the Jefferson Airplane and Steve Miller, Bob continued to produce memorable concert posters for these bands, and helped pioneer the emerging psychedelic art genre.
He was greatly influenced by the art and music scenes in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where he spent considerable time in the late 1960s, producing posters and album covers for various bands of the day. His work from this time is highly sought by collectors and Bob continues to produce pieces for contemporary performers, such as Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, the Smashing Pumpkins and many more.
In late 2007, Billboard Magazine published their list of “The 25 Best Rock Posters of All Time” and Bob’s poster for U2′s 4/3/2001 show at the Reunion Arena in Dallas was voted #6! http://www.billboardlists.50webs.com/billboard-25-best-rock-posters-of-all-time.html
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at http://www.bmasse.com/who.html
Rodney Matthews – notable album cover credits include – Rolling Stones – Another Time, Another Place II; Nazareth – No Means of Escape, The Very Best of Nazareth and No Mean City; Uriah Heep – Magic Night; Asia – Aqua, Arena, Archiva Vols. 1 & 2 and Different Worlds Live; Rick Wakeman – The New Gospels, 2000 AD: Into The Future and Fields of Green; Scorpions – Lonesome Crow; Magnum – Chase The Dragon, The Eleventh Hour, On A Storyteller’s Night, Kingdom of Madness and Foundation; Hawkwind – Welcome To The Future and Out Of The Shadows; Amon Duul – Amon Duul II: Live In London; Praying Mantis – Time Tells No Lies and Legacy
(born July, 1945 in Paulton, North Somerset, U.K.) According to Rodney’s site bio, he found that, at an early age, he was fascinated by nature and “…spent most of his time outdoors studying the local flora and fauna, picking flowers and bringing home squirrels, magpies, snakes, frogs and toads! He enjoyed art and related subjects at school, but had little interest in academic subjects, such as mathematics and English.” Blessed with an artistic father (who’d painted large copies of Disney characters on the walls of the family home’s living room) and showing a bit of drawing talent of his own, it was suggested to young Rodney that he perhaps apply his imagination and artistic talents to courses in commercial design at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where he’d go on to study under landscape painter Anthony Rossiter.
It was during his time at art school that Rodney also decided to explore his talents as a musician, playing the drums in a succession of bands, doing covers and also writing the lyrics for original (mainly prog-style) music. After completing his schoolwork in 1962, Matthews worked a while for the Ford’s Creative ad agency, learning about the many development and production-related aspects of commercial design and working in his spare time on freelance jobs (including art for an early Thin Lizzy single) before hanging out his own shingle in 1970 as a partner in a 2-man shop called Plastic Dog while still playing music, where he achieved some level of success via playing on bills with top acts including Cream, Derek & The Dominoes, Genesis and YES. He put his musical career on hold in the mid-1970s and devoted his talents full-time to design, producing covers for a number of books, magazines and recorded music products.
While Plastic Dog Graphics specialized in design for the music industry, doing work for both local clients and then for larger record companies including MCA, Sonet and United Artists Records (with Rodney’s first LP “big name” cover design appearing on Amon Duul’s 1972 record Amon Duul II…Live In London), the artist’s big break came after Peter Ledeboer, head of the renowned poster publisher Big O, discovered his work and commissioned Rodney to produce a series of four posters (The Last Armada, In Search of Forever, Warriors from the Sky and Twelve Tower at Dawn) that sold quite well, with his work then being seen by sci-fi author Michael Moorcock, who immediately asked his publishers to hire Matthews to create the imagery for his books (inc. the international sensation Stormbringer), posters and other merchandise.
Since then, Rodney’s imagery has been seen on scores of record and book covers (inc. publications by authors including Cheryl Evans & Anne Millard, Doug King, Marco Palmer, Stephen Lawhead, A. Merritt, Andre Norton, Clark Ashton-Smith and others, as well as a 2008 update of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland), magazines (Vortex, Classic Rock and Software Communications), video games and four fan-pleasing fantasy art anthologies and art portfolios co-authored with writer Nigel Suckling. Married in 1980 to fellow artist Karin Drescher, he moved his family to Northern Wales in 1985, where he drew inspiration from the natural beauty of the area – inspiration that would show up in many of his artistic endeavors going forward. In 1986, he partnered with producer Gerry Anderson to begin work on a stop-motion animation series for children’s television (Lavender Castle), while in the 1990s, he worked with several different video game developers on projects that would include Psygnosis’ hit first-person shooter Shadow Master and Haven: Call of the King, published by Midway. He remains active in various multi-media projects and continues to show and sell prints of his works in galleries (collectors of his work include Monty Python alumni John Cleese and Terry Jones) and on his web site. He also remains a passionate music maker/player, making records with other talented musicians including Asia’s John Payne and keyboard whiz Rick Wakeman.
See more of this artist’s work on his web site at https://www.rodneymatthewsstudios.com/pages/portfolio-of-work
William Matthews – notable album cover credits include – The Sub Dudes – Flower Petals; Marley’s Ghost – Ghost Town; Randy Travis – The Wind In The Wire; Vince Gill – These Days; Richard Betts – Highway Call; Monroe Doctrine – Monroe Doctrine; Don Ho – Home In The Country; Michael (Martin) Murphey – Playing Favorites and Blue Sky: Night Thunder; Buck Ramsey – Hittin’ The Trail; BeauSoliel avec Michael Doucet – Gitane Cajun; Hot Rise – So Long of a Journey (Live At The Boulder Theater)
(b. 1949, New York City, NY) Although William Matthews is now known as one of America’s top painters of Western/landscape and cowboy portraits, he began his life in New York City (cue the Pace commercial – “New York City!!”) and moved with his family as a child to the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1950s. His professional art career began as a graphic artist for Los Angeles-based music companies including Warner Brothers and Capitol Records, but the call of the mountains and open spaces brought him to Colorado in 1980, where he opened his own design firm, handling projects for a variety of clients for the next 10 years before deciding to devote his talents full-time to painting.
While he still takes on commissions for poster, book and record cover art (e.g., creating the cover for Annie Proulx’s Close Range: Wyoming Stories, which contained “Brokeback Mountain” and other stories, artwork for Tom Stoppard’s 2001 play Arcadia and postcards for the USPS Series America The Beautiful), Matthews focus is first and foremost on painting “the working West” (or, as the artist’s bio on his web site states, “portrayals of the working cowboys from the great ranches of the American West.” His works have also portrayed other subjects, including fly fishing, horses and his views of Ireland, China and Amish, Mennonite and Shaker villages.
William Matthews’ artwork is found in museums all over the U.S. including the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and Museum in Cody, WY; the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles; the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, OK; the Denver and Phoenix Art Museums and the Tucson Museum of Art, along with galleries such as the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, NM; the Simpson Gallagher Gallery in Cody, WY and Goodwin Fine Art Gallery in Denver. You can also tour the William Matthews Studio space in Denver.
More information on his artist is available on his web site at https://williammatthewsstudio.com/album-covers/
Tracy Maurice – notable album cover credits include – Arcade Fire – Funeral and Neon Bible ; Late Bloomer – Distraction from Destruction; Sarah Neufeld – Hero Brother; Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Volume 2 – Judges and Volume 3 – To See More Light; Bell Orchestre – Recording A Tape The Colour Of The Light; The Kissaway Trail – The Kissaway Trail
(b. 1982) After graduating from Concordia University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art History, Conservation and Criticism, she soon after met members of the soon-to-be hugely-popular Canadian rock band Arcade Fire through some mutual friends and, although she’d never worked on an album package previously, her love of art and music motivated her to pursue a project they’d proposed she help them with – the cover for their debut record, to be titled Funeral. With everyone seemingly on the same wavelength creatively, the project went so well that she soon became the band’s Creative Director, a position she remained at for the next four years, producing all of the visual aspects of the band’s work (promo art and packaging, music videos and stage designs) on both Funeral and their smash follow-up record, 2007’s Neon Bible.
Kudos came quickly for her work – she won a PLUG Independent Music Award in 2005 for “Album Art/Packaging of the Year” for Arcade Fire’s Funeral, a Juno Award (Canada’s top music award) in 2008 (shared with Francois Miron) for “CD/DVD Artwork of the Year” for the same band’s second album, Neon Bible and, for that same album, she also was nominated in 2008 for a PLUG Independent Music Award.
Striking out on her own in 2008 and also as a creative lead for a commercial/film production company called Serial Pictures from 2011 – 2015, Tracy quickly built a strong reputation as a multi-media creative force, working on graphic and video/film projects for a number of musical acts, TV/film celebrities and a host of corporate clients in a variety of fields. In addition to her work for musical acts such as Tony Bennett, Coldplay, Fergie, Lady Gaga, David Guetta, Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney and Rihanna (just to name a few), Maurice has produced promo programs for brands such as Adidas, Acura, Barnes & Noble, Cadillac, Calvin Klein, Chrysler, Coke Cola, Corona, Cover Girl, Estee Lauder, JC Penney, Herbal Essences, Lexus, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Mercedes-Benz, Neutrogena, Nike, Old Navy, Pantene, Pepsi Co., Reebok, Revlon, Samsung, Shiseido, Subaru, Swarovski, Target, T Mobile and Toyota.
She now works on her own freelance projects, such as the album artwork and music video she produced for Arcade Fire member Sarah Neufeld’s LP Hero Brother.
More on this artist is available on her web site at http://www.tracymaurice.com
Ruby Mazur – – notable album cover credits include – B.B. King – Back in the Alley; Dave Mason – Headkeeper; Rufus – Rufus; Jim Croce – Life & Times; Dusty Springfield – Cameo and Beautiful Soul: The ABC/Dunhill Collection; Fruup – Seven Secrets and It’s All Up Now: Anthology; Crowfoot – Crowfoot; Four Tops – Keeper of the Castle; Archie Shepp – The Cry of My People
More information on this artist is available at his web site – http://www.rubymazurgallery.com/bio.html
Linda McCartney – notable album cover credits include – Paul McCartney – McCartney, Ram, Red Rose Speedway, Venus & Mars, Wings At The Speed of Sound, London Town and Pure McCartney; Mary Hopkin – Post Card; Neil Young – Sugar Mountain: Live At Canterbury House 1968 and Neil Young Archives, Vol. 1; Jimi Hendrix – The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Valleys of Neptune; Various Artists – Apple Box Set; Thin Lizzy – Chinatown; Pretenders – Viva El Amor
(b. Linda Louise Eastman in September, 1941 in Scarsdale, NY, USA; d. April, 1998 in Tucson, AZ, USA) 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.
After the couple married, Linda began to experiment with many different forms of photography and photo processing/printing while at the same time learning to play the piano and recording and touring with her husband as he launched his post-Beatles solo and band career. When not playing music, she worked tirelessly as both a commercial photographer (with another first – the photo of her and Paul featured on the cover of a 1974 issue of Rolling Stone made her the first photographer to be featured both behind the lens and on the cover of RS!) and entrepreneur (with a focus on books and products promoting a vegetarian lifestyle) and, along the way, she published a number of books featuring photos from her portfolio, such as Linda’s Pictures (1982), Photographs: Linda McCartney (1982), Linda McCartney’s Sun Prints (1988) and 1992’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era. In 1980, she won an award at the Cannes Film Festival for an animated project she produced (Seaside Woman).
Her work has been exhibited by museums and galleries world wide, including solo and group shows at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Art Institute in Toronto, Canada and The Tate Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, all in London.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, Linda, by then a mother of four, died in April, 1998 at the age of 56. Since her death, a number of new books featuring her work have been published, including Wide Open (1999), Light From Within: Photojournals (2001) and Linda McCartney: Life In Photographs (2011).
More information on this artist is available on her official web site – http://www.lindamccartney.com/
Jim McCrary – Notable album cover work examples – Carole King – Tapestry, Lee Michaels – 5th, Joe Cocker – Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Flying Burrito Brothers – Burrito Deluxe
(b. August, 1939 in Los Angeles, CA; d. April, 2012 in Palo Alto, CA) Born and raised in Los Angeles County, Jim McCrary was a professional photographer in that area for nearly 50 years. Primarily self-taught beginning in 1952, he also attended Pasadena City College and Art Center College of Design with photography majors. He worked for many years as staff photographer for the Jerry O’Brien Studio, the Fred Poore Studio and in the photography department of Rockwell International during the 1950′s and 1960′s. Jim joined A&M Records in 1967 as chief photographer, where in the next seven years he shot over 300 album covers along with related publicity and advertising work. After a photo session with Michael Jackson in 1974 during which he turned off the singer’s music (not realizing that it was his client’s!), Jim decided that he’d had enough of shooting clients in the music business – he felt little connection to the new crop of talent emerging at the time – and stopped to pursue projects of a more personal nature.
From 1974 through 1990 he operated his own studio on La Brea Avenue in Hollywood, specializing in technically difficult photographic still-life problems, as well as difficult personality portraits. In 1990, he opened up his own camera shop in Hollywood called Pix Camera and continued to be a leading photographer on the cutting edge of both traditional and digital imaging photographic art and technology, working as a free-lance digital photography consultant for clients primarily in the Glendale/Burbank media district.
After moving to Northern California in 2010, Jim passed away in 2012 of complications from a chronic nervous system disorder. He was a good guy and I’m happy to have known him.
Mike McInnerney – Individual Achievement Award Inductee – Class of 2012 – for his cover painting for The Who’s Tommy. Other notable album cover credits include The Hillbenders – Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry
According to the artist’s site bio, Mike McInnerney studied graphic design at the London College of Printing, leaving the school in 1966 to join the staff at an underground British newspaper called The International Times, where became the art editor. As an active participant in the mid-1960s counter-culture in London (he became a member of the London Free School group) and dove head-first into whatever was new in music, art, politics, pop culture and the teachings of Indian spiritual master Meher Baba. Using his skills as a designer, he’d go on to produce posters and flyers for groups, venues and underground events (with his works being published by trend-setting publishers including Big O and Osiris) and, working in partnership with painter and illustrator Dudley Edwards, creating art and graphics for a variety of clients under the name OM Tentacle (with OM pronounced like the mantra “OM”).
Mike’s public worked attracted the attention of musician and fellow UFO Club denizen, The Who’s Pete Townshend, in 1967 and the two became chums, with McInnerney turning Townshend on to the writings of M. Baba and Pete reciprocating by asking McInnerney to work with his band in 1969 to create the album artwork for their upcoming release – a “rock opera” they would name Tommy.
Since then, his commercial and fine art works have been featuring in publications including the Sunday Times (UK) and Nova Magazine and are included in the collections and exhibitions of museums and galleries including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, OH; The Whitney Museum of Art in New York; the Tate Liverpool, The Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany and in London at the Barbican Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Whitechapel Gallery, among others. He’s won Silver and Gold awards from the Design & Art Direction (D&AD) educational organization and an award for his Record Cover work from the New Musical Express.
In 2017, Mike teamed with writers Bill DeMain and Gillian Gaar to author a 50th anniversary tribute book for The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s LP (titled Sgt. Pepper At Fifty) and also teamed up with old pal Roger Daltry from The Who to art direct a project – creating customized, Tommy-inspired Rolls Royce Wraith motorcars that were auctioned off to raise funds for one of the Who singer’s favorite charities – the Teenage Cancer Trust, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for their effort.
Dave McKean – notable album cover credits include – The Residents – Freak Show; Paradise Lost – As I Die; Alice Cooper – The Last Temptation; Bill Bruford’s Earthworks – Stomping Ground and Heavenly Bodies; Testament – Low and Demonic; Tori Amos – God; Machine Head – Burn My Eyes; Front Line Assembly – Hard Wired, Live Wired and Fallout; Fear Factory – Demanufacture and Obsolete; Buckethead – Day of the Robot; Stabbing Westward – Darkest Days; Counting Crows – This Desert Life; Steve Morse – Major Impacts;
(b. December, 1963, Taplow, Berkshire, England) Artist/illustrator/designer McKean pursued studies at the Berkshire College of Art and Design beginning in 1982, but his talent brought him illustration assignments even before leaving the school in 1986. That same year, Dave met writer Neil Gaiman during a visit to New York City and, since that time, they’ve collaborated on a number of well-regarded projects, including books, graphic novels (including the design/illustrations for the sensational, World Fantasy Award-winning Sandman series) and stage productions.
An accomplished author himself, McKean has also published award-winning works of his own, such as the Harvey Award-winning novel Cages and the V&A Museum Illustrated Book Award-winning short story collection titled Pictures That Tick. His talents have also brought him success in several other areas, including children’s book illustration, film-making and music compositions, while he’s also had several collections of his photographs published – A Small Book of Black & White Lies (1995), Option Click (1998) and two The Particle Tarot tomes – Major Arcana (2000) and Minor Arcana (2006).
His works have been included in solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe and a retrospective of his work, titled Narcolepsy, has toured extensively throughout Europe and the U.K..
Commercial clients made happy with Dave’s contributions include BMW, British Telecom, Eurostar, Nike, The New Yorker and Playboy magazines and the studios behind the films Alien Resurrection, Blade, Dust, Sleepy Hollow and two of the mega-popular Harry Potter films, Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban.
He lives on the Isle of Oxney in Kent, England with his wife and studio manager Clare, and their two children.
More information on this artist is available at his website at http://www.davemckean.com/
Dave McMacken – Notable album cover work – Frank Zappa – Over-nite Sensation, AC/DC – Ballbreaker, Warrant – Dog Eat Dog, Weather Report – Black Market, The Beatles – Reel Music, Steve Miller – The Joker and Kansas – Leftoverture
Dave left Newport, OR in the Fall of 1963 and rode the Greyhound to Los Angeles to attend the Art Center College of Design, graduating in 1967. He started his career in advertising as a junior art director at Sinay/Lipson in Hollywood, during which time his college draft-deferment status came to an end and, with the prospect of Vietnam looming in every young man’s lives, he applied for C.O. status and the draft board in Newport granted his request, sending him to work as a psychiatric tech at LA County Hospital for two years. Afterwards, he met up with his college buddies and started “The Institute For Better Vision”.
After The Institute split up, Dave took on a number of freelance assignments for clients such as Peter Whorf (ABC Jazz), Chris Whorf at Bizarre (Frank Zappa, Bootsy Collins), Nancy Donald and Tony Lane at Columbia (Weather Report, Flo & Eddie) and Roland Young at A&M Records (Tom Scott, Louis Armstrong, The Tubes, Peggy Lee, The Carpenters, Horizon Jazz, etc.). It was also at A&M that he met his wife, Judy, who worked as a creative secretary for the Art department there.
Other album cover clients have included The Temptations, Jackyl, Bedlam and The Beachboys. Non-music clients have included the JWT, Y&R and Arnold advertising agencies; Apple Computer, Microsoft and E/A in consumer electronics, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster in books, and a large number of travel posters for various locales’ tourist bureaus. His film work includes assignments painting backgrounds for the animated films Puff The Magic Dragon and FernGully:2.
He lives in the Astoria, OR area with his wife and a large pack of dogs. To see more of his work, please visit Dave’s web site at http://www.mcmackengraphics.com/cgi-local/content.cgi
Bill McMullen – notable album cover credits include – Beastie Boys – Hello Nasty, The Mix-Up and Intergallactic; Cyclone – Baby Bash; Luscious Jackson – Electric Honey; Guru – Jazzmatazz, Vol. 3: Streetsoul; Ils – Soul Trader; Federation – It’s Whateva; Foxy Brown – Chyna Doll; DMX – It’s Dark and Hell is Hot; Bad Brains – Build A Nation
(b. ? , California) While he was studying both graphic design and film at San Diego State University, Bill’s love of music was enhanced when he learned to select the playlists and work the boards at SDSU’s own college radio station – KCR – while two of his college friends taught him how to mix music from the broad range of styles he appreciated into sets of music he’d play while gigging as a club DJ in local clubs. He used his talents as a designer to create promo flyers for the clubs he worked at, which exposed his talents to other musicians (and those in the music business), opening doors for more work in the area later on.
As he dug deeper into hip-hop/DJ culture, McMullen would take trips to New York City to visit friends and attend musical events, such as the New Music Seminar, where he’d meet other people and build his contact list. While there was already a substantial supply of design talent in the area, Bill decided that he’d move from So. CA to New York for a short while to explore whether there’d be any opportunities there for him. Moving in 1996, a friend there suggested that he contact a cousin of his who worked at Def Jam Records, the urban music label started by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin and home (then) to break-out acts such as LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Warren G.. There, he joined designers Cey Adams and Steve Carr (co-founders of Def Jam’s in-house design agency called “The Drawing Board”) and turned his talents immediately to creating unique packaging for the label’s acts and outside clients as well. In 1998, McMullen designed the packaging for the Beastie Boys’ multi-Grammy Award winning release Hello Nasty, and it was his association with that project that really “put him on the map” in the album design arena.
After three years as a designer and art director at Def Jam, McMullen’s portfolio of clients had grown to include influential and top-selling acts including Bad Brains, Foxy Brown, DMX, Guru, Luscious Jackson and Method Man and, building on those relationships, he set out to become an independent graphic designer. He brought his trend-setting design asthetic (“mixtape philosophy”, combining “old school” design elements with pop culture references) to work for clients inside and outside the music business, creating sneaker designs for Adidas, clothing designs/graphics for Tony Chan’s urban-wear label Swish NYC and collectible toys and limited-edition art items for Kidrobot. Other clients of note include the Criterion Collection (DVD covers), 2K Gingham (t-shirts) and Nike (DVDs). As of the date of the publication of this biography, he’s still active as a designer, living in the NYC area.
McMullen’s work has been included in several solo group art shows at galleries that have drawn a lot of attention within the fine art world. A show in 2009 at L.A.’s Constant Gallery titled “Hype, Hustle, Rip Off” included items from all aspects of his portfolio, including a multi-media piece that turned Star Wars‘ featured robot R2D2 into a boom-box, while a show in 2010 at the HVW8 Art + Design Gallery called “Checks Cashed” included a variety of new work that, according to the show bio, “is all about subverting history with absurd pop-cultured imagery.” Discussions of his talent and work are also featured in several design books, including On Screen In Time...by Melanie Goux and James A. Houff (2003), The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art and Music Drive New York City by Elizabeth Churrid (2007) and Art & Sole: Contemporary Sneaker Design by Intercity (2008).
More information on this artist is available at his website – http://www.billmcmullen.com/ or you can keep up to date on news related to his career at http://www.12ozprophet.com/index.php/bill_mcmullen/
Eric Meola – Notable album cover credits include – Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run, The Promise and Greatest Hits; George Benson – The Other Side Of Abbey Road; Jimmy McGriff – Outside Lookin’ In; Les McCann – Road Warriors; Simply Red – Farewell
(b. 1946 in Syracuse, New York) Eric studied color printing and theory while a student at the Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University and graduated with a degree in English Lit in 1968 before moving the next year to New York City, where he took a job with photographer Pete Turner as his studio manager. Striking out on his own in 1971, Meola opened his own studio and soon took on a number of editorial photo assignments for publications including Esquire, Life and Time. Since then, he’s travelled the world on assignments for a number of publications, advertising clients including Almay, American Express, AT&T, BMW, Jeep, Johnny Walker, Porsche, Timerberland (for which he won a Clio Award in 1989) and various music industry personalities.
Meola’s imagery has been honored by its inclusion in a number of “best of” publications, as exemplified by his photos featured in Life Magazine’s 1997 special issue titled “The 100 Magnificent Moments of the Past 1000 Years” and Rolling Stone Magazine’s 1991 and 2003 lists of “100 Greatest Album Covers”, where his album cover shot for Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run came in at #23. In 1986, he was awarded the “Advertising Photographer of the Year” designation by the American Society of Media Photographers. In 1989, he was the only photographer named to Adweek Magazine’s national “Creative All-Star Team”.
Books featuring his photography include Robert Sobieszek’s 1993 book about advertising titled The Art of Persuasion; Last Places on Earth (published in 2004 by Graphis Editions); Born to Run: The Unseen Photos (published in 2006 by Insight Editions) and India: In Word and Image (published in 2008 by Welcome Books). In 2011, Ormond Yard Press published a limited-edition (500 copies) book titled Bruce Springsteen: Born To Run Revisited, and that was followed in 2012 by Streets of Fire (HarperCollins publishing). His sold-out 2008 book – India: In Word and Image – will be updated and re-printed in 2013.
His works have been included in a number of exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the world, including the George Eastman House, the National Portrait Gallery, the Art Director’s Club in NYC and the Museum of Modern Art in Munich. As an educator and lecturer, he’s presented at the Art Center College in Pasadena, CA, Brooks College in Santa Barbara, Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) and his alma mater (Syracuse University) as well as other venues.
For more information on this artist, please visit his website at –http://www.ericmeola.com/
Anthony Michael – notable album cover credits include – Ultravox – Love’s Great Adventure and UVOX; Midge Ure – That Certain Smile and Wastelands; Mica Paris – So Good; Julia Fordham – Julia Fordham; Lisa Stansfield – All Around The World; Terence Trent D’Arby – Terence Trent D’Arby’s Neither Fish Nor Flesh: A Soundtrack Of Love, Faith, Hope And Destruction; World Party – Goodbye Jumbo; Seal – Seal and Seal (2); INXS – Welcome To Wherever You Are and Greatest Hits; Massive Attack – Protection; Amy Winehouse – Frank; Rolling Stones – A Bigger Bang
More information is available on this artist’s agency web site – http://www.michaelnash.co.uk/
Russell Mills – notable album cover credits include – Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral and Hesitation Marks; Brian Eno – Music For Films, Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, Eno Box I and II and Thursday Afternoon; Robert Fripp – Beyond Even (1992-2006); Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Love & Devotion and Mustt Mustt; Miles Davis – Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-74 and Trios; Roger Eno – Voices, Between Tides, The Familiar and Lost In Translation; Bill Laswell – Aspiration; David Sylvian – God Man
(b. 1952 in Ripon, Yorkshire, U.K.) The son of an officer in the Royal Air Force, Russell and his family spent most of his youth on the move, stationed at times at bases in the Germany, Holland and the U.K. These bases were usually near U.S. Air Force bases, so Russell was able to listen to the broadcasts by the camp radio stations, allowing him to hear popular music that was quite different from what was being played by the local commercial stations, introducing him to the jazz, blues, be-bop and early rock that was not yet on local playlists. Listening to these “exotic” records gave him a way to differentiate himself from other kids his age – something his rebellious nature prompted him to do.
While still in his teens and away at boarding school, Russell dove into the local music scene, playing drums in his own bands and seeing the major acts of the day – Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd and many others – whenever he got the chance. In the late 60s, he enrolled in Canterbury College’s art school and lived with a room-mate who was a leader of the British prog band East of Eden, which kept him in touch with all of the goings on in the music business at the time. So hot was the music scene around the school that a lecturer by the name of Ian Dury rehearsed with his band in the painting studios there. It was also at Canterbury that he met the man who’d become his long-time collaborator, a fellow artist named Ian Walton. In 1970, Mills took his studies to the Maidstone College of Art (now the University For The Creative Arts), where he experienced first-hand the uprisings taking place in Popular Music, with Prog bands and concept albums being replaced by the proponents of Punk rock, which he found to be exhilarating. He graduated in 1974 and transferred to the Royal College of Art to both study for his MA and plunge himself into the energy of the punk scene in London.
The club scene allowed him to soak in the vivacity of the shows put on by the Buzzcocks, The Clash, the Damned, New Order, The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Talking Heads and many others, leading him to take a trip to New York City to experience the growing punk scene there as well. Back in the U.K., he befriended members of Wire, a punk/post-punk band whose experimental approach to staging and making music – combining video, performance art and dance and using instruments and arrangements not typical to punk music (and its audiences) – proved to be very influential for musicians and artists of the era. Touching on so many new and classical influences certainly pushed Mills to look for opportunities to participate in this scene and ultimately bring his unique talents to the table for musical acts such as Brian Eno, Bill Laswell and David Sylvian (as well as for Wire, too).
After meeting Eno in 1975, the two worked together for several years, with Russell providing designs for sets and lighting for a series of multi-media shows, as well as album and book covers (including the critically-praised book of illustrations based on Eno’s music titled More Dark Than Shark). This work introduced him to many others in the music business, doing work for acts including Harold Budd, Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois, among others.
Since the early 1990s, Mills has taken part in a number of multi-media projects (working often with Ian Walton), including a show in Tokyo in 1990 (working with Sylvian) titled Ember Glance: The Permanence of Memory, and other shows in the U.S., U.K., Europe and Japan (including the highly-praised 2000 show called Sonic Boom: The Art of Sound staged at London’s Hayward Gallery, and their collaborations continue to this day. Most-recently (late 2014), he’s been invited to stage exhibitions/installations at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and at the Artworks 1830 Gallery in Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax in early 2015. Among the many honors he’s received throughout his career, in 1994 Mills received a Grammy nomination for his work on the Eno I & II CD box sets by Brian Eno (Virgin Records).
According to his site bio, “his work is held in private collections in Australia, Canada, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and USA and in public collections world-wide, including the British Council, the British Museum, the Tate Gallery London, Reuters and the Victoria & Albert Museum.”
Mills also continues to expand upon his talents as a musician, having started working with ex-Wire members Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis on their 1986 ambient album Mzui/Waterloo Gallery and then, in 1996, working with guitarist Michael Brook to release his own debut recording called Strange Familiar, with several more records of his own music coming out over the course of the next 6-7 years, including two “sound collage” records working with collaborators Tom Smyth and Mike Fearon under the moniker “Undark”.
As an educator, Mills has lectured at colleges and universities throughout the UK and Ireland and is Visiting Tutor at the Royal College of Art, Honorary Visiting Professor at Glasgow School of Art and External Examiner at Hull School of Art & Design and Lincoln University. Mills lives and works in Ambleside, Cumbria, U.K.
More information on this artist is available on his website at www.russellmills.com
Bob Minkin – Notable album cover art examples – Grateful Dead – Downhill From Here, Dick’s Picks (multiple volumes), View from the Vault (multiple volumes), Merl Saunders – Struggling Man
Bob was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and in 1974, Bob brought his Kodak Instamatic camera to a New Riders Of The Purple Sage concert at New York City’s Academy Of Music. He had no idea he was about to embark on a lifetime journey. A graduate of New York City’s School Of Visual Arts, Bob earned his BFA in graphic design and photography.
As Bob tells it – “When I was 13 years old, I fell in with a clique who turned me on to the music I still love today. By 1974, I was going to concerts by Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Johnny Winter, Mountain, NRPS, and others. Greatly impressed with this new world, I wanted to capture a memory or keepsake for myself. I began taking my camera to almost all the concerts I attended. By 1977, I had already amassed a considerable portfolio. At that time – through a chance encounter – I hooked up with Relix Magazine, then a Grateful Dead fanzine. My photos were published in Relix and I began gaining official access, that is, photo passes to many concerts. I continue to work with Relix to this day.
As time went on, I expanded my contacts in the music industry. Working with Monarch Entertainment in the Northeast, later Bill Graham Presents when I moved to San Francisco. During the 1980′s I began a close relationship with Grateful Dead Productions which continues to this day in the form of my role as their package designer for most of their CD and DVD releases. I still do a lot of photography, of course. When shooting, I like the beauty of natural light and try to be as unobtrusive as possible, allowing my subjects to be their natural selves. Capturing the definitive peak moments of an event is what I strive for.”
His photographs have appeared internationally on CDs and DVDs, and on the covers and insides of many magazines and books. Clients have included Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Guitar World and Grateful Dead Productions. Bob’s design studio – Minkin Design – opened shop in 1990, the year Bob and Anne Minkin escaped from New York and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. The two talented designers met at Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts, graduating with BFAs in Graphic Design and designs on a future together.Their entrepreneurial start in California after stints in the NY corporate world netted them clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500′s.
To see more of Bob Minkin’s current work, please visit his site at – http://www.minkindesign.com/
Jean-Baptiste Mondino – Notable album cover credits include – Bjork – Bjork; Prince – Lovesexy; Malcolm McLaren – Paris; Marianne Faithful – Before The Poison and Easy Come Easy Go; Peter Murphy – Love Hysteria; Neneh Cherry – Raw Like Sushi; Boz Scaggs – Come On Home; Lenny Kravitz – Are You Gonna Go My Way; Eurythmics – We Too Are One; Placebo – Sleeping With Ghosts; Madonna – Music
(b. 1949 in Aubervilliers, France) Although he began his career in the arts as a composer and DJ, pursuing music as a career after dropping out of high school in the suburbs of Paris (then moving to London at the age of 20, working as a DJ there for 3 years before returning to Paris and landing a job as an art assistant and then art director at an ad agency there), Jean-Baptiste has since achieved a great deal of fame for his work as a photographer, film-maker and director of music videos.
In addition to his portraits for clients in the advertising, music, publishing (The Face and i.D.) and fashion industries (including brands such as Benetton, Dior, Gautier, Calvin Klein, Nike and Yves Saint Laurent), Mondino has directed music shorts for acts including Bjork, David Bowie, Neneh Cherry, Bryan Ferry, Don Henley, Madonna and Sting and videos/packaging for a host of popular French acts.
His video for Mr. Henley’s hit single “The Boys of Summer” won four trophies at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards, taking top prizes for “Best Art Direction”, “Best Cinematography”, “Best Direction” and “Best Video”.
Mondino’s work has been exhibited at shows in galleries and public spaces internationally, including displays at the Maison Européene de la Photographie (MEP), Paris; Corkin Shopland Gallery, Toronto; 798 Space, Beijing; and Haus der Photographie/Deichtorhallen, Hamburg.
Books featuring his work include Arbeitsheft 3: Mondo (published by Westermann Schulbuch in 2004), and Schirmer/Mosel has published several volumes, including Déjà vu (1999), Two Much (2005), Guitar Eros (2006) and Jean Baptiste Mondino: Two Much (a 300+ page deluxe edition, 2013).
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at –http://www.jeanbaptistemondino.com/
David Montgomery – Notable examples of album cover work – Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers; Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland (UK); The Who – The Who Sell Out
Born in Brooklyn, New York, he attended photography courses run by Alexi Brodevitch and worked for the award-winning photographer Lester Bookbinder for four years, following Bookbinder to England in the early 1960’s. David fell in love with the soft, romantic English light and took up residence in London, where he continues to live with his family.
David is internationally known as a portrait photographer of high profile statesmen and celebrities. Some of his previous subjects include: HM Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen Mother, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, Lord Mountbatten, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Pierre Trudeau, King Hussein, Cardinal Basil Hume, Stephen Hawking and Muhammed Ali. Subjects from the world of art include Andy Warhol, Lucien Freud, David Hockney, Francis Bacon, Howard Hodgkin, Josef Bouys, Bill Brant, Gilbert & George, Conrad Shawcross, Cathy de-Monchaux and Grayson Perry. Music and Entertainment industry portraits include those of Diana Ross & the Supremes, Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Jean Shrimpton, Terence Stamp, Alfred Hitchcock, Bing Crosby, Sir Paul McCartney, Chrissy Hinde, Pierce Brosnan, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Barbara Streisand, The Clash, and U2, to name a few.
David has contributed regularly to Vogue, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, Rolling Stone, House and Garden as well as many books including Designer’s Guild, Pulbrook & Gould and Nicky Haslam’s Sheer Opulence. In 2000, he was commissioned by the post office to photograph a special edition stamp for the millennium celebration, which won a silver award at the D&AD (Design and Art Direction Awards). His Andy Warhol photographs have been exhibited in a show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art titled Andy Warhol:Self Portraits and have since been added to the permanent collection at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.
Biographical information and quotes excerpted from Mr. Montgomery’s bio on his web site at – www.davidmontgomery.org
Norman Moore – dba DesignArt Inc – notable album cover credits include – Police – Synchronicity; Joe Cocker – Across From Midnight, Greatest Hits, One Night of Sin and My Father’s Dream; Electric Light Orchestra – Discovery; Elton John – 21 At 33; Elvis Presley – Aloha, Heart & Soul, The Lost Album and The Million Dollar Quartet; Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream, Road Tested and Silver Lining; Bad Religion – Generator, No Control and Stranger Than Fiction; Belinda Carlisle – Heaven on Earth, Runaway Horses and I Feel Free; Heart – Heart, Brigade and Bad Animals; Huey Lewis & The News – Picture This; Kim Carnes – Checkin’ Out The Ghosts; Matchbox Twenty – Exile On Mainstream; Sting – Ten Summoners Tales; Supertramp – The Autobiography of Supertramp; Yanni – Live At The Acropolis; ZZ Top – Pincushion; Bette Midler – Divine Intervention; Go Gos – Cool Jerk; 38 Special – Strength In Numbers
(b. 1950 in Dundee, Scotland) According to the artist’s bio, Norman studied graphic design at London’s Harrow School of Art (where Sgt. Pepper’s designer Peter Blake taught) from 1968 – 1970, leaving school to begin his career with positions at two London-area design firms before relocating to Los Angeles in 1972 where he joined the team at heralded design firm Rod Dyer, Inc., where he stayed for 2 years before returning briefly to the U.K. to launch his own design practice. Shortly thereafter, Norman was lured back to the LA area with a job as Art Director at MCA Records for the next two years until he left to establish his own company, DesignArt, Inc., in 1979.
His work includes packaging, branding, annual reports, posters for music and film, magazines, book jackets and CD covers. Entertainment industry clients include musical acts such as Bad Religion, Joan Baez, The Beatles, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Fields Entertainment, Janet Jackson, Paul McCartney, Megadeth, George Michael, New Visions Films, NRG Records, the Rolling Stones, Sting, Rob Thomas and Virgin Records America, while corporate/branding clients range from Drago and Sansai Restaurants to Malibu Capital Management and Westbeach Recorders.
In addition, his work has received numerous awards from organizations including The Art Directors Club of Los Angeles, The New York Art Directors Club, The American Institute of Graphic Arts, The Type Directors Club, The Designers and Art Directors Association/London, The Western Art Directors Club, American Corporate Identity and Graphis. His work has also been published in various design books and periodicals in the UK, USA, Japan, Switzerland and Italy.
More about this artist’s album cover work can be found on his web site at http://www.designartla.com/vault/index.htm
Dennis Morris – Notable album cover credits include – Bob Marley – One Love: The Very Best of Bob Marley, Selassie Is The Chapel and Soul Adventurer; Linton Kwesi Johnson – LKJ in Dub and Bass Culture; Marianne Faithfull – Broken English/Faithfull; U-Roy – Original DJ; Gregory Isaacs – Mr. Love; Public Image Ltd. – First Issue and Metal Box
(b. 1958 – London, UK) His desire to become a photographer began at an early age, with young Dennis Morris began shooting photographs at the age of 8 and, with the support of a local (East End, London) photo club and the mentorship of its sponsor (photo equipment manufacturer Donald Patterson of Patterson Photographic products), his professional career began at the age of 11 when he sold some shots he’d taken of a political demonstration to the Daily Mirror newspaper. Prior to that, he’d supported his hobby’s need for film and supplies by photographing local events and parties but, after that first commercial sale, he knew that this would be how he’d earn his living going forward.
While his artistic inspiration came from famed photographers including Richard Avedon, David Bailey and Henri Cartier-Bresson, it was his chance meeting of musician Bob Marley arriving for a sound check at a 1975 performance at the Speakeasy Club in London that launched his music industry career. Marley was so impressed with the youngster – who’d skipped school to see him – that he invited Dennis to accompany the band and shoot photos of their performances for the remaining dates on their tour. The resulting photos of Marley and The Wailers soon appeared on the covers of entertainment publications including Melody Maker and Time Out, setting his career into motion. Soon after, John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten) contacted Dennis to ask that he take photos of his band – The Sex Pistols – after they’d signed their contract with Virgin Records. As they were all still teenagers, the band members adopted Dennis into their inner circle, allowing him access (and giving him their trust) to take candid shots of their lives both at home and on the road. Trailing the band for a year, his efforts produced a huge archive of photos and helped establish him as a unique talent in the music photography field.
Following the band’s break up, Dennis was asked to join Lydon and label head Richard Branson on a trip to Jamaica to look for new talent to join the Virgin label. Soon after, Dennis applied his newly-honed A&R talents to a stint at Island Records, serving as their Art Director while hunting for talent, signing acts including L.K.J and The Slits to the label. When Lydon formed his new band – Public Image Ltd. – he asked his chum Dennis to handle the design and graphic production tasks for their first albums, including the widely-noted Metal Box package.
Not willing to apply his artistic passions only to work behind-the-scenes, Dennis formed his own reggae/punk band called Basement 5 in 1978 and they opened for Public Image Ltd’s inaugural gig Christmas, 1978. After the band’s lead singer Don Letts (later of Big Audio Dynamite) left, Dennis took over on vocals and the band signed with Island, producing several singles and EPs. His music career continued through the 1980s, first with a band called Urban Shakedown and then the hip-hop group Boss, who signed to Virgin and released a series of singles.
With his camera never far from hand, Dennis continued to photograph popular figures in all walks of life, with his photographs featured in publications such as GQ, People, Rolling Stone, the Sunday Times, Time, V magazine and Vogue, among many others. Books featuring his images include Rolling Stone’s The Complete Covers, 1967-1997; Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, by Greil Marcus (published by Harvard University Press, 1989); Century, by Bruce Bernard (Phaidon Press, 1999) and Punk, by Steven Colgrave and Chris Sullivan (De Capo Press, 2005).
There have also been a number of books of his photos published over the years, including Destroy: Sex Pistols 1977 (published by Creation Books, 1998); Bob Marley: A Rebel Life: A Photobiography, 1973-1980 (Plexus Publishing, 1999); Southall – a Home from Home (Olympus, 1999); A Bitta PIL (Parco Publishing, 2011); Growing Up Black (Autograph ABP, 2012) and This is the one: A photo essay on the rise of the Stone Roses (WSI, 2012). He has also been involved in TV projects for the BBC and Channel 4.
Exhibitions of his work have been held in galleries and museums worldwide, including shows at the Sydney Opera House, the Laforet Museum in Tokyo, the Today Art Museum in Beijing, China and at the 41st Rencontres d’Arles (Arles, France). In 2009, he curated an exhibition of his photos of iconic reggae performers called “Reggae Rebels”. His photographs are on permanent display at Gunnersbury Park Museum in London, while his collection of photographs featuring images of the Black community in Hackney, entitled “Growing Up Black”, is part of the permanent collections of the Hackney Museum and The Victoria and Albert Muesum. In 2013, Dennis was asked to contribute to the show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) called ‘Punk: Chaos to Couture” and an exhibition, titled “The Day of the Roses” at the Tapestry Gallery in Soho, London, UK.
Morris now lives in London with his wife and children.
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at http://www.dennismorris.com/
Victor Moscoso – Notable album cover work examples – Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters; Jerry Garcia – Garcia and Run For The Roses; Steve Miller – Children Of The Future; The Sopwith Camel – The Sopwith Camel; Bob Weir – Bobby & The Midnights; Willie McBlind – Find My Way Back Home and Bad Thing; Colours – Love Heals: The Complete Recordings; Jed Davis – The Cutting Room Floor
(b. 1936 Spain) Born shortly after the Spanish Civil War, Victor’s family moved to Brooklyn, NY a few years later. He realized early on that he liked to draw and went to study art at Cooper Union Art School in Manhattan beginning in 1954 and, later, spending some time studying under famed artist Josef Albers at Yale University in 1957. After being strongly influenced by Kerouac’s book On The Road, he moved to Berkeley, CA in 1959 to attend the San Francisco Art Institute. There, he studied lithography and other forms of print-making and graphic production, eventually teaching at the school from 1966 – 1972.
His talents were also discovered by promoters on the burgeoning psychedelic rock club scene and Victor joined other up-and-coming artists, including Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Wes Wilson and Rick Griffin to produce the “trippy” posters used to publicize the shows for musical acts including Big Brother & The Holding Company and the Grateful Dead at the Avalon Ballroom and the Matrix. While his formal training might have sent him in other directions, he was quick to see the opportunities offered by this rapidly-growing art scene, where he developed a signature approach to poster design that was based on the use of photographs and other graphical elements, combined to create the eye-catching collages he became famous for. In 1966, he started his own poster company with the help of two friends and his work was quickly picked up by two local poster distributors.
In 1968, he was introduced to artist Robert Crumb, who asked Moscoso to join the group of talented individuals who’d contribute to the next issues of his recently-introduced comic book series titled Zap! Comix. This opportunity to experiment in visual storytelling was just the challenge he was looking for and so he accepted the offer, becoming part of what would become one of the premiere series of underground comics, influential to this day.
Living in Marin County since 1971, Moscoso’s talents have kept him constantly in-demand creating comics, illustrations and other graphics for posters, advertising, merchandise, album covers (for music industry clients including Grateful Dead members Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, the Talking Heads and jazz greats David Grisman and Herbie Hancock) and commercial animation. He’s been honored with two CLIO Awards for his work in advertising and samples of his work have been included in nearly every comprehensive publication on modern poster design, including The Art of Modern Rock, High Art and his own 2005 book titled Sex, Rock & Optical Illusions (Fantagraphics).
More information available at – http://www.victormoscoso.com/
Stanley Mouse (real name – Stanley “Mouse” Miller) – Notable album cover work examples – Grateful Dead – Terrapin Station and Workingman’s Dead, Jerry Garcia Band – Cats Under The Stars, Journey – Captured and Evolution
The trademark signature of Stanley Mouse can be found in the most amazing places. The quiet and unassuming artist is responsible for creating iconic images for the Grateful Dead (“Skeleton and Roses”, “The Ice Cream Kid”, “The Grateful Dead Family Album” and more), plus works for Siouxsie and the Banshees, Jefferson Airplane, Steve Miller Band and many others. In the 1960′s, he collaborated with Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso and Alton Kelley to create the A.R.T. Poster Series.
His water colors come alive on paper instantly – colors are bright and the characters highly-animated. More recently, he has created a series of Coyote pieces and has been dabbling in the digital printing business, producing new computer-generated prints.
Visit his studio site at www.mousestudios.com
Martin Muller AKA Neon Park – Notable album cover work examples – Frank Zappa – Weasels Ripped My Flesh; Little Feat – Dixie Chicken, Waiting For Columbus, Hoy-Hoy! and Shake Me Up; Y&T – Down For The Count
Neon Park (born Martin Muller in California, December, 1940; died September, 1993) was raised in Berkeley, CA. Moving to Mendocino, CA, he worked on a series of jobs while developing his art skills on his own time. In the early 1960s in Berkeley, Neon met his first wife Judith (with whom he had a child, his daughter Maya, who’d go on to become a designer herself) and then his second wife Mildred (a painter and filmmaker who would later work under the name Chick Strand), who he’d collaborate with throughout the rest of his life. In the mid/late-1960s, he was hired by concert promoter Family Dog to produce a number of posters for concert events at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. They were so colorful that he was nicknamed “Neon Park” and, as news of his talents spread, he was able to take on more work, including projects in Los Angeles for Pinnacle (founded by John Van Hamersveld).
One of Park’s projects had caught the eye of musician Frank Zappa, who commissioned Park to work with him to design the album cover for his new album, to be titled Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Showing Park some ads in men’s magazines for inspiration, Park responded with a painting of a man shaving his face with – instead of an electric razor – a nasty little weasel. The cover image was not well-received by Zappa’s record label, but Zappa prevailed in its use and it went on to be one of the more-controversial covers of the year. A chance happening brought about an introduction to musician (and Zappa alumnus) Lowell George and his band Little Feat, and the resulting relationship produced a number of well-known cover images, including 1972′s Sailin’ Shoes (which was included in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 1991 survey of the” 100 Best Album Covers of All Time”), 1973s Dixie Chicken, Mr. George’s 1979 solo effort titled Thanks, I’ll Eat It Here and the band’s 1981 record Hoy-Hoy!
As those in the know in the music/entertainment world were drawn in by the sense of humor, wit, outrageous design and vivid colors of Park’s work for Little Feat (he was later asked to produce a series of erotic pin-up-style prints featuring his sexy duck-based images), he was hired to produce covers for The Beach Boys, David Bowie and Dr. John and to contribute to Robert Crumb’s Zap! Comix. He would also produce a series of illustrations for publications including Playboy and the National Lampoon.
Beginning in 1983, Neon began to notice a numbness and then a deterioration in his ability to use his hands. Finally diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease) in 1992, his physical condition continued to deteriorate, yet he continued to work, giving up painting and instead wrote poetry. He died in 1993 and, in his honor, the band Little Feat titled their 1996 live record release Live From Neon Park.
A book of his artwork titled Somewhere Over the Rainbow: The Art of Neon Park was published in 2001.
More information available at – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neon_Park
Shusei Nagaoka – notable album cover credits include – Electric Light Orchestra – Out of the Blue; Earth, Wind & Fire – Helios, Gratitude, Raise!, All ‘N All and The Best of Earth Wind & Fire Vol. 1; Deep Purple – When We Rock We Rock and When We Roll We Roll; Pure Prairie League – Can’t Hold Back; Jefferson Starship – Spitfire; Parlet – Pleasure Principle; Shalamar – Uptown Festival and Disco Gardens; Maze – Inspiration and Joy & Pain; Kitaro – Oasis
(b. November, 1936 in Nagasaki, Japan; d. June, 2015 in Odawara, Japan). Born Shuzo Nagaoka in Nagasaki (the 3rd son of a port toll official), Nagaoka’s family moved to the island of Iki prior to the devastation visited upon his home town in 1945. His artistic talents were recognized early on, receiving his first illustration commission when he was a junior in high school. Beginning in 1955, he attended Musashino Art University in Tokyo, leaving before graduating in 1958 to begin his career in illustration due to the number of requests he was receiving from potential clients.
After serving as an advisor to the Japanese government while they planned for their hosting of the “Expo ’70” world’s fair in Osaka, Nagaoka visited the United States and decided to relocate there, opening an office where he might better-serve clients in the music, film and publishing worlds. He kept quite busy with client work, creating art and illustration for customers including “the big three” men’s magazines at the time (Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler), Reader’s Digest, automakers such as GM, Ford, Chrysler and Volkswagen, NASA, AT&T and Continental Airlines, along with many others both in the U.S. and back in his native Japan. Additionally, he produced graphics for two major Japanese baseball greats – Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh. He met Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White in 1977 and, based on a relationship of mutual respect and an expanded world view, went on to provide art and other imagery for many of the band’s records going forward, even working again 25 years later for the band’s 2002 tour of Japan.
In 1981, the NHK Publishing company released the first retrospective book on the artist’s work titled “The World of Shusei Nagaoka, Part 1“, accompanied on TV with a one hour documentary. A 15-city tour of an exhibition of his work soon follows. “Part 2” of the series follows in 1985, along with commissions for poster artwork for the 1985 Japanese Grand Prix Formula One races and the International Exposition in Tsukuba that same year. In 1999, a collection of his works in all media was released on CD-ROM.
More information on this artist is available on his web site at http://www.shusei-nagaoka.com/english/index.html
Laura LiPuma-Nash – Notable album cover credits include – Prince – Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day, Sign Of The Times, Parade and Lovesexy; Sheila E – Glamorous Life; John Fogerty – Centerfield and Eye Of The Zombie; Emmylou Harris – Live At The Ryman and Brand New Dance; Neil Young – Weight Of The World; Kenny Rogers – Back Home Again; Bela Fleck & The Flecktones – Flight Of The Cosmic Hippo; Take 6 – So Much 2 Say; Randy Travis – No Holdin’ Back
Laura grew up in Cleveland, OH, one of seven children of whom several were avid music fans (according to Laura, her siblings listened to records non-stop and one of her sisters was an obsessed Beatles fan). She showed a penchant for album art design early on, borrowing her brother’s albums and painstakingly reproducing them, a talent which ultimately led her to Ohio State University’s fine arts program, where she graduated in 1977 with a BFA (Summa Cum Laude) in Graphic Design.
Following a long line of design graduates that headed for the Coasts, Laura moved West to Los Angeles, looking for employment in the record business. After five years of scraping by, she finally landed a gig to do some freelance work for Warner Brothers Records and, pleased with her output, the label offered her a full-time job in 1982. The art director there at the time – Simon Levy – was also nice enough to introduce her to a country music photographer named Peter Nash who would go on to become her husband. The label asked her to move to Nashville, TN in 1988 to work at their new in-house art department there, eventually climbing up the ladder to the position of Vice President/Creative Director, a position she held until 1997. Taking time away to raise her two children, she re-entered the work force in 2004 as Creative Director for the Gibson Guitar company and, after leaving a few years later, she established herself as a freelancer, something she’s done (along with a career in real estate marketing) ever since.
Laura work has received a large amount of recognition over the years, earning honors such as Certificates of Excellence from the AIGA and the Print Design Annual, inclusion in the Art Director’s Club of Los Angeles’ Annual Group Show and Spencer Drate’s Designing For Music reference book and being asked to serve on the nominating committees for the Recording Academy (the Grammy folks) and the Nashville Music Awards. Additonally, Rolling Stone Magazine included her cover for Prince’s Sign O’ The Times in its “Best Album Cover” issue.
You can keep up with Laura’s latest work via her LinkedIn page – https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-lipuma-nash-2390349
Paul Natkin – notable album cover credits include – Johnny Winter – Third Degree and Deluxe Edition; Iggy Pop – The A&M Recordings; The Smithereens – Extended Versions; Dr. John – An Introduction To Dr. John; Johnny Cash – Chapter & Verse; Loverboy – 80s: Loverboy; Creed – Full Circle; John Lee Hooker – Gold; Buddy Guy – Can’t Quit The Blues; Koko Taylor – An Audience With The Queen; Ozzy Osbourne – Tribute
More information on this artist can be found on his web site at http://natkin.net/
Neon Park – see “Martin Muller”
Tom Nikosey – Notable album cover work examples – Bee Gees – Children of the World; Commodores – Zoom and Midnight Magic; Three Dog Night – American Pastime; Eric Clapton – No Reason to Cry; Tommy Bolin – Raw Jams Vol.1
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Tom learned to draw at an early age and says, “drawing is the basis of all my work.” Tom played in a rock band and, after graduating with a BFA in Communication Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Tom relocated with his band mates to Los Angeles in an effort break into the the music industry. When his band’s fortunes were slow in coming, he turned to his design background and portfolio and found work with designer David Larkham (Elton John, Leo Sayer, Diana Ross, etc.), and, soon after, with photographer and art director Ed Caraeff. Working with both of these talented individuals, he began designing logos, lettering and illustrations for the motion picture and music industries. Having worked traditionally for many years, including the use of drawing, painting and airbrushing techniques, he made the transition to computer based work in 1995 and now provides his clients with a wide array of possible solutions for their graphic needs. Recent work for Gear Fab Records CD packages include Tommy Bolin’s Raw Jams Vol.1, Fox – Simple Songs 1971-1973, Gary Grant’s Don’t Hold Your Breath, Wally Minko’s Do You Hear What I Hear, Malcolm McNab’s Infinite Trumpet and Rhythm Spirit for Kalani.
His “Holiday Deer” 33-cent stamp was one of the most-popular items ever released by the US Postal Service. Other notable projects include the lettering engraved on the torches used in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, four Super Bowl logos (17, 20, 22 and 25) and logos/lettering for music clients Shania Twain, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Jerry Lee Lewis, Brooks & Dunn, The Doobie Brothers, and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Both of Tom’s early books are part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He resides in Ventura County, CA with his wife Kristen, who is also a designer, illustrator and his partner in Nikosey Design, Inc.
To view his portfolio online, please visit his web site at www.tomnikosey.com
Rob O’Connor & Stylorouge – Notable album cover credits include – The Cure – The Cure; George Michael – Faith; a-ha – Headlines & Deadlines; Robert Fripp – God Save The King; Blur – Parklife, Dream In Colour and Modern Life Is Rubbish; Broken Records – Until The Earth Begins To Part; Jesus Jones – Already; Rolling Stones – No Security; Crowded House – Time On Earth; David Bowie – The Best of David Bowie 1969-74; Squeeze – Five Live; Pretenders – Loose Screw; Siouxsie & The Banshees – Join Hands, Kaleidoscope and Ju Ju
(b. 1955 – U.K.) Rob received a BA with Honors in 1978 from the University of Brighton Art College and then started his design career after accepting a junior-level design job that year with the Intermarket Public Relations firm in Brighton. After a year, Rob was offered work as designer and then art director at Polydor Records, earning his first album cover credits for his work on records for Siouxsie & The Banshees, Sham 69, The Chords and others. After three years with Polydor (“at the arse end of punk” he states, on his web site bio), O’Connor decided to step out on his own, forming the one-man design firm Stylorouge in 1981.
Rob’s first clients included Level 42, The Passions and Siouxsie & The Banshees and, in 1983, O’Connor added an exclamation park to the name of a teen-aged singing duo previously known as Wham, helping them establish their brand identity going forward. Since then, his firm has grown both by the number of its employees and the scope of its work, with a list of music clients including Sarah Brightman, The Cure, Paul McCartney, Sound & Vision and the Play Louder music network, as well as a non-music client list that includes Knightengale Entertainment, Skinwear, Baxter, Durable Fasteners and American Express. Stylorouge was also responsible for the design and art direction of the original poster for the popular 1996 British comedy Trainspotting.
Rob has taken his love for design, photography and music and, after receiving advanced training in film-making and computer-aided design at UCLA in the 1990s, expanded the scope of his/his firm’s work into film, video, TV and Web programming. He’s produced commercials and electronic press kits for a broad range of clients and has also branched out into documentary and live-concert film-making, as well.
Looking to relay his own unique approach to branding, design and packaging, Rob has worked as a visiting lecturer and external assessor – reviewing the work of degree candidates – at various art colleges throughout the U.K., including Brighton, Camberwell and Chelsea (University of London) and the Somerset College of Art & Technology.
In 2001, a book was published highlighting the firm’s contributions to design that was titled Delicious: The Design & Art Direction of Stylorouge (published by Die Gestalten Verlag) and, in 2012, London’s Aubin Gallery hosted a career retrospective exhibition titled Dream In Colour and published a stylish catalog that accompanied the show.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his firm’s web site at http://www.stylorouge.co.uk/
Frank Olinsky – Notable album cover credits include – Duran Duran – Notorious; Tom Tom Club – Dark Sneak Love Action; Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers and Utopia Parkway; Peter Wolf – Sleepness; R.E.M. – Green; 10,000 Maniacs – Time Capsule and Few & Far Between; Natalie Merchant – Tiger Lily; Secret Machines – Now Here is Nowhere; Boz Scaggs – Speak Low; Sonic Youth – Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation and Goo; Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime; The Waterboys – Dream Harder; The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness and The Aeroplane Flies High; Blues Traveler – Bridge; Joe Jackson – Volume 4 and Afterlife; The Power Station – The Power Station
(b. ___ in New York City, NY) Born in New York City and raised in the Long Island suburb of Huntington, young Frank has hoped to be a rock star when he grew up, but since he noted that “I had no musical ability whatsoever”, he decided to apply his talents to studying the visual arts and work in the music industry as a designer of album covers. He went on to study animation, film-making, painting, print-making and sculpture at the prestigious Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and, after graduation, went to work creating editorial illustrations (paste-up, typesetting, etc. ) for publications including Esquire, Ms. Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Times, the Whole Earth Review and others.
Frank then worked as part of the art department at the Arica Institute (an educational organization that focused on the philosophies and practices that explore and unlock human potential), but after the department was dissolved in 1979, Frank and his fellow designers (Pat Gorman and Patti Rogoff) went on to start their own design studio – Manhattan Design – in Greenwich Village, a company that unlocked the potential of its principals – on behalf of their customers – as they grew their client base in the media and entertainment specialties. Late in 1980, a childhood friend of Frank’s by the name of Fred Seibert contacted him to enlist the studio’s help in designing a logo and graphics for a new TV project he was involved in the launch of – a 24-hour music video-based cable network called MTV (“Music Television”).
Frank & Co. would develop scores of possible designs for the network’s decision-makers, a design that featured a bold, 3-D letter “M” upon which Frank had spray-painted the letters “TV” was chosen as the logo, with all other graphics simply to be built around those three letters (and the rest, as they say, became “design history”).Driven in part by their smashing success of their work with MTV, over the next 12 years the firm would create identities, designs and lots of product packaging for clients including The B-52s, The Cars, Duran Duran, Philip Glass, Billy Idol, Kronos Quartet, R.E.M., Sonic Youth, Talking Heads, 10,000 Maniacs, The Smashing Pumpkins and many others, with their works featured in leading publications such as American Illustration, Graphis, The NY Times, Rolling Stone and Time Magazine.
After dissolving the partnership in 1991 (with Rogoff hired to work in-house for the MTV Networks Creative Services group), Frank has worked independently, continuing to produce award-winning (CLIO, Print, Society of Illustrators) packaging for music clients, working on web site designs for clients in many industries (including the one for LP Cover Lover, popular with us lovers of album covers!), publishing books including What The Songs Look Like: Contemporary Artists Interpret Talking Heads Lyrics and Buddha Book: A Meeting of Images and teaching the “Language and Letterform” illustration course at the Parsons School of Design in NYC.
More information on this artist can be found on his web site at http://www.frankolinsky.com/bio1.html
Vaughan Oliver – notable album cover credits include – Pixies – Come on Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa, Doolittle and Monkey Gone To Heaven; David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive; The Breeders – Pod and Safari; Psychedelic Furs – Until She Comes and World Outside; Lush – Spooky, For Love and Hypocrite; Throwing Muses – House Tornado and Counting Backwards
(b. September, 1957) Raised in Sedgefield, England, Vaughan Oliver knew, as a teenager, that he wanted to design album covers. He liked how these images combined art and music (i.e., image and sound) and most-appreciated the ones that showed some imagination in their design.
With a partner, photographer Nigel Grierson, Oliver founded his own design firm called 23 Envelope and found a client in the popular independent UK record label 4AD, a spin-off label run by two Beggar’s Banquet employees named Peter Kent and Ivo Watts-Russell and home of acts including Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and Modern English from the UK and American indie bands including The Breeders, Pixies and Throwing Muses. After Grierson left in 1988, Oliver re-named the company v23 and continued to produce memorable 4AD sleeve designs through the late 1990s, working with a small slate of talented photographers including Marc Atkins, Chris Bigg, Simon Larbalestier, Timothy O’Donnel and others. Other clients who sought out Oliver’s work included guitarist Robert Fripp and singer/songwriter David Sylvian, who hired him to design both record sleeves and covers for his illustrated poem/lyric books (titled Trophies I and II). Recent clients include film-maker David Lynch (2011’s Crazy Clown Time) and musical acts including TV On The Radio, Nyam, Nyam, A.R. Kane and I Break Horses.
In 1994, a comprehensive portfolio of Oliver’s work was organized into an exhibition held at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles titled This Rimy River. The catalog for the exhibition, featuring essays by photographer Chriss Bigg and writers Ian McKay and Rick Poynor, has become a sought-after collectible (also published in book form in 1997). In 2001, Oliver and Poynor collaborated again on an updated career retrospective book called Visceral Pleasures. In 2010, Oliver presented a lecture (also titled Visceral Pleasures) in New York City hosted by AIGA/NY where he discussed his 30+ year career as a graphic designer and provided some of the stories behind some of his best-known album covers.
To see more of this artist’s work, please visit his web site at www.vaughanoliver.co.uk
Terry O’Neill – notable album cover credits include – The Police – Police; Midge Ure – No Regrets; Paul McCartney – Give My Regards to Broad Street; The Who – Who Are You; Elton John – Greatest Hits
(b. July, 1938, London, U.K.) While, initially, Terry O’Neill had hoped to work as a musician, he took up photography and started his career as a photographer for British Airways at London airports while also attending art school classes. A picture of a British politician sitting amongst visiting chieftains from Africa, shot as a homework assignment, introduced his talents to a local publication (The Dispatch), who asked him to work for them on a weekly assignment at the airport, photographing celebrities and dignitaries as they passed through Heathrow’s single terminal. Befriending another airport-based photographer from a competitive paper (the Daily Sketch), O’Neill was offered that man’s job after he was killed in a plane crash a few months later, and this served to launch his career.
This assignment gave him access to the music business elite at the time, with his portfolio including shots of The Beatles, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and many others. His photographs of Bridget Bardot, Audrey Hepburn , Sir Laurence Olivier and super-model Jean Shrimpton beautifully captured each in their prime. O’Neill was also invited to shoot portraits of civic and world leaders, as well as the British Royal Family, and his reputation as a result of these sessions grew accordingly.
Some of O’Neill’s best-known images are from a series of shots showing actress Faye Dunaway (his girlfriend at the time – later, his wife) at dawn on March 29, 1977, lounging with her Oscar statue near the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel the morning after her Academy Award win for Best Actress for her work in the film Network. One image from the series now hangs in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London.
O’Neill’s work are included in the collections of national galleries and private collectors worldwide. He has produced cover images for many publications, including for Newsweek, Paris Match, Stern, The Sunday Times Magazine, Time Magazine, Vanity Fair and many others. Books featuring his photographs include Legends (1985), Celebrity: The Photographs of Terry O’Neill (2003), Sinatra: Frank & Friendly (2007), All About Bond (2012) and Terry O’Neill (by O’Neill and Dylan Jones), released in 2013. A selection of his photographs of Elton John also appeared in the 2008 book, Eltonography.
Retrospective exhibitions of Terry O’Neill’s photographs have been held on three occasions at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs, London, in 2006, 2010 and 2011. Other notable exhibitions were staged in 2009 at the Getty Image Gallery in the Village, London, and the San Francisco Art Exchange while in 2011, O’Neill both staged a show at the Leeds Gallery in the U.K. and was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary medal “in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography”. Plans for 2013 exhibitions include shows in Paris, Cork, Los Angeles, Miami, Istanbul, London, Munich, Sao Paolo Brazil and New York.
Looking to find and promote new talent and create a platform for up-and-coming photographers, the Terry O’Neill Award program was launched in 2007 with the support of the photographic industry and sponsors including the Sunday Times Magazine, Remote New Media, Hotshoe Magazine, TAG Creative, F22/State Magazine, Hungry Eye and The Strand Gallery. According to their website, “the Terry O’Neill/TAG Award is unique, as it is based around the series or the narrative; photographers must enter a minimum of 3 pictures a maximum of 6. The categories are open, so photographers can enter fine art, photo-journalism, still-life, portratiture, landscape, wildlife, fashion, in order that they can submit their current photographic practice. The judges are looking for the strongest series of work and for the strongest narrative…”
To see more of this artist’s work, please visit his web site at http://www.terryo.co.uk/
Yoko Ono – Notable album cover credits include – John Lennon – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Sometime In New York City, Mind Games, Walls & Bridges, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Double Fantasy, Milk & Honey, Wonsaponatime, Anthology, Acoustic, Signature Box, Power To The People and Gimme Some Truth; Yoko Ono – Onobox, Season Of Glass, It’s Allright, Walking On Thin Ice and Blueprint For A Sunrise
(b. February, 1933 in Tokyo, Japan) The eldest of three children born to a successful banker in Tokyo, Yoko moved with her family to San Francisco soon after she was born, returning to Japan several years later before her father was again transferred in 1940 to the U.S., only to be transferred back to Southeast Asia (Hanoi) just prior to Japan’s attack on the U.S. in late 1941. Yoko remained in Tokyo for the duration of the war and then, in order to attend college in the U.S., the family moved to Scarsdale, NY. She left after 2 years to elope with her first husband (avant-garde music composer Toshi Ichiyanagi).
An aspiring multi-media artist herself, Yoko and her husband then moved to Greenwich Village in NYC, where Ono met and collaborated with a number of artists associated with the inter-disciplenary art incubator know as the Fluxus Group, whose founder George Maciunas helped develop and promote shows of her work in the early 1960s. Yoko divorced her first husband in 1962 and, soon after, she met the man who would become her second husband (and father of her first child, daughter Kyoko), musician and producer Anthony Cox.
Her artwork, which involved a number of performance art pieces, was considered quite radical for the times (her first album cover credit came in 1962, when she contributed to artwork for the cover of Toshiro Mayazumi’s Nirvana Symphony), but it found fans both in NY and in the UK where, in late 1966, during the staging of a show at the Indica Gallery in London, she was introduced to then-Beatle John Lennon, who was impressed with the interactive nature of her work. A love affair ensued, with both Ono and Lennon divorcing their spouses in early 1969 and marrying that March, beginning a long and storied creative collaboration, making statements about their world view via the music, art, film and often-politically-charged events (such as the “bed-in for peace” they held in their honeymoon suite in Amsterdam in 1969).
John Lennon once described his wife as “the world’s most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.” Over the years, both before her marriage to Lennon and after his murder in 1980, Yoko’s list of supporters, collaborators and art world chums has included John Cage, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Merce Cunningham, Dan Richter, Nam June Paik and Peggy Guggenheim, among many others. While there was some initial push-back from the public due to her alleged role in “breaking up the Beatles”, since the late 1980s (and, also, due to her commitment to philanthropic projects to promote world peace and environmental causes) her work has been featured in numerous museum and gallery shows around the world, including a 1989 retrospective at the Whitney Museum in NYC, the YES Yoko Ono show that launched at the Japan Society Gallery in NYC in 2000 and travelled to numerous museums and galleries after its initial run, and many other solo and group shows since in major cities in Europe, U.K., Asia and the U.S..
Still actively creating music and art in her 80s, Yoko’s works were more-recently included in shows in France (2016) and Istanbul, Turkey, where she displayed an installation called “Ex It”, a work she had premiered in the late 1990s in which she’d planted a variety of different trees in dozens of wooden coffins.
More on this artist can be found on her web site at http://imaginepeace.com/
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