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Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For October/November, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER,WITH PREVIEWS FOR NOVEMBER, 2017.

 

 

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once again to you all on this post-Halloween sunny-but-crisp early November day, 2017. The month of October proved to be a VERY busy one with regards to articles you’ll want to read that reveal new information about those active in the world of album cover art and packaging and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest efforts – as found in exhibitions, via new books and products and featured in interviews in profiles and other related reporting – of some of the most-talented album cover art creators and promoters that I’ve found in my reviews of stories from around the world.

Of course, nothing could be more important than the work going on right now to select the nominees and, after close consideration, voting on a new class of inductees, for the Album Cover Hall of Fame. Over 200 people are being considered for this year’s Class (2017), with the winning names revealed to an eagerly-awaiting public just prior to Thanksgiving (which takes place here in the U.S. this year on November 23rd), so watch this space closely as I’m sure you’ll want to know who “made the cut” this year…

As always, I ask that you please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) Upcoming, recently-launched/currently running and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) As a follow-up to the article I posted last month about Malcolm Garrett and the Design Manchester show he organized (which included a panel on his work along with a special exhibition devoted to displaying the results of a Buzzcocks Orgasm Addict-related challenge he posed to scores of artists – i.e., according to the info posted by writer Aimee McLaughlin in her review on the Design Week site, “to ‘fuck up’ his original artwork and create “reframed” versions of the record sleeve. Designers that have taken part include established names such as Craig Oldham and Michael C Place, along with young and up-and-coming talent”
Another favorite display at the show was another one focused on Garrett’s entire portfolio of work for the Buzzcocks called Fizzing At The Terminals. While the show ended its run on October 22nd, you can get a decent feel for what was on display at https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/16-22-october-2017/design-manchester-2017-favourite-exhibitions/

b) Another follow-up to a previously-reported item – you’ll recall that photographer and gallery owner Guido Harari has been working with fellow shooter Frank Stefanko to help publish and promote his new limited-edition book (Bruce Springsteen: Further Up The Road, set to be published on November 1st) and related art prints. Well, the two talented artists have also announced a tour and exhibition that will have stops both in the U.S. – November 1st at the Morrison Hotel Gallery at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles, then on to Morrison Hotel’s gallery in the SoHo area of New York City for an opening on November 9th – and in Italy at Harari’s Wall Of Sound Gallery in Alba, where they’ll be for an afternoon (3PM local time) opening on Saturday, November 18th.

According to Guido’s promo emails, the show at his gallery will be the only one in Europe in 2017, but there will be several other scheduled book signings and Q&A/presentations, including one later in the day (5:30PM local time) on November 18th at the nearby Coro della Maddalena, via Vittorio Emanuele 19 (as part of the “In Poetica” festival) followed by a similar event the next day at 6PM at the Circolo dei Lettori, via Bogino 9, in Turin, Italy, (produced in collaboration with Libreria Luxemburg).
More details at http://www.wallofsoundgallery.com/en/bruce-springsteen/

c) Artist Roger Dean and his chums at the U.K.’s Trading Boundaries gallery have announced the launching of a new exhibition that fans of Dean’s mind-bending imagery will most-certainly enjoy. According to the gallery, the “2017 Breaking Cover Exhibition”, which premieres at 7PM on Friday, November 3rd at the beautiful Sheffield Arms development (Sheffield Green – Nr Fletching – TN22 3RB), “This will be a wonderful opportunity to see a number of new paintings never before exhibited, and an amazing collection of Fine Art Watercolours and Sketches that are rarely shown in public.”

Making the evening extra-special – besides having the chance to meet one of the album art world’s most-respected artists – will be the official launch of a new limited-edition print of Dean’s 1973 artwork for Badger (with its winter motif just perfect for this time of year!). More info on this event and its setting can be found via these links – https://therogerdeangallery.smugmug.com/Exhibition-Dates and https://www.tradingboundaries.com/pages/roger-dean-gallery. As a bonus, there’s a short video on the second page in which Dean talks about his first commercial assignment as a designer (doing the interiors for the famed Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London) and then his first album art commission for a band called The Gun in 1967 (you might recall their hit song “Race With The Devil”).

Last-minute update – Just announced, Prog Rock fans – get ready for a great opportunity to meet Mr. Dean and one of his most-famous clients – guitarist Steve Hackett – at a special event that will be held at Trading Boundaries on November 18th. Per their announcement – “we are excited to announce a world first… an evening with Roger Dean in conversation with guitarist Steve Hackett discussing the creative process. This is a rare opportunity to witness two legends of both music and art coming together for an evening where anything could happen!” Choose between tickets just for the conversation or, for just a few pounds more, enjoy a special 2-course dinner along with the presentation – ticket info at – https://www.tradingboundaries.com/collections/tickets/products/steve-hackett-roger-dean?

d) While not exactly an album art-specific show, the people who are putting on the upcoming Making Vinyl trade show in Detroit are folks with a lot of history in the area, and the fact that they’re both featuring a number of album packaging experts on panels and the re-launch of the ALEX Awards, which includes prizes for album cover-related projects, leads me to share the details of the show with you this month.

Keynote and panel speakers include a number of names well-known to folks like you who are paying keen attention to developments in the music-related art world, including Jack White (musician and owner of Third Man Records), Jack Stoughton (President of Stoughton Printing), Gail Marowitz (Grammy-winning album art director), Jennifer Freund (CEO of Dorado Packaging), Craig Braun (famed album art director and host of this year’s Alex Awards show), 344 Design’s Stefan Bucher and many others. The Alex Award presentation ceremonies will take place on Monday, November 6th at 7PM local time at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit. With hundreds of designs submitted for review this year, it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top – of course, the information will be announced here on the ACHOF site as it’s made available.

Basic show info and a line-up of events can be found at https://makingvinyl.com/ , while specific info on the Alex Awards has been posted here – https://makingvinyl.com/alex-awards/

e) The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live recently launched a new show that presents an impressive collection of exhibits that present a career retrospective of the seminal LA punk/rockabilly band X and its trend-setting members – Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake. With a career that began back in 1977 (with their first, Ray Manzarek-produced album Los Angeles released in 1980) and, after break-ups and reunions, still tours on occasion today, the band both represented and influenced the local music scene via both their music/lyrics and visuals – in fact, Cervenka was such an accomplished mixed-media artist that the Santa Monica Museum of Art assembled a solo exhibition of her work (titled America The Beautiful) back in 2005.

According to the Museum, the show (which will be on display until next March) will put on display original instruments and gear played by the band, original concert flyers, photographs, clothing and personal items, handwritten lyrics from Exene and John Doe and a collection of Exene’s photographs and artwork. They’ll also be showing the 1986 documentary film X: The Unheard Music, which includes a number of interviews as well as studio and live performance footage.

More info on this show is available at http://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/current-exhibits/x

I seem to remember that the burning X cover on the band’s debut LP Los Angeles was credited to “J. Ruby Productions” – so very punk, no?

f) The David Bowie Is exhibition continues on its successful world tour with a stop at the Brooklyn Art Museum in NY early next year (opening March 2nd and running through July 5th). This slightly-premature article by Andrew Chow for the New York Times was posted in mid-October on the paper’s web site, so if you’re looking to take a special trip into the city and need something special to build it around, here’s a nice intro to the show about everyone’s favorite musician/actor/art collector – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/arts/design/david-bowie-exhibition-brooklyn-museum.html

g) If you hurry on over to the Lucy Bell Gallery (on Normans Road, in St Leonards on Sea) before November 4th, you’ll still be able to catch what sounds like a really-intriguing exhibition of “rare and iconic” photos of Pink Floyd. Working with the auite-accomplished rock photographer – and owner of the Rockarchive gallery – Jill Furmanovsky and her crew, this show (titled Shine On) includes the works of a number of respected music-industry shooters, including Tony Collins, Colin Prime, Storm Thorgerson, Andrew Whittuck and, of course, Ms. Furmanovsky herself.

According to the gallery’s press release, the show will include images from the “band’s earliest photo shoots in Ruskin Park & Hampstead, to the recording studio at Abbey Road and on the road during the Dark Side of The Moon Tour.. the exhibition includes these and other classic images that capture Pink Floyd’s energy and unique, eclectic style both on and off stage.” Also on display will be several of the late, great Mr. Thorgerson’s alternative takes on album cover art for the band.

https://www.lucy-bell.com/exhibition/pink-floyd

g) While the 12th annual Best Art Vinyl Awards won’t be handed out until after the New Year, it requires the public’s vote to determine the winner and, in order to allow the public to see examples of the nominated covers up close, a show is being staged at The Civic in Barnsley (U.K.) beginning on the 11th of November called “12 Years On 12 Inches” that not only allows attendees that opportunity, but also to participate in several related events, including a “make your own record cover-based linocut workshop”!

With the Barnsley show curated by Jason White, the show will also be duplicated in two other European cities starting with the letter “B” – Bologna and Budapest – thus allowing album art fans from all over the Continent the chance to review the works and then go online to cast their votes for their favorites. Mr. White is also going to be staging a related display at the multi-media event center that will be called “Best Art Vinyl Barnsley” and will show off the album packaging talents of local musical acts and album art producers.

To read more about these exciting happenings, visit – http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/events/best-art-vinyl-barnsley and http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/events/best-art-vinyl-12-years-on-12-inches

For more information on how to participate in the album art workshop on Saturday, November 11th, please click on over to – http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/events/record-cover-lino-cut-workshop

This isn’t the first album cover show staged at The Civic. After a re-development project was finished in early 2009, an album art show called “Gatefold to Download” drew large crowds to the new space, with contributors to the show including Malcolm Garrett (Buzzcocks, Duran Duran, etc.), Mark Farrow (Pet Shop Boys, Spiritualized, etc.) and Rob O’Connor/Stylorouge (Blur, George Michael and others).

h) In late October in Lagos, Nigeria, a career-spanning show built around the 26 album covers designer/illustrator Lemi Ghariokwu crafted for Afro-Beat superstar and human rights activist Fela Kuti before Kuti’s untimely death in 1997 was staged, with Lemi on hand to speak to attendees about his art and his friendship with the beloved and mystical entertainer (when you get a million people showing up at your funeral, I think you can say that you were “beloved”. Lemi was the principal artist for Polygram in Africa for 11 years, also creating stunning packages for stars including Lucky Dube, Miriam Makeba and Bob Marley.

You can read more about the man, his art, his friend Fela and more on the 360nobs.com web site – https://www.360nobs.com/2017/10/lemi-gharioku-temple-management-presents-afro-artbeat-exhibition/

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) It’s nice to have friends in the business…As is so often the case, many musicians have had advanced training in design and the other visual arts, so when the popular band The National wanted to prepare a host of goodies to go along with the release of their latest record (Sleep Well Beast), they turned to friends to help them conceive and then produce not only “the regular stuff” (i.e., album art, t-shirts, posters, etc.) but also a host of other goodies and promotional materials – including billboards and video shorts – that would bear the record’s logo, color scheme and other design cues. Turns out that the band’s bassist, Scott Devendorf, had worked for the noted NYC design firm Pentagram, and so a collaboration with one of that firm’s partners – designer Luke Heyman – was bound to create something unique and impressive.

Via this link, you can take a look at the results of this partnership via this nice article by contributor Gunseli Yalcinkaya on the Dezeen.com site –
https://www.dezeen.com/2017/09/08/pentagram-designs-corporate-visual-identity-national-sleep-well-beast-album-cover/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) John Lennon’s personal copy of a prototype – complete with Lennon-drawn artwork on the back – of the infamous The Beatles Yesterday And Today “Butcher Cover” is just one of the several album art-related items up for bid as part of the Heritage Auction house’s November 11th Entertainment Auction – https://entertainment.ha.com/c/auction-home.zx?saleNo=7164&ic=breadcrumb-entertainment-071515-interior

In addition to that rarity (which, incidentally, had an opening asking bid of $100,000), there’s an alternative shot – a 12” x 15” B&W, fully-autographed print – taken by photographer Robert Whitaker in late 1964 from the album cover photo session for The Beatles ’65 (opening bid of $10,000). There are several other album cover-related items being offered, including one item that brought back memories. Remember, back in the 70s, the popular custom of taking a gatefold album cover and lining it with aluminum foil for use as a cheat towards a quick sun tan (i.e., those of you who weren’t using the same cover to separate the sticks and seeds from your favorite smoking materials)? Well, Elvis Presley selected his favorite Seals & Crofts LP – Summer Breeze – from his collection to make his own reflector, and for a starting bid of $750, you can works towards making it your own!
Happy bidding, everyone!

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) Noted design authority Steven Heller and writer Greg D’Onofrio have just published a new book on mid-century design masters, including some that worked in the album art field, such as Saul Bass Robert Brownjohn, Neil Fujuita, Reid Miles and the man credited as “the father of the album cover”, Alex Steinweiss (all members of the ACHOF list of “Original Influencers”)

Titled The Moderns: Midcentury American Graphic Design, the 336-page, profusely-illustrated book introduces the reader to the people that created and molded “modern” graphic design beginning in the middle part of the 20th century, bringing their unique takes to designs for print publications, advertising and other forms of promotion, typography and packaging of products of all types. According to the publisher’s (Abrams Books) web site, the book “is the first comprehensive survey of this phenomenon that shaped our visual environment, presenting the work and lives of sixty-three graphic designers. Some were émigrés (including five Bauhaus students and faculty) who brought the gospel of Modernism to America from its sources in Europe. Others were homegrown talents who encountered Modernism in schools and offices at home and abroad. Together, they formed a multigenerational community, learning from one another and forging their individual practices through rigorous engagement with the esthetics of the movement.”

See who’s included – https://themodernsbook.com/ and, to read a review offered up by Theo Inglis on The Creative Review (UK) site, click on over to – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/making-moderns-midcentury-american-graphic-design/

b) Photographer Brian Griffin’s long-awaited music industry career-covering book, titled POP, was finally (and gratefully) released on October 26th, with a special release party and exhibition of over 30 of Brian’s best-loved images being staged both at, and to coincide with, the 2017 Soundedit Festival (for music producers and sound designers) that ran from the 26th through the 29th in Lodz, Poland.

Brian’s been a long-time supporter of this festival (in fact, in 2014, he presented John Cale with the event’s “Man With The Golden Ear” award) and is excited to be able to begin delivery of this book, which features essays by acclaimed music writers Terry Rawlings and Paul Gorman and comes to life after a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. Limited to 1000 copies, the 392 pages contain many of Brian’s best-known album cover images for acts including Depeche Mode, Echo & The Bunnymen, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop and many others. Learn more about the book via the publisher’s web site at http://gostbooks.com/books/69/pop

…with those of us unable to make it to the event being able to read nicely-illustrated articles about the book via these links – https://genesisimaging.co.uk/brian-griffin-pop-book-launch-exhibition-soundedit-2017/

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/the-stories-behind-brian-griffins-portraits-of-seventies-and-eighties-rock-stars

http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/15624052.The_Look_of_Love__Brian_Griffin_on_shooting_the_stars_of_1980s_Pop/

c) Speaking of crowd-funded art projects, there’s a new endeavor on Kickstarter that’s looking for support that I thought you might want to learn more about as it includes opportunities not only to receive a specially-produced collection of music as a reward but also to take home one of several very-unique works of art by famed designer Cey Adams. The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop & Rap is, according to the site, “a landmark collection of music, stunning visuals, and powerful stories collected in a 300-page book and 9 CDs.”

With packaging designed by Adams, the founding Creative Director of Def Jam Records, it’s certain to be an eye-and-ear-pleasing package, with special promo items including a limited-edition (one of just 5) fine art print of an alternate album cover from Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, signed and numbered by artists B.E. Johnson and Adams, as well and PE’s Chuck D himself (at the $5000 level). Already sold out (at the $1500 support level) was a prize package (5 total were made) that included a pair of Adidas sneakers that had been hand-painted (no two alike!) by Adams. The goal is to raise $250,000 before the Nov. 16th cut-off date for funding. As of this date, over 1300 supporters have pledged over $165K, so they look to be on their way to a successful funding effort.

Reserve yours today at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/smithsonian/smithsonian-anthology-of-hip-hop-and-rap

Here’s a recent ArtDaily article on this project as well – http://artdaily.com/news/99623/Smithsonian-launches-drive-for-major-hip-hop-anthology

d) Also in late October, I received an email with a reminder that there was to be a big book launch party in London for author/historian/all-around nice person Jennifer Otter Bickerdike’s new book (previously described in my news feed) titled Why Vinyl Matters. It all took place at the Rough Trade East record shop in Brick Lane, with Jen bringing some friends along to liven up the launch party, including Julia Ruzicka of Future of the Left and Terry Hall of The Specials and Fun Boy Three. A great time was had by all, and you can take a look at what’s inside Jen’s new book via the following link – https://www.roughtrade.com/us/books/why-vinyl-matters

e) My alert feed brought two items on the Absolute Sound site regarding album cover art books to my attention – one we’ve covered (Art Record Covers by Francesco Spaminato and Julius Wiedemann, published by Taschen – read my March, 2017 interview with Mr. Wiedemann on the ACHOF site at https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/interview-with-taschens-julius-wiedemann-about-his-newest-book-art-record-covers/ ) and one we have not, Visual Vinyl, produced by Heerlen, Netherland’s Schunk Museum and published this past May by Verlag Kettler (and ACC Publishing here in North America), that documents the 2015-16 show at the Museum curated by Harry Prenger built around the collection of vinyl record fan and design guru Jan Van Toorn (AKA “JvT”).

According to the museum’s promotional materials, Visual Vinyl was “a major exhibition devoted to record cover art. This unique collection of LPs, singles and other vinyl rarities will be exhibited at SCHUNCK* from November 2015 onwards. The records form part of the collection of vinyl aficionado and collector, Jan van Toorn, and have never been on public display before…Records and sleeves spanning four decades, with designs representing the work of over a thousand visual artists (with or without the collaboration of “pop” musicians) will be on show.”

This exhibition included many examples of album covers and packages that were created by well known names from the fine art world, including Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Salvador Dali, Damien Hirst, Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Mark Ryden, Raymond Pettibon and Jeff Koons, among others.
http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/where-art-meets-music/
http://schunck.nl/agenda/visual-vinyl/

f) LA-based photographer Afshin Shahidi has released a new book titled Prince: A Private View, created after plowing through his portfolio of exclusive photographs of the late rock star – shot in his home, studio and on stage – with many of the pictures never seen before their inclusion in this book. Shahidi is credited for his work on the covers/packages of Prince records including One Nite Alone…Live!, Live At The Aladdin Las Vegas, Planet Earth, Musicology and 3121 (and has shot covers and/or directed music videos for acts including Nas, Rob Thomas, Herb Alpert, The Afghan Whigs and Bare Naked Ladies), but it was his long-standing relationship with Prince that enabled him to capture the musician in a host of intimate and candid photos.

According to Shahidi, as he explained to the folks at ABC News in a feature they recently produced on Afshin and his book, “The album covers for me … are what I was most proud of,” Shahidi said. “I still, to this day, when I see the album cover, I think, ‘Wow … I took that picture.’ Makes me really happy.” “For me, each time I was with Prince, I was still, like, ‘Wow, I’m standing here with Prince!’”

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/princes-private-photographer-shares-images-late-singer/story?id=50651065

Writing for The Source site, J. Quinones provides us with a bit more detail about the book and the relationship that it was built upon – http://thesource.com/2017/10/24/414889/, and the photographer also adds to the conversation via a special site that’s been set up to let fans review the book and its contents – https://princeaprivateview.com/

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Every once in a while, we’re all given the opportunity to show off just how much we know about famous album cover art and the musical acts that support it, so I was eager to test my chops on NME’s most-recent album cover quiz – one that’s differentiated from many others by the fact that they’re showing “less popular” bits of these covers’ overall image. Well, I got 17 out of 30, which is shameful, but I admit that I don’t know a lot about some of the newer international acts included in the survey. I can only hope and assume that many of you will do much better than this old(ish) man.
http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/album-detail-quiz-2146415

One bone to pick with the quiz’s creators – I do really wish that they would have showed the entire album cover when the answer was revealed – how am I supposed to have learned anything from this exercise (beside that I was wrong nearly half the time)? Turn it into a “teachable moment” next time, people…

b) So while we’re carefully perusing covers from now on for “the less popular bits”, will we also be on the lookout for all of the hidden messages and clues that are built in to the works of art? Purple Clover’s Kevin Hayes will be, that’s for sure, as he seems to see things where others might not. Recently, he posted an article that presents 14 album covers in which he asserts there’s more than meets the eye, such as Paul McCartney’s hand-lettered message of love to his wife Linda found on the cover of his 1971 solo release Ram, the multiple faces and a hula skirt that are found in artist Lee Conklin’s “Lion” drawing done for Santana’s 1969 debut album and, one of my favorites, Mouse & Kelley’s really hard-to-see “We Are Acid” sub-text found in the lettering for the Grateful Dead’s 1969 release titled Aoxomoxoa.
Bring your Visine and take the tour at – http://www.purpleclover.com/entertainment/8048-album-covers-hidden-message/

c) Not one but two detailed “making of” articles about Rolling Stones album covers hit the web recently, with staffers from the UK’s Far Out Magazine site digging deep to provide the straight poop about how the cover for the band’s The Satanic Majesties Request (which offered us a 3-D “lenticular” image shot by Sgt. Pepper’s photographer Michael Cooper) – http://faroutmagazine.co.uk/the-cover-uncovered-their-satanic-majesties-request-the-rolling-stones/ , while over on the LA Weekly site, writer Matt Wake interviews two of the most-respected album cover contributors of all time – designer John Van Hamersveld and photographer Norman Seeff – about what it took to produce the highly-detailed gatefold cover for Exile On Main Street, which also included a back cover shot taken in downtown Los Angeles (on Main Street, of course) by famed photographer Robert Frank.
http://www.laweekly.com/music/how-the-rolling-stones-exile-on-main-st-was-finished-in-los-angeles-at-sunset-sound-8594714

d) Appearing this month to provide the keynote address at this year’s Society for News Design (SND) conference in London will be a designer who’s left lasting impressions on all aspects of the graphic design business – designer, creative director, typographer and currently the Dean of the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art (UK), Neville Brody. Album art fans will instantly recall Brody’s work on album covers for the Stiff Records label and others – The Slits – Return of the Giant Slits; Cabaret Voltaire – Red Mecca, 2X45, Johnny YesNo and The Original Sound of Sheffield 83/87; 23 Skidoo – Seven Songs, The Culling is Coming, Urban Gamelan and Just Like Everybody; Depeche Mode – Singles Box, Vol. 1 and Throbbing Gristle’s Five Albums, among others.

His impressive bio includes stints as the art director for magazines such as The Face and Arena, with his more recent work managed via his role as the principal of his design firm brody associates including projects for clients in many industries world-wide, including media companies such as the BBC, D&AD, The Guardian, MTV Europe, Paramount Studios, The Times (London) and Wallpaper* Magazine, venues such as Parco (Japan), The Barbican (London) and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London) and retail product firms including Apple, Asics, Bentley, Bonfire Snowboarding, Chloe, Deutsche Bank, Dom Perignon, Homechoice, Microsoft, Nike, Salomon, Sony Playstation, YSL and many others. Fans of print newspapers will most-likely know Brody from the fact that he developed Times Modern for The Times of London newspaper, the first new font for the publication since Times New Roman was introduced in 1932.

Brody’s keynote takes place on November 3rd, with more information about the conference and its related displays and events available at – https://www.snd.org/2017/10/neville-brody-is-keynote-speaker-at-snd-london-2017/

e) The licensing world continues to show the love to The Beatles (just goes to show you – spend a little bit up front on great art for your music products and it could reward you over and over) as you’ll read in this recent Business Insider “Insider Picks” feature about the new socks sets from Swedish socks company Happy Socks bearing some of the artwork used in the making of the band’s 1968 animated psychedelic film Yellow Submarine. http://www.businessinsider.com/happy-socks-the-beatles-yellow-submarine-collection-2017-10/#happy-socks-x-the-beatles-collector-box-set-1

For only $84 for the set (slightly cheaper on Amazon.com), fans of the Fab Four who must own everything ever made featuring likenesses of the band can satiate that hunger and own a customized, LP-sized/shaped box containing six pairs of “limited-edition”, colorfully-decorated, Pepperland-themed socks. While, for $14 per pair, you can purchase four of the six total designs – blue Glove, “monsters”, Pepperland and Chief Blue Meanie/Jeremy – buying the set of six gets you an Apple pair and a Yellow Submarine pair as well, with the box thrown in for free (such a deal!).
https://www.happysocks.com/us/thebeatles/

The company also has assembled a line of socks and boxer shorts featuring designs that came from a collaboration with electronic music star/record producer Steve Aoki… https://www.happysocks.com/us/steveaoki/

f) Having recently watched a new animated Halloween TV special built around Michael Jackson-related music, imagery and unique world view (titled Michael Jackson’s Halloween – not sure if it’ll become a classic, but we’ll see…), it’s clear that the Jackson estate is eager to continue to push into uncharted production territory, as is evidenced by the new Michael Jackson SCREAM AR “augmented reality package” included as part of his recently-released compilation by the same name. A joint-production of Jackson’s team along with Sony and Shazam, customers will be treated to a unique experience when they use the music discover app’s camera feature to unlock hidden content when its pointed at the poster included in the package. Read more about it in Gil Kaufman’s coverage of the product on the Billboard Magazine web site – http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/7981733/michael-jackson-scream-compilation-augmented-reality

Personally, I’m going to be happy waiting for the chance to see the Michael Jackson ONE show in Las Vegas someday – no devices (other than my eyes and ears) required.

g) Finally, I wanted to give you an update on “Flying Pigs In Front Of Trump Tower in Chicago” project I reported on a while back. While the installation had been scheduled to be up before the end of the Summer, the organizers ran into a snag or two and, while it has delayed our chance to enjoy some Pink Floyd-inspired (and Roger Waters-approved) shenanigans here in the Windy City, it is giving the organizers some time to raise some additional funds that they’d need to do this properly – https://archpaper.com/2017/07/trump-sign-flying-pigs-delayed/

The inflatable pig icon that was used by Hipgnosis in their efforts to fly one over the Battersea Power Station to create something special for the cover shot for Animals has reappeared many times since its 1977 premiere, at concerts for both Pink Floyd and Roger Waters as well as in the background in several movies, Danny Boyle’s 2012 film shot for the Olympics and even an episode of The Simpsons, so this particular use is not without precedent and would certainly make my day…

That’s all for now – be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed – https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.

All text and images included in this article are Copyright 2017 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

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Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For September/October, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR OCTOBER, 2017.

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once again to you all on this first day of October, 2017. When I signed off with you 30 days ago, never did I think that I’d be sending out my next news summary on the heels of not one but three more catastrophic weather events (Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the Mexico City-area earthquake) and that millions of people in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean would be in such need of the basic necessities of life…then, this would be followed up in a 9/28 article by the Washington Post that detailed the results of a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that stated that, now, a majority of Americans admit that “climate change contributed to the severity of the recent hurricanes” (as opposed to the results of the same poll, taken a dozen years ago, which showed that most Americans “dismissed the role of global warming and said such severe weather events just happen from time to time”).

Ya think?

For now, you can make a difference in the lives of people who were affected by these natural disasters with some guidance from the Center For Disaster Philanthropy, an organization whose partner charities have gotten together to “transform the field of disaster philanthropy to increase donor effectiveness throughout the lifecycle of disasters through our educational, fund opportunities and strategic guidance.“ Very helpful and informative – http://disasterphilanthropy.org/

While I firmly believe that Mother Nature will one day – sooner rather than later – rid her planet of all us pesky and self-absorbed critters in a very theatrical fashion, I can only hope that, for the time being, this doesn’t prevent some of us from enjoying (and respecting) the beauty of the natural world and how it continues to inspire creative-types to do interesting work. The month of September proved to be a VERY busy one for folks reporting on happenings in the world of album cover art/artists, and in the summary and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest efforts of some of the most-talented album cover art creators and promoters that I’ve found in the daily news cycle, featuring fascinating and interesting stories on a wide range of related topics.

As always, I ask that you please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) Upcoming, recently-launched/currently running and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) Highly-respected British photographer Martin Parr – who has given us memorable photos for musical acts including Salad (Drink Me), The Saw Doctors (Songs From Sun Street), Madness (Wonderful) and several others – has an interesting show up at Blackwell Hall (in the Weston Library) on the campus of Oxford University (UK) that puts on display the results of a multi-year commission he was given there several years ago to photograph the place and its interesting array of people. The university press has also released a book – simply titled Oxford by Martin Parr – to accompany the show, which is on display now through the 22nd of October, with Diane Smyth, writing for the British Journal of Photography, providing us with an introduction at http://www.bjp-online.com/2017/09/shooting-the-establishment-martin-parrs-oxford/

More details about the show can be found on the Photo Oxford 2017 web site – http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/whats-on/upcoming-events/2017/sep/martin-parr-oxford

While info on the book – co-authored with noted journalist Simon Winchester – can be found on the Oxford University Press site at https://global.oup.com/academic/product/oxford-9780198724414?cc=us&lang=en&

b) I’ve received a bit more information about the November 1 opening of the Spencer Drate/Judith Salavetz/Sylvia Reed-curated record art show that will be on display at the One Art Space Gallery on Warren Street in New York City…There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, November 1st from 7PM – 9PM EST at the gallery (there’s nothing up yet on this event, but if you go to the gallery’s “Upcoming Events” page (http://oneartspace.com/upcoming-events/) soon, I’m sure you’ll find out more.

As I’ve previously noted, the exhibition is called “FOR THE RECORD: THE VINYL RECORD COVER SHOW” and, according to the show’s producers, it will be “the first Vinyl Record Cover Show integrating the history of 12″ and 45 record covers together with a selection of some of the best designed 12″ and 45RPM record covers from the past to the present.” It will run through November 30th.

The award-winning team of Mr. Drate and Ms. Salavetz have been creating memorable promo and packaging imagery for music industry clients for many years now, with examples of their work including Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Album, Glorious Results of A Misspent Youth and Good Music; Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi; The Ramones – It’s Alive, Road To Ruin and End Of The Century; Richard Hell & The Voidoids – Blank Generation; Talking Heads – Fear Of Music; The Searchers – The Searchers; Billy Squier – Don’t Say No; Lou Reed – New York and Magic And Loss; Buster Poindexter – Buster’s Spanish Rocketship; Marshall Tucker Band – Walk Outside The Lines; The Fabulous Thunderbirds – Hot Number and Powerful Stuff; Bobby Brown – King Of Stage; The Beach Boys – Summer In Paradise; Dee Dee King – Standing In The Spotlight and many others, so you can rest assured that there will be much to look at on display.

They’re also the authors of several books on the topic of rock music-related imagery, including Rock Art: CDs, Albums & Posters, published in 1994; SWAG: Rock Posters Of The 90s (with a forward by designer Art Chantry, published in 2003) and its follow up titled SWAG 2: Rock Posters Of The 90s And Beyond (2005); as well as 45 RPM, the first visual history book on 7″ record sleeve design and Five Hundred 45s (2010).

c) Launched on Saturday, September 16th with an opening reception was Eastern Projects Gallery’s new group exhibition of some of the best examples of Southern California art and design, produced by a group of five artists known as “The California Locos”. While, as the press release indicates, “for the last five decades, each LOCO has created their own distinct and recognized style, built out of the kaleidoscope that is the West Coast experience”, for this show the group (which includes Chaz Bojórquez, Dave Tourjé, John Van Hamersveld, Norton Wisdom and Gary Wong) has opened their arms to embrace works added by several more heralded designers/artists from the area such as Mister Cartoon, Shepard Fairey, Estevan Oriol, RETNA, SLICK and Robert Williams, and with a number of these participants sporting a nice portfolio of album cover images in addition to their work in the Graffiti, Hot Rod, Skate, Surf and Tattoo arenas, the entire display will be truly entertaining for all attendees.

Several brand-new works, including a low-rider automobile created by Mister Cartoon, a hot rod by Dave Tourje and more, will help make this event all the more intriguing.

The show runs through October 28th,, with more information available at – http://www.californialocos.com/event.html
EASTERN PROJECTS GALLERY – 900 North Broadway #1090, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – http://www.easternprojectsgallery.com/

d) More dates and venues have been announced for the upcoming Best Art Vinyl 2017 album art awards show. With this celebration of great record cover packages and the talented designers, photographers and artists in other specialties that create them – staged by the fine people at Artvinyl.com – now in its 12th year, the show’s producers have delivered on their promise to allow more public access to displays of the 50 shortlisted record covers (nominated by experts in the arts and music marketing) and, ultimately, the winner of this year’s competition, with shows now slated for the following places and dates:

The Vinyl Café London – November 13th 2017 – April 30th 2018; The Civic Barnsley – November 10th 2017 – January 30th 2018; Mono Art & Design Budapest – November 16th 2017 – January 30th 2018; Semm music Store Bologna – November 20th 2017 – April 30th 2018; The Hari Hotel London – January 9th 2018 – March 30th 2018 and High End Society Munich 2018 in May 2018

Exhibiting alongside the examples of the nominated artworks will be the winning covers from the previous 12 years. Voting for this year’s nominees will commence on November 10th, with votes placed online at http://www.artvinyl.com/lp-records-displayed-as-artwork-prize/
Be sure to visit starting November 10th to place your votes, with the winners announced in a ceremony next January. More details to follow here…

e) Always-controversial artist Richard Prince has recently launched a solo exhibition of new works that are on display at both locations of Berlin’s Galerie Max Hetzler that should be of interest to anyone who’s been following his 40+ year career during which he’s often pushed the limits of art world norms, particularly when it comes to the term “appropriation” in that he’s often times “borrowed” other peoples’ images to spin them to his own liking.

In this show, titled “Super Group”, Prince has created a series of visuals for a make-believe musical acts seemingly already at the top in terms of both fame and fortune, with these works being assembled from (according to the gallery’s press) “actual or scanned and printed record sleeves, stapled and glued onto the surface as well as photos, posters, magazine covers, some even contain real bras along with images of such (perhaps hinting at a two person rock band called Black Bra that Prince once was part of). Paint and oil stick are seemingly rapidly applied, covering parts of the collaged surface and canvas while leaving others empty so that the underlying plane stays visible, creating an impression of depth through overlapping layers.” What’s also notable is that, for these new works, he’s appropriated from his own earlier works, with figures and other items from an earlier series of work (called “Hippie Drawings”) showing up in many places.

Earlier this year, the 68-year-old, New York-based photographer and painter became embroiled in another lawsuit when another photographer challenged Prince’s “fair use” claim for another “borrowed” image. Album art fans will remember his art and photos found on records released by Hole, Air, Sonic Youth, Robbie Robertson and others. With more information about this new show shared by Artnet’s Kate Brown in an article titled “Richard Prince, Rock Star? The Artist Indulges His Inner Musician With Trippy New Album-Cover Paintings”, fans can learn the latest about this always-fascinating artist/provocateur – https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/richard-prince-exhibition-max-hetzler-1096808? , while gallery information can be found on their site (in English) at http://maxhetzler.com/exhibitions/richard-prince-super-group-2017/press-en/

f) When photographer Trevor Key died of a brain tumor at the age of 48 in 1995, he left behind a portfolio of images for clients like Phil Collins (Face Value, Hello I Must Be Going!, …But Seriously and Both Sides Now), New Order (Fine Time and Technique), Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge), OMD (Organisation), the Sex Pistols (The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle), Ultravox (Rage In Eden) and many more both done alongside of Art Director Peter Saville for Factory Records and for others.

While he spent his career in London, he grew up and attended school in the northern city of Hull, the U.K.’s 2017 city of culture and home to the Hull School of Art and Design, which is hosting a show of Key’s photo from now through October 18th, after which it will be on display in various venues within the city.

Here’s a link to some recent BBC coverage of the event – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-41331715 along with a link to a video on the Hull 2017 site where noted editors, designers, art directors and Key’s former assistant (photographer Toby McFarlan) discuss Key’s work and its ongoing influence in the world of music photography – https://www.hull2017.co.uk/whatson/events/trevor-keys-top-40/

g) Two shows that ended their runs in September include Rob Tufnell’s tribute to the late, great designer Barney Bubbles (“Optics and Semantics”) – http://www.robtufnell.com/Exhibitions/Barney%20Bubbles/index.html which included examples of the talented artist’s album art, posters, videos and furniture, while back on September 18th – the 47th anniversary of the death of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, but on that day I found a link to a recent interview with famed photographer Karl Ferris – responsible for the memorable photos found on the first three Jimi Hendrix Experience covers – http://ib3tv.com/lautor-de-les-portades-historiques-de-jimmy-hendrix-exposa-a-lhotel-pacha-deivissa.html regarding his recent gallery show (which closed on September 17th) at the Hotel Pacha on the island of Ibiza, where Karl has lived for many years and the place where he met his early collaborators, the Dutch design duo of Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma AKA “The Fool”.

Although the interviewer’s audio track of Karl’s interview is in Catalan, you can still here bits of his statements and answers in English. In either case, it’s nice to see him looking so well and surrounded by so many great examples of his best-known photographs, including those for Hendrix.

h) Although the Summer has ended, it was a big one for exhibitions focused on the 50 anniversary of the emergence of Hippie counter-culture, with all its trappings, which has been labeled the “Summer of Love”, with one in particular, “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll” at San Francisco’s deYoung Museum (according to information in this recent article on the Art Daily site) setting attendance records, with over 25,000 visitors during “its final week before closing on August 20. Over its 19-week run, almost 270,000 visitors from around the world came to the de Young to relive the Summer of Love, making the exhibition the highest attended since Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis debuted at the de Young in 2013. – http://artdaily.com/news/98712/-The-Summer-of-Love-Experience–Art–Fashion–and-Rock—Roll–closes-with-record-attendance-numbers#.WbhDd7pFyM8

i) Also just received an announcement (with details forthcoming) about a Michael Jackson art show (to be titled “Michael Jackson: On The Wall”) at National Portrait Gallery in London next year (which would have been the singer’s 60th birthday), with some initial details in this article on The Guardian (UK) site – https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/sep/20/michael-jacksons-impact-on-art-explored-in-national-portrait-gallery-show

I’m sure it’ll be a thriller, and I hope to beat it on over there to rock with you at the show. I’ll not stop til I’ve had enough unless, of course, it’s bad… 😉

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Photographer Danny Hastings, whose portfolio of images reads like a who’s who of major hip-hop music originators – Big Pun, KRS-One, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and many others – is the subject of a nicely-detailed profile and interview on the Remezcla site (a top lifestyle site for Latino Millennials) by reporter Matthew Ruiz that also includes info on recent show in LA – http://remezcla.com/features/music/danny-hastings-profile/

b) Goldmine Magazine’s chief editor Patrick Prince shares an interview with Pink Floyd artist Gerald Scarfe from his house in Chelsea, London that was featured on a recent Goldmine Magazine podcast about the original works (paintings and storyboards) from The Wall that are on sale at the San Francisco Art Exchange – http://www.goldminemag.com/podcast/pink-floyd-artist-gerald-scarfe-carlos-santana-band-jackyl-goldmine-magazine-podcast-episode-7

Scarfe had originally met Roger Waters after the PF bassist/songwriter had seen an earlier (1971)hand-drawn animated film produced by Scarfe about his impressions on America titled Long Drawn-Out Trip: Sketches From Los Angeles on TV and thought that he’d be the right person to help him realize his visions for Waters’ record/film/concert masterpiece.

c) In the early 1990s, there was a rather well-known photo taken of the late Kurt Cobain wearing a t-shirt featuring the album cover art from Austin, TX-based musician/artist Daniel Johnston’ Hi How Are You? record (featuring a strange, frog-ish creature named “Jeremiah, The Innocent”), after which the self-taught artist gained cult status internationally.

While battles with mental illness made it difficult for Johnston’s career to take off in any significant fashion, he has remained a person of great interest to those impressed with his strange abilities (as shown in the 2005 documentary The Devil And Daniel Johnston, by Jeff Feuerzeig. Health issues have recently forced Daniel to curb his touring, so he’s just embarked on what’s been announced as his final tour, with a schedule posted for the 8 shows (plus one in Austin, date TBD) – http://austin.culturemap.com/news/arts/09-18-17-hi-how-are-you-daniel-johnston-final-tour/#slide=0

d) Fans of the strange-but-wonderful cartoons of artist Edward Steed’s that are often found in the New Yorker Magazine will want to read this recent interview by Min Chen on the Surface Magazine web site about the almost “Where’s Waldo-like” work he created for the cover of singer/songwriter Father John Misty’s just-released record called Pure Comedyhttp://www.surfacemag.com/articles/edward-steed-talks-pure-comedy-album-illustrations/ According to Steed, his inspiration for the detailed artwork was pretty straight-forward – “I was just trying to make something that’s good for people to look at while listening to the record. I just drew the type of album cover I would want if I made an album, which I never will.” Job well done, sir!

e) The photo team of Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott are known for their creative force, and lately they’ve been known specifically for Taylor Swift’s album art. Take the link to read a nice profile of them and their work and their collaborations – including on the controversial cover for her upcoming release (Nov. 10th) called reputation – with the immensely-popular Ms. Swift on the Fans Of Taylor Taylor Swift fan site written by contributor Kara Johnson – https://fansoftaylor.com/2017/09/16/photographers-mert-and-marcus-discuss-collaborating-with-taylor-swift/

f) Fans of great monster/horror art (hey, that’s me!) mourn the passing of a great one…On September 14th, 2017, the legendary artist/illustrator Basil Gogos died, leaving behind a legacy of illustrations for magazines, books and, as you might figure, album covers for acts including Electric Frankenstein, The Misfits and, most-notably, rocker Rob Zombie. He’s probably best-known for the scores of covers he did, beginning in 1960, for monster fan magazines such as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Creepy and MonsterScene (his takes on The Creature from the Black Lagoon were, to me, his most-impressive works).

A coffee table book which included a retrospective of many of his best works, titled Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos, was published by Vanguard Productions in 2005 and, the next year, Gogos received the “Best Book” award as well as being named to the “Monster Kid Hall of Fame” at the Rondo Hutton Classic Horror Awards gathering for his exceptional contributions to classic horror. In 2008, he won both “Best Cover” and “Artist of the Year” award from the same organization.

The Horror News Network presents us with his obiturary – http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/rest-peace-basil-gogos-dead-78/ while over on the Rob Zombie site (Gogos did the memorable image on the Hellbilly Deluxe album cover), you’ll find another tribute to this impressive talent, now gone… https://robzombie.com/tag/basil-gogos/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) From the PR Newswire, here’s a story about an auction of a highly-desireable set of Markus Klinko photos taken for the cover of Houston, TX native Beyonce’s debut solo album, 2003’s Dangerously in Love – “ that was held in early September and intended to help raise money for Red Cross efforts to provide relief for victims of the recent weather disasters in Houston and along the Gulf Coast – “Award-winning, international fashion and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko and Texas-based Modern Rocks Gallery today announced the launch of “Dangerously in Love with Houston: Modern Rocks Gallery / Markus Klinko Auction,” an online auction of signed, first worldwide edition Beyoncé photographs with proceeds benefiting the Red Cross and its Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. “

It continues – “The online auction will feature three 16″ X 20″ photographs …signed by Markus Klinko. Fujifilm supports the auction with printing and mounting, while Broncolor will donate shipping of the photographs to auction winners. All money raised from the auctions will go to the Red Cross Houston and Gulf Coast relief efforts.

Bidding opened at $2500 for the set, with the auction currently online (hosted by 32Auctions.com), reached via the button at https://www.modernrocksgallery.com/hurricane-relief
https://www.facebook.com/ModernRocksGallery

b ) Michael Spencer-Jones Oasis album art goes on sale with special event – while the gallery is still working with the photographer on just the right date to do this (was originally scheduled for October 6th), they have put up some preliminary information on the book and some of the prints that will be made available for sale as well. https://www.thearchivistsgallery.com/blogs/exhibitions/save-the-date-supersonic-the-oasis-photographs-book-signing-event-with-michael-spencer-jones-october-6th-2017?

I’d last reported on Spencer-Jones’ work back in 2014 when I’d done a profile on one of his collaborators, designer/photographer Brian Cannon, so it’s nice to see that the art world’s interest in these great photos (which became even more-popular as the records, such as Whatever, Definitely Maybe, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, Be Here Now, Don’t Look Back In Anger and Wonderwall, all became huge international hits. Spencer-Jones has also created notable cover shots for bands including Suede (Stay Together, Singles and So Young), The Verve (A Storm In Heaven, Urban Hymns and A Northern Soul), New Fast Automatic Daffodils (Bong and Body Exit Mind) and Lyres (On Fire), among others. More specifics as they’re released…

4) New Print/Book RELEASES –

a) Heralded Scottish photographer Harry Benson CBE has had a very busy schedule the past couple of years, first as the star of the successful documentary film Harry Benson: Shoot First, then receiving a special Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center of Photography, shooting a portrait of U.S. President Donald Trump – he’s the only photographer who has taken portraits of the past twelve (!!) U.S. Presidents, beginning with Eisenhower – and now, working with the folks at PowerHouse Books, releasing what’s being called his “unparalleled magnum opus” – a 300-page career retrospective titled Harry Benson: Persons of Interest (Portraits That Defined An Era), with ’s new book hitting the shelves soon, with pre-orders now being accepted at – http://www.powerhousebooks.com/books/harry-benson-persons-of-interest/

According to the publisher’s news release, “Harry traveled to America with the Beatles in 1964 and never looked back. Under contract to LIFE Magazine for 30 years, Harry has photographed for major magazines including Time, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, French Vogue, Quest, Paris Match, Forbes, Town & Country, Architectural Digest, People, and The London Sunday Times Magazine…With subjects ranging from Queen Elizabeth to Amy Winehouse, from Frank Sinatra to Brad Pitt, from Greta Garbo to Kate Moss, from Winston Churchill to Hilary Clinton, and Donald Trump, Benson explores and delights our public fascination with his images of the lives of the rich, powerful, and famous. “

b) While designer/artist Jamie Reid might be best-known to album art fans for the work that helped promote punk icons the Sex Pistols to international stardom in the late 1970s (and, later on, artists such as Billy Childish, Jo Fletcher and Afro Celt Sound System), lately Reid has continued to produce artwork that brings his anti-establishment sensibilities to highlight the absurdities in today’s world of political and corporate chicanery, but he’s also produced artwork for a project called Eight-Fold Year, during which he’s released a new work of art every day based on the Druid concept of the year being divided into eight “essential” parts (solstices, equinoxes and four other critical seasonal dates).

To bring the entire portfolio of these works to fans around the world, Reid has just released a new paperback book (also titled Eight-Fold Year) where all 365 of the images (paintings and photographs) can be enjoyed all in one place. To provide an introduction and explain things to us laypeople, Reid enlisted the help of Philip Carr-Comm, Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, to write such texts.

More information on this book and project can be found on his web site at http://www.eightfoldyear.org/, while you can keep up-to-date on Reid’s latest efforts on his web site at http://www.jamiereid.org/

c) While not specifically a book about album cover art, a new book just out by author Kent Hartman titled Goodnight, L.A.: The Rise and Fall of Classic Rock – The Untold Story from Inside the Legendary Recording Studios that focuses on the often outrageous (self-indulgent, narcissistic, etc. – I’m sure we can all think of appropriate adjectives) behaviors and bacchanalia that took place inside these workplaces during the making of some of your favorite record albums. With the writer tapping the memories of two key people – producer Keith Olsen and session guitarist Waddy Wachtel – you’ll learn a bit more about the amount of hand-holding, ego-boosting and appetite-feeding it often took to get some of the most-iconic tracks put on to tape.

They also included stories by some of the others who were tasked to help produce, package and promote these products, such as ACHOF Inductee (John) Kosh, who recalls the heart-warming story of having to wait three days for a certain rocker to show up for a photo shoot, only to decide at that point that he’d changed his mind about the album cover concept and then suggested a “we’re not REALLY going to do this” idea as an alternative. Read more about this new tome in reporter Bob Ruggiero’s intro to the book on the Houston Press site -. http://www.houstonpress.com/music/cocaine-and-control-boards-la-classic-rock-in-the-70s-9780972

d) If you’re looking for a gift for your favorite Prog Rock fan (besides another record/CD or a certificate for the aforementioned mocha latte), you can now pre-order one of the 600 limited-edition copies of author Jerry Ewing’s new book on the topic titled Wonderous Stories: A Journey Through The Landscape of Progressive Rock. According to the publisher’s PR, the book will guide the reader through the genre’s history, “from the origins of the genre, through the glory years of the late 60s and 70s, to its contemporary resurgence led by, amongst others, Steven Wilson and Opeth. The book is introduced with a foreword written by Steve Hackett.”

The book’s “Deluxe Edition” was designed by famed album cover artist Carl Glover, the guy responsible for a number of memorable covers for acts including Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, The Pretty Things, Porcupine Tree, Blackfield and an entire series for Prog Rock stalwarts Marillion. The clothbound book’s 160 pages include over 450 images, including band photos, press images and, of course, album covers. The book includes a COA signed by both Glover and the author and also includes an 8” x 10” art print – a nice package for the quite-reasonable asking price of £50.00.

Pre-orders are now being accepted on The Flood Gallery’s web site – https://www.thefloodgallery.com/collections/wondrous-stories-a-journey-through-the-landscape-of-progressive-rock/products/wondrous-stories-a-journey-through-the-landscape-of-progressive-rock?
with deliveries beginning in early December.

5) Other articles of interest –

Quick note – nominations and voting begins soon for this year’s class of inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame in the areas of design, photography, illustration and other related fields. Eager to see who are the top vote-getters this year – lots of talented people still yet to be inducted, so watch this space…

a) Research led me to a site, created by a mysterious and unknown artist simply called “Admin”, where you’ll find a collection of hand-made drawings of album covers along with a short story about the record. It’s called, in a straight-forward fashion, “Hand Drawn Album Covers”. Is it good? You be the judge. It is certainly inspired… http://www.handdrawnalbumcovers.com/

b) While some look at fans of Prog Rock as being people just as contemptuous as “mocha-sipping, Birkenstock wearing, Prius-driving Lefties”, I am proud to say that I’ve long been a fan of the genre – both the music and the art – and so I’m very pleased to be able to share two Prog-related stories – one being about the nominees – and the eventual winner – in the “Album Cover of the Year” category of the 2017 Progressive Music Awards festivities and the other (to be found back in Section 4 about New Books) being that a new book that looks to provide an in-depth historical review of “Prog Rock” (by Prog Magazine editor Jerry Ewing) which will be published in time for Holiday gift-giving.

To begin, here are the nominees for this year’s Progressive Music Awards’ “Album Cover of the Year” (musical act/album title):

Ayreon – The Source; Big Big Train – Grimspound; Heather Findlay – I Am Snow; King Crimson – Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind; Kylver – The Island; Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand; Opeth – Sorceress; Robert Reed – Sanctuary II; Tim Bowness – Lost In The Ghost Light and Wolf People – Ruins

The winner was announced at ceremonies on September 14th, with artists whose works are featured on these nominated covers including well-known creatives such as Ben Singleton, Alan Brown, Travis Smith, Jarrod Gosling and Luke Insect, so was most-interesting to see who fans eventually selected as this year’s top artist.

First, you can take a look at the nominated works via the link at http://2017.prog.awards.teamrock.com/vote/album-cover

AND THE WINNER WAS – from the previously-noted list of talented nominees, a winner was chosen in the “Album Cover of the Year” category, and that winner is the team responsible for the creation of the cover for Tim Bowness’ album Lost In The Ghost Light (credited to the multi-talented designer/musician Jarrod Goslling).

Here’s a link to the list of all of the winners in last week’s award ceremonies – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/steve-hackett-progressive-music-awards/
as well as a link to the musician’s site – http://timbowness.co.uk/lost-in-the-ghost-light/ Digging around a bit, I also found a video interview with designer Jarrod Gosling about his work on the previous Bowness LP – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fekq273l4yo
Congratulations to the winner and all of the nominees for jobs well done – the fans are all very happy!

c) Filed under “way too cool for school” – those of you who thought that album covers created with “special effects”, such as the “3-D” and “lenticular” covers found on records such as 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties Request by the Rolling Stones, The Holy Land by Johnny Cash in 1969 and 1971’s Captain Beyond (with artwork by Pacific Eye & Ear artist Joe Garnett) will be pleased and/or surprised to know that the inspiration to display moving images on record packages remains, carried on by various musical acts/labels and, lucky for us, collected by collector DJ Food and shared via a regular column on The Vinyl Factory web site.

They kicked things off not too long ago with this nicely-illustrated (including some cool animated GIFs) article – https://thevinylfactory.com/features/freaky-formats-moire-effect/ in which you’ll find other examples of mind-bending album cover designs from around for musical acts in many different genres.
Looking forward to seeing more as time goes on…

BTW – on a related note – I wanted to share a link I found to a music video released by the Rolling Stones which uses artwork appropriated (there’s that word again!) from on the cover art from Satanic Majesties..http://yespleaseproductions.com/portfolio/rolling-stones-2000-light-years-from-home-official-lyric-video/ A very good example of recycling…

d) While I’m happy to note that the sales of vinyl records continue to grow (my most-recent purchase was a special-edition 2-LP package of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boy’s Smile that came with a nice bonus photo booklet) as both us oldsters and our younger brethren preserve the format with our pennies and dollars, there are still occasional stories like the two that follow that provide us with the sad details about record stores closing both here and abroad, with each venue’s closing also taking with it the sale of related album art items (SAD!, as one Tweeter often puts it) –

1) Author has an idea on how to turn a store’s closing into something of a time capsule for retail record store fans – https://www.athensmessenger.com/blogs/guest_columnists/an-ode-to-hoffa-s-music/article_b8dfeb82-0e43-554c-847a-bfb79939bcf3.html

2) “Seeing the art of music” article by Kerry-Ann Augustin for the New Straits Times (Malaysia) – https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/sunday-vibes/2017/09/280707/seeing-art-music
We’ll keep the fire burning…

e) Some of you might recall a story I reported on a year ago about a trio of enterprising entrepreneurs, including noted album cover designer Lawrence Azerrad and his chums at Ozma Records to embark on a Kickstarter-based project that would produce, for us mortals, a special 40th anniversary, special-edition package based on the “Voyager Golden Record” that astronomer Carl Sagan, along with a team that included writers Timothy Ferris and Ann Druyan, artists Jon Lomberg and Linda Salzman Sagan and astronomer/SETI pioneer Frank Drake (who served as the technical director), assembled for the 1977 satellite launch in order to present “strange new civilizations” with evidence of our intelligence (this was, luckily for us, before we had recordings from this past year’s elections).

Well, I just recently got my own personal copy of this box set, which included and three translucent gold, heavyweight vinyl LPs in black ink and gold foil jackets, a hardback full-color book, a 12″ x 12″ lithograph of the Voyager Golden Record cover diagram printed in gold metallic ink, a digital download card that includes all audio from the Voyager Golden Record inMP3 and FLAC formats, an enamel pin of the Golden Record diagram and a custom turntable mat featuring NASA/JPL-Caltech’s heliocentric view of the Voyager spacecraft’s trajectories across the solar system (not bad for $98!), and all I can say is “WOW”.

And now that it’s been released and the second Voyager space craft is about to sail out of our solar system, I wanted to share a link to a follow-up article and interview with David Pescovitz found on the CNN.com site discussing the release of the special record package – http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/04/opinions/pescovitz-opinion/index.html

If so inclined, you can also listen to a BBC interview (on Soundcloud) that the folks from the record label posted last year with the original designer of the Golden Record – Jon Lomberg – which can be found via this link – https://soundcloud.com/user-482195982/interview-with-jon-lomberg?

f) A team of writers/contributors to Universal Music Group (UK)’s UDiscoverMusic.com site recently published one of those articles that undertakes the silly task of naming “the 25 most-iconic album covers” and, as my regular readers know, I typically HATE these lists. However, in this case, the group at least took some time to explain why each of the covers (all the usual suspects) was included and, to their credit, did NOT limit the list only to covers featured on their own labels.

Someday, I’ll have to learn what it is that motivates people to do articles like these but, until I’m ready to look into this further, I’ll just share the link and hope you’ll add your comments
https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/25-iconic-album-covers/

with some added info on designers – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/iconic-album-cover-designers/

Late in September, the group’s Martin Chilton hit the web with another album art-related posting – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/album-packaging-amplified-music/

g) While we’re on the topic of articles that seem to annoy me a lot…while I appreciate the sentiment, here’s a link to an article posted recently on the Ultimate Guitar site by contributor “David89Zemun” (from Belgrade, Serbia, who plays a modified Gibson Les Paul BFG and is a big Black Sabbath fan) titled “Stories Behind Album Covers – It Was Never Just About The Music…” in which he provides us with a nice selection of album covers – from artists ranging from Pink Floyd to Red Hot Chili Peppers – and then a very brief tidbit about the cover art, so when he tells us in his intro that “we will be getting into some of the most interesting stories behind album covers”, I’m not sure if he means now or later.

You won’t learn much, but it is nice to see young people from all over the world go out on a limb and do a little digging into their favorite album art – https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/articles/features/stories_behind_album_covers-67281

h) The phrase “sex and drugs and rock & roll” has often been brought to life via the choices made by musical acts/record labels/art directors to focus on the “sex” part to illustrate and sell their record packages. As you might figure, this didn’t sit well with many folks because, as you might have guessed, it was usually (99.3% of the time, according to my casual observations) women who were objectified on many covers and, later on, in music videos. Does this continue on these days? You betcha!

As you’ll read in reporter Sahsa Geffen’s article on the Vulture.com site, there has been a slight subversion of this ongoing practice, evidenced by the fact that some of the creators of this sexy imagery are, in fact, women, with the two newer acts she’s focused on – St. Vincent and Torres – both assuming “the role of objectifier and objectified at the same time. They confound the power that borders the history of the genre in which they work, not as an act of empowerment but as a gesture of sublime confusion. “
http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/st-vincent-and-torres-are-subverting-rock-archetypes.html
Kudos are given to Christopher Guest for his attempts to point out the “do what you gotta do” approach to selling records in his great mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap…will things ever change? In today’s climate? I don’t think so….

i) In a recently-published series of articles on the Christie’s site about five London-area collectors and their assemblages, one of the featured collectors is designer/author Toby Mott, whose collection of punk-era ephemera and graphics served as the basis for the book he released last year (reported on in the Nov. 2016 News Summary) and includes original examples of album art by Jamie Reid and others. Of course, he can also look back proudly at his own album cover work – as part of the successful 1980s design firm and artist’s collective called the Grey Organization – for Tommy Boy Records and acts including De La Soul and Information Society – http://www.christies.com/features/5-London-collectors-and-their-collections-8553-1.aspx?

That’s all for now – be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.

All text and images included in this article are Copyright 2017 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Album Cover Artist and Art News Summary and Preview for August/September, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR SEPTEMBER, 2017.

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once again to you all on this first day of September, 2017. Since we last spoke, there’s been both a major astronomical event (the 8/21 total solar eclipse) and a major – i.e., catastrophic – meteorological event (Hurricane Harvey) along with a very disturbing display in Virginia of how some folks here in the U.S. just can’t seem to bring themselves to fully share the advantages and opportunities afforded to us here so, when you look at how those events have impacted people in very real ways, I have to ask myself why I’m spending my time reporting on album art/artist-related news versus focusing my efforts on activities that might somehow change/improve the world and the lives of folks just trying to enjoy the little time we’re given here on Earth.

I wish I had a good answer for you, but I don’t.

I know that art and music can combine to make our lives better in so many ways, and I also know how much I appreciate the talents of the people who work to bring these bits of joy and beauty to us, so in spite of the fact that my writing and reporting will most-probably disappear into the Ether over time, the positive notes and responses I get from my readers continue to provide me with some incentive to continue on in this overall-trivial-but-sometimes-rewarding effort. However, if you want to REALLY do something that will help your fellow man in need in the best possible way, I would invite you to do as I’ve done and click on over to the American Red Cross site, where you can send a donation in support of those most in need right now – https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey

I’m hoping that you were able to read the article I posted in mid-August about my visit to the Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution exhibition currently running at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie, IL because, as you’ll see below, I’m adding some additional info and photos on the Baron Wolman photo event that took place there recently as well. I also had the chance to tour the Rolling Stones’ Exhibitionism extravaganza here right before it closed and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in seeing an amazing collection of Stones-related memorabilia and artwork (e.g., comps, alt takes and bits and pieces from “the making of” album covers including Exile On Main Street, Tattoo You and many others – very cool).

This month I also received the exciting news that the ALEX Awards show (named for the Godfather of album packaging and design, the late Alex Steinweiss) – a packaging industry awards show that’s been on hiatus for a number of years now – is being resurrected and will become part of a new show/symposium dedicated to all things vinyl record called “Making Vinyl” set for early November (Nov. 6-7) at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, MI. Album cover creators will have the chance to submit examples of their recent work to a panel of esteemed judges (including well-respected designers and other music industry notables such as Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz, Stefan Bucher, Gail Marowitz, Sean Mosher Smith, Sylvia Reed and Julian Alexander) for their review beginning September 1st and I’ll be posting more information very soon, so keep your eyes peeled…Online submission forms can be found at http://makingvinyl.com/alex-awards/

With regards to my book project, I am happy to be able to report that I have been able to gather some great new content from several new sources, including the highly-lauded design and writing team of Spencer Drate and Juditz Salavetz and a guy responsible for creating the what many consider to be “the templates” for in-your-face rap music album cover art, Shawn Brauch of Pen & Pixel fame. Of course, this only means that the project is getting even bigger/more time-consuming, so I’ll just leave it at that for now and will let you all know when things move forward on the design/publishing front…

For now, I’m just happy to be able to deliver the details of what’s going on in the lives and careers of the designers, artists, photographers and others who continue to produce great visuals for clients in the music business along with previews of what’s going to be on display and available for sale at your favorite gallery or museum next month. In the summary and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest efforts of your favorite (and soon-to-be-favorite) album cover art creators and promoters that I’ve found in the daily news cycle, featuring fascinating and interesting stories on a wide range of related topics.

As always, I ask that you please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) Upcoming, recently-launched/currently running and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a)Earlier in August, I had the chance to tour the “Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution” event at the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie, IL, with my full coverage (loaded with photos) posted on the ACHOF site at https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/achof-exhibition-tour-bill-graham-and-the-rock-roll-revolution/  As part of the ongoing series of events and other activities that the museum is putting on in support of their show, on Thursday, August 17th, they staged a special event that, as both a fan of rock and roll photography and a regular reader of Rolling Stone Magazine over the past 50 years (!!), was truly a special opportunity and something I just had to attend – a presentation by Baron Wolman, the magazine’s first photographer and a man who has captured scores of photos that have helped illustrate Rock’s “golden ages”.

The evening’s opening discussion was lead by Jason Marck, a local radio personality, who provided the photographer’s introduction and an occasional question during Wolman’s hour-long slide presentation. Even though Baron was suffering a bit from a sore throat caused by the after-effects of recent throat surgery, it did little to curb his enthusiasm to share some of the stories behind a nice selection of his best-known photographs and more info on his own personal story, including his early career as a photographer in the military (BTW, the first photo he sold was of the Berlin Wall while stationed in Germany) and, after returning to the States and landing in the San Francisco Bay area, his introductions to both Jann Wenner at the fledgling Rolling Stone publication and rock impresario Bill Graham, the man who provided Wolman with nearly un-fettered access to his venues and the acts that played there (including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Bob Dylan & The Band, Santana and, of course, the Grateful Dead).

With influences including the great photographers Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, it was Wolman’s own keen eye and keen interest in all of the goings on behind the scenes of the events and personalities he covered (his fascination with 1960s-era “groupies” was shared later in a critically-acclaimed photo book of his on the subject) that keeps music/art fans yearning to add selections from Wolman’s fine art print portfolio to their own collections. There were number of those fans in the audience that night, and they streamed out after the final Q&A session to both meet the photographer at the book-signing table and, perhaps, grab a photo or two with their hero. The museum was offering those in attendance the opportunity to take home, as a bonus for joining/extending their memberships, a specially-created book featuring items from the Graham exhibition and I’m quite certain that a number of those books went home with their new owners featuring the signature of the man of the hour, the talented Mr. Wolman.

Just as a reminder, the Bill Graham exhibition is on display at the Illinois Holocaust Museum through November 12th, with more information available via the link – https://www.ilholocaustmuseum.org/billgraham/

b) Are YOU Experienced? Until you’ve seen the trippy photos taken by Karl Ferris for the cover of the Jimi Hendrix Experience record by that name up close and personal, you can’t really say that you are. Remember friends, this was way before computer-aided design and graphics, so in order to achieve the psychedelic final image, analog tools – fish eye lenses, infra-red film, etc. – had to be masterfully employed and, as you were able to see at two recent shows at the Morrison Hotel Galleries in NYC and Los Angeles (8/23 in NYC, 8/24 in LA), those now-50-year-old pix still grab you and blow your mind.

Karl also shot the photos used on the covers for two more Hendrix records – AXIS: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland (replacing the image found on the UK version that Jimi really despised) and Hendrix once told Karl that he did with his camera what Jimi tried to do with his guitar, so how’s that for evidence of a good client relationship?

The photos featured in the Karl Ferris Psychedelic Experience were part of a larger show celebrating 50 years of mind-expanding imagery, including fine art works by Gered Mankowitz, Amalie Rothschild, Henry Diltz and several others –
https://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/blog/5BfROu/Celebrating-iARE-YOU-EXPERIENCEDi

I also found a 2nd article, on Art Daily site, that gives readers a bit more of the background of these shows – http://artdaily.com/news/98318/Morrison-Hotel-Gallery-celebrates-the-era-of-psychedelia-with-an-exhibition-and-sale

The full show is up in the NYC gallery through September 6th, so if you’re in the area and have some ‘shrooms handy, experience the whole thing before it disappears in a puff of pink smoke…

c) Also on display from now through September 7th at the Mr. Musichead Gallery in Los Angeles is a 30th anniversary exhibition of images taken by photographer Chris Cuffaro – well-known to album cover fans for his contributions to the packaging of records by acts including Bad English, Suicidal Tendencies, Bush, Nick Cave and many others – taken during the making of a music video for a single by a band called Martini Ranch that was directed by the not-yet-quite-so-popular film-maker James Cameron.

Martini Ranch was a short-lived, semi-serious side project built around the talents of several musicians (including some members of bands such as DEVO, Frank Zappa’s band and film composer Mark Isham), and some people from the movie business, including the late actor Bill Paxton, who’d go on to star in a number of popular films. They released one album – 1988’s Holy Cow, which featured quirky cover art by the acclaimed artist Lou Beach – and to make the video for the song “Reach”, the group brought in a bunch of friendlies from the music and film world, including Judge Reinhold, Paul Reiser and Cameron’s soon-to-be-wife, fellow director Kathryn Bigelow.

Given free rein to shoot the entire cast and crew while this video was being made, you’ll get to see a lot of people having a lot of fun for two days out at the Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch in Saugus, California.
https://www.mrmusichead.com/events/2017/8/30/chris-cuffaro-greatest-hits-martini-ranch

d) With the voting for this year’s Best Art Vinyl Awards almost upon us (beginning in November, with the winners announced next January), in anticipation of the presentation of this year’s nominees and subsequent voting, the folks behind this annual event will be staging presentations of recent winners and nominees in three locations in Europe (is the U.K. still “Europe” – please explain) all starting with the letter “B” – Barnsley (UK), Bologna (Italy) and Budapest (Hungary) later this year. Best Art Vinyl: 12 Years on 12 Inches will put the works of many talented album cover artists on display, including last year’s winner – illustrator/designer Matthew Cooper’s cover for The Last Shadow Puppets’ long-awaited 2nd album Everything You’ve Come to Expect.
The writers at Digital Arts Online provide us with a preview of the upcoming displays and voting –
http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/news/illustration/best-album-art-2017-nominees-past-winners-of-best-art-vinyl-awards-be-exhibited/

e) Now on display at the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly, the EMP) in Seattle is a photo exhibition of 65 images selected by British shooter Mick Rock from the over 5000 he took of David Bowie from March 1972 to November of 1973 as he morphed into his Ziggy Stardust personality and helped establish the bona fides of the “glam rock” movement. Gillian G. Gaar’s coverage of the show, as featured in Goldmine Magazinehttp://www.goldminemag.com/articles/photographer-mick-rock-exhibits-bowie – provides us with a good intro to this long-lasting relationship between rock star and his friend/artist Rock, with more info on the details of the show available on the MOPOP site at https://www.mopop.org/exhibits/current-exhibits/bowie-by-mick-rock/
Later on in this summary, in Section 5, you’ll also find a related article about the premiere of the documentary film about Rock…

f) Genesis Publication’s Genesis House Gallery will be hosting a very special reception on September 9th featuring famed Beatles designer/bassist Klaus Voorman as they honor the release of his brand new collage created to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band’s seminal record, Revolver.
According to the gallery’s press release, “We will have an installation of Klaus’s latest work, the Revolver 50 collage series, alongside his earlier Hamburg Days prints and other artworks. The occasion also marks 50 years since Klaus won the Grammy Award for the Revolver album design, so we will be joined by some special guests to celebrate this achievement, and hope you will be able to join us.” I’d love to, of course, but there’s some water in the way…
http://www.genesis-publications.com/revolver-50-the-collage-series-by-klaus-voormann/default.htm?

g) Now I know that I’m getting old – 40 years, really? Yes, friends, it’s been 40 years since we first had our terminals fizzed by Manchester-area punkers The Buzzcocks and our eyes burned to cinders by Malcolm Garrett’s subversive designs for the band (remember the cover for the single “Orgasm Addict” with the iron-headed reclining nude?). Garrett went on to design memorable covers for musical acts including Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds, Duran Duran and many others, and has shared his love of design with clients (via his in-demand agency, IMAGES & Co.) and students of design via his participation in industry events, showcases and committees such as the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Committee, the Royal Designers for Industry (RDI) Executive Committee, the i-Design interactive media conference held at the London Design Festival and as co-curator of the annual Design Manchester festival.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of the first designs for the influential band, Garrett will be leading a presentation/discussion at this year’s Design Manchester event, described here on the festival’s web site – http://designmcr.com/events/fizzing-at-the-terminals-malcolm-garretts-buzzcocks-designs-1977-2017 and, if you’re in the area, something I’d invite you to sign up for…

What really makes me wonder is that you can buy t-shirt with these early and then-controversial designs at Wal-Mart now…OMG!

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) While artist Sir Peter Blake, one of the UK’s best-known talents, might be most-recognized for his work on the cover for what’s often considered one of the best album covers ever created – the collage found on the package for 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles – it doesn’t take a lot of work to see that that cover was just one of a huge portfolio of images he’s created over the 85 years he’s been on the planet. His paintings and other works have long been considered amongst the very best in the fine art world but, as you’ll see in this nicely-written profile by Abigail Cain found recently on the Artsy.com site, interviews and conversations about and with the artist inevitably hearken back to his work for The Beatles.
https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-beatles-helped-british-artist-perfect-work-pop-art

Today’s young artists have, fortunately, taken the time to look at and learn from Blake’s long list of important works of art, so he seems content to know that he’ll be remembered not just for the work that he and his team (artist Jann Haworth and photographer Michael Cooper) were given the amazingly meager sum of £200 (not including flowers and wax/cutout figures) to create…

b) Writing for VICE, Clara Mokri interviews photographer Brad Elterman as he looks back on his career as a young rock photographer via the discovery and purchase (thanks, eBay!) of a trove of long-lost photos taken early on in his career. Parlaying the sale of his candid shots of David Bowie to Creem Magazine back in the early 1970s into a career that’s brought us scores of great photos of rockers such as Joan Jett, Peter Frampton, Talking Heads, KISS, The Who (and shots that have been included in packages for AC/DC. Alice Cooper and the Eagles) and others, Brad shares the story about how his archive was lost-then-found and the emotions he feels taking a long look at his work all these years later.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/zmepp8/this-teen-took-candid-photos-of-the-70s-biggest-rock-stars

c) You all know Ron Pownall’s work – covers for albums by Ted Nugent, Boston, Aerosmith, Molly Hatchet and dozens more – but how often do you get a chance to take a tour through an accomplished photographer’s studio? Luckily, reporter Emily Cassell was able to snag such a tour, sharing it with us on the Scout Somerville (MA) website – http://scoutsomerville.com/ron-pownall/

Beginning his photo career as a young shooter for the Chicago Tribune newspaper in the late 1960s, he went from covering protests of the Vietnam War to concert events at local venues and, when he relocated from the Windy City to Boston in the early 1970s, his abilities brought him assignments to document the visits of bands including Boston, Queen and others and it was “off to the races”…

d) On NZ’s Stuff Entertainment site, Mike Alexander delivers a profile of Barry Beswick and his Indium Design company, perhaps best-known for his dozens of covers (the last 37 of them, as a matter of fact) created for the seemingly-never-ending series of top hits packages known as “Now That’s What I Call Music.”
https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/95241857/now-thats-what-i-call-album-artwork
Now, that’s what you call a GREAT commission!

e) Parlaying his love of music – exemplified by his collection of bootleg recordings – and his desire to improve the visuals usually associated with those illicit products into a career as an illustrator for the Trademark of Quality label and then, later on for legit label Rhino Records (where he designed their mascot/logo), cartoonist William Stout would then go on to greater fame as a designer of movie posters, film and TV productions and, more recently, a series of music-related books/graphic novels.
And he had me at Little Annie Fanny
Fans should take the time to read Joshua Stone’s profile of the prolific and talented illustrator in a recent issue of Bleeding Coolhttps://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/07/22/william-stout-career-envy/

f) As he’s going to be a speaker at the upcoming 2017 AIGA Design Conference in Minneapolis, MN (October 12-14), the folks behind the event have just posted an interview with artist Michael Cina, someone who is no stranger to us album art fans as he’s credited with dozens of designs for Pop, Rock and Electronic acts including Jacaszek, Matrixxman, Shigeto, Arthur Beatrice and many others – http://designconference.aiga.org/#!/article/michael-cina-discusses-his-career-journey

As both a freelancer and, since 2010, the principal at Cina Associates, Michael has done work – design, art direction, typography and web work – for a who’s who of happy clients including Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Disney, Fox Sports, RedBull and many others.

Looking through the list of speakers lined up for this conference, I also wanted you to know that two other well-regarded album art designers – Pentagram’s Paula Scher and Draplin Design Co’s Aaron Draplin (go, Portland!) – will be on hand to share their innermost thoughts and feelings about design with an audience thirsting for their knowledge…

3) Sales/Auctions –

Nothing exciting to report at this point….

4) New Print/Book RELEASES –

a) Rock N Roll Cultural Historian and Fandom Expert Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike (@JenOtterBickerd) has a new book out (September 1st in the UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Vinyl-Matters-Manifesto-Musicians/dp/185149863X) that looks to be required reading for anyone who is a lover of recorded music delivered on vinyl records (an ever-growing population of you, it seems!) and it includes, as I’ve heard from Jen, a fair amount of content that should be of interest specifically to us album art fans as well.

The book’s titled Why Vinyl Matters: A Manifesto From Musicians and Fans and, according to the accompanying press info, it is “a bold declaration of love for pre-digital music technology – part history, part future forecasting, part nostalgia and all celebration. A collection of more than 25 interviews, all illustrated with photos, sidebars, quotes, album covers, outtakes and much more” and includes discussions with musicians Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Henry Rollins (Black Flag and his own band), Mike Ness (Social Distortion), Steve Hackett (Genesis) and many others, along with several with top album cover designers including Peter Saville, Steve Park and Alison Fielding.

An academic, writer and historian now based in the U.K. and who has written several other books on the topics of music and Pop Culture (Joy Devotion: The Importance of Ian Curtis and Fan Culture (2016), The Secular Religion of Fandom: Pop Culture Pilgrim (2015) and 2014’s Fandom, Image and Authenticity (Pop Music, Culture and Identity), Jennifer “remains enthralled by vinyl, and has embarked on a journey to share her passion – and the passion of like-minded stars – with the world.”

Bonus Content – I asked Jen if she’d be willing to share some quotes from the album cover artists with me (and you) and she was kind enough to provide the following:
“I have Peter Saville and Steve Park. Peter has done TONS AND TONS of covers and Steve is most famous for Prince’s Graffiti Bridge (he was Prince’s creative director for years, and a super cool dude too)! Oh, and Alison Fielding, who does all of the creative for Beggars Banquet! “

Just as a teaser, here’s a quote she sent from her interview with Peter Saville – “There is no problem associated with a record cover other than the principle artist liking it. It doesn’t matter: what is on a record cover does not matter. Unlike any other form of packaging or communication. Nobody has NOT bought a record they wanted because they did not like the cover. They may sometimes be influenced to buy a record that they are indecisive about because they like the cover. But if there is a song, a track – something you like – you have never not bought it because of the cover. So, therefore, it does not really matter. But one thing does matter. The principle artist. Because if Bryan, Brett, Madonna, George is not happy – then the release is delayed. And it has got to happen quickly. It is always late. It is always left to the last minute; there are always last minute changes… It always goes to the wire. And at the 11th hour, management, record companies, cave in and say, ‘You know, we don’t fucking care. Just get it approved.’ And the person it has to be approved by is the principle ego. That is how it works.”

b) Back in June/July, I told you about a show featuring photographer Markus Klinko’s beautiful shots of the late David Bowie (“Bowie Unseen”, on display as part of the HeadOn Photo Festival in Sydney, Australia), but I’m now happy to report that those of us stranded here in the U.S. now have a place to find (and buy) many of the same photos featured in that exhibition – Modern Rocks Gallery in Austin, TX. If you follow the link – https://www.modernrocksgallery.com/markus-klinko-photographer – you’ll get a chance to see what’s available, including Klinko’s cover shots for Heathen – the record where Bowie works with Klinko to craft a photo where the subject (Bowie) is quite obviously blind.

c) Going back a bit – i.e., to the beginning – of Mr. Bowie’s career, you’ll learn that it was Gerald Fearnley, brother of Dek Fearnley (one of Bowie’s bandmates at the time), who shot the cover photo used for Bowie’s debut album in 1967 (David Bowie). Digging into that archive, Mr. Fearnley has now put together a new book of those photos also titled Bowie Unseen (?), published by ACC Editions – https://www.accpublishinggroup.com/uk/store/pv/9781851498642/bowie-unseen/gerald-fearnley/

After capturing the eye of the folks at CNN Style, you can now see a bit more about this new book and what’s included – http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/31/arts/unseen-david-bowie-portraits/index.html

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Flying saucer-leaning music lovers will have a lot to celebrate soon when, on Friday, September 29th, a very special 40th anniversary vinyl picture disc package (featuring Kosh’s original artwork) of ELO’s 2-LP set Out of The Blue is being released by Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings. Two LPs = four different designs, and, for the approx. $35 they’ll pay, customers will also receive the music in digital download form – https://www.legacyrecordings.com/2017/07/27/legacy-recordings-release-first-time-ever-picture-disc-edition-elos-blue/

Pre-orders now being accepted – https://store-us.jefflynneselo.com/products/out-of-the-blue-picture-disc-2lp

Believe me now, sweet is the night – even if I’m standing in the rain in the summer and lightning – that this package arrives on my doorstep…

b) Later on in this month’s summary, you’ll read my rant about “best of/worst of” lists (I don’t particularly like them) but, from time to time, someone will come up with a novel take on the topic and, although it disturbs me to my very core, I’ll pass it on to you, my readers. Recently, Dan Caffrey and the staffers of the Consequence of Sound site put their heads together to come up with a somewhat different approach to a “Top 50” listing – the 50 “most outrageous” album covers ever made –
https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/07/the-50-most-outrageous-album-covers/

According to the article, rather than focusing on the good or the bad, the writers “simplified the criteria: It should be something that makes you scratch your head and say, ‘Huh?’” The article also begins with a warning – “Some of these you won’t be able to ‘unsee,’ so proceed with caution” and, after paging through several of them (starting off with Queen’s disturbing cover for The Miracle in which the band members’ faces are grafted together to make one quite-large head), it’s probably a warning well-heeded (although some of the selections are merely from the psychedelic era and, therefore, just images you can trip on)…

c) Lots of Bowie and Mick Rock this issue, no? Take an interesting and iconoclastic photographer/partier and introduce him to several rock & rollers eager to test out their new-found fame and wealth (and mix in examples of said photographer’s famous imagery and voila!, you have the beginnings of an interesting documentary film. Now available for viewing is the new Mick Rock bio-pic – Shot! – and The Guardian (UK)’s film reviewer Leslie Felperin provides us with a first look at it – https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jul/21/shot-the-psycho-spiritual-mantra-of-rock-review-mick-rock-photography

d) I’m very happy to have been able to tour through Takashi Murakami’s latest show (The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, on now through September 24th at the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Chicago) because, while I might not be Kanye’s biggest fan, I do appreciate his selection of Murakami as his album cover artist back in 2008 for his Graduation record and it was fun to see the original cover art included in the show.

In a recent posting on the Uproxx.com site, reporter Corbin Reiff shared a scoop that hints at the possibility that another Kanye friend/collaborator – Kid Kudi – might be looking for a Murakami-designed cover for his new project.
love fest – http://uproxx.com/realtalk/kanye-west-graduation-bear-kid-cudi-japan-new-album-speculation/

e) Any serious student of the album cover arts knows and appreciates the impact that the team from the Hipgnosis design studio has had since they began applying their talents to packages for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Black Sabbath and scores of others since the late 1960s. And while I might not be so willing as to declare all great album art as either being “before Hipgnosis” or “after Hipgnosis” (let’s see – Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s, Disraeli Gears, Are You Experienced?, etc. all came before…) as writer Nick DeRiso has stated in an article called “32 Weird Facts About Hipgnosis’ Most Famous Rock Album Covers,” I do want to reward the guy for doing a bit of research and then presenting these fun facts in a highly-entertaining fashion. Did YOU know that the cover for Pink Floyd’s Saucer Full of Secrets was made with 13 layers of imagery (pre-Photoshop, mind you) and that this cover project was only the second time in EMI’s history that they allowed the work to be contributed by an outside agency (the first being Peter Blake’s work for the aforementioned Sgt. Pepper’s cover)? Well, neither did I – http://ultimateclassicrock.com/hipgnosis-album-covers/

f) Haters gotta hate hate hate – While some of us worry that album cover design is often over-looked and under-appreciated in today’s fast-paced, digitally-distributed world, when you’re a mega-star like Taylor Swift and you tease your fanbase with album art for your upcoming release (titled Reputation) that reminds some people of that decoupage project you did at Summer Camp in 7th grade, you have to expect that some folks aren’t going to respond positively (as detailed recently in Brian Koerber’s article on the Mashable site) – http://mashable.com/2017/08/23/taylor-swift-album-cover-graphic-design/
Perhaps she should call up her buddy Kanye and get a meeting with Murakami?

g) With the national pastime for “connected” folks seemingly now being freely telling the world just how much you hate someone/something, it only makes sense that some writers feel that it is their duty to share their until-now-repressed feelings with their readership, so why not highlight what are, according to reporter Joseph Earp on the Tonedeaf.com site, the “worst album covers of all time”?

Why do people do these articles? While no one was killed in the making of these images, it seems as though they did upset his little tummy.
http://tonedeaf.com.au/7-worst-album-covers-of-all-time/

Stop with the “worst of all time” lists, everyone, OK?

Bonus – With Pen & Pixel’s design for Big Bear’s Doin’ Thangs leading the list (with the author commenting “it is without a doubt one of the most hideous things I have seen in the last few years”), I felt that I should get designer Shawn Brauch’s take on this award. Based on his reply, this is obviously not the first time he’s been dissed by the press but, like any controversial artist, he takes it in stride – “Mike – Oh that one is RICH! LOL! Got to love the artwork, even when it’s criticized, they still love to hate it. The great thing is, when the ‘critics’ start to take a long detailed look at the craftsmanship…they always applaud that aspect…what more can we say? LOL! I’ve read past posts about have God-awful the artwork was, in the same sentence touting the number of records sold with the same artwork…like there is no correlation between the two. I’m laughing my A** off!”

That’s all for now – be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.

All text and images included in this article are Copyright 2017 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Album Cover Artist and Art News Summary and Preview for July/August, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF JULY, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR AUGUST, 2017.

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once again to you all on this first day of August, 2017. I’m hoping that you’ve been able to enjoy some of the sunny Summer weather, wherever you are, and that part of your free time was spent visiting your favorite gallery or museum to see what’s on display there (and to take advantage of the air conditioning typically found there). As for me, I recently had the chance to tour two shows right here in Chicagoland that contained strong album art components (Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, which debuted on July 16th at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and the Rolling Stones’ Exhibitionism extravaganza, which concluded its run at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall B on July 30th) and I’ll be posting summaries – complete with photos – of those visits in the next week or so, so keep your eyes peeled…

Continue reading

Album Cover Artist and Art News Summary and Preview for the Months of June and July, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR JULY, 2017.

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings to you all on this last day of June, 2017. Hope you’ve all had a nice Spring-to-Summer transition and that your plans for the next month include time to take advantage of some of the best of what the world has to offer – trips to the shore, family visits, attending a game or two of your favorite sport, eating great food and stopping by your favorite gallery or museum to see what’s on display there. I’m happy to provide you with the details of what’s showing in the Shows/Exhibitions summary that follows.

Of course, I’d have hoped that the last month’s schedule would have allowed me to make great progress on my book, but Life sometimes steps in and decides that your time is best spent in some other fashion (those of you involved in the care of an elderly person know what I’m talking about), so while I didn’t get 85% of the things done which I’d planned, I did get some additional content for the book from notables including photographer/designer/chef/man in a van Ed Caraeff, designer James Faulkner and author/historian/educator Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, among others, so if I ever get this book done, I know that album art/artist fans will most-surely enjoy what’s included.

In this month’s summary, you’ll find both a helpful recap of last month’s stories about the designers, artists, photographers and others who continue to produce great visuals for clients in the music business along with previews of what’s going to be on display and in-stores next month. As always. you’ll find that the galleries, publishers, curators, etc. who support and promote these works continue on with their quests unabated, and it continues to be my pleasure to be able to share the details about what they do with you and whoever you choose to share this information with. In the summary and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the escapades and triumphs of your favorite (and soon-to-be-favorite) examples of album cover art/artistry that I’ve found in the daily news cycle, featuring stories of great interest and fascination delivered via the articles, interviews, museum and gallery show information you’ll find written on a wide range of related topics.

Once again, I urge you to please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) Upcoming, recently-launched/CuRRENTLY-RUNNING and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) Here’s a reminder about the Gered Mankowitz/Rolling Stones photo show in Paris up now through the 22nd of July at the Photo12 Galerie on Rue des Jardins Saint-Paul. It’s called “Gered Mankowitz, The Rolling Stones Backstage” and, according to the gallery’s press, the images included in this show were “taken at the height of their early British fame and during their fourth American tour, the exhibition and book feature a combination of iconic material and previously unpublished images.

Gered was with the band constantly between ’65-’67 and this unique collection of photographs offers an intimate insight into the personalities of the Rolling Stones as they became world famous. He became part of the Stones’ inner circle and was treated as another member of the band. This gave him complete and unrestricted access to their on and offstage life.”

Album art images that are included in the show include the covers for Out of Our Heads and Between the Buttons. Some of the many covers credited to Gered also include – The Nice – Ars Longa…; Ultravox – Ultravox!; ABC – Lexicon of Love and Jimi Hendrix – The Ultimate Experience.

As you might hope, there’s a corresponding, limited-edition exhibition catalog/book also available, highlighting these shots (including many never-before-published) taken early on and also during  their 4th tour of America. The 96-page photo album is beautifully printed and comes in a slip case with photos front and back.

I’d invite you to first read an Intro article by the editors of L’Oeil de la Photographie –http://www.loeildelaphotographie.com/en/2017/06/01/article/159953880/lintimite-des-rolling-stones-par-gered-mankowitz/  and then head on over to the gallery’s site for more – http://www.galerie-photo12.com

b) I rarely get to report on album art shows in the Asia/Pacific part of the world but, due to the availability of an article by Yukari Tanaka on the Japan Times site and the miracle that is Google Translate, I can now share some information about such a show now on display in Japan – KIT: Popular Music Collection — Exhibition of Album Art is currently on display (now through July 23rd) at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Grand Front Osaka, Knowledge Capital Event Lab.

According to the Museum’s introduction to this exhibition (unedited, so do your best) – “We will hold an exhibition entitled “Record Exhibition that Changed the World” this time. Following the history of “popular music” from the collection of 240 thousand records held by Kanazawa Institute of Technology will reconsider how the 20th century was creative. Please enjoy the unexpected dream trip that will lead to the future. In this exhibition, you can see about 5,000 record jackets… In addition, seven <installation booth> which close up important events in the history of popular music, you can experience the moment that changed the world.”

In other words, based on the photos of the show, it looks like they have set up a 50 meter-long chronology of world events and super-imposed important album art images to help illustrate what was happening in the world when these albums were released.

In Japanese, with English section titles – http://www.kanazawa-it.ac.jp/record/

Article on the Japan Times site – http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2017/06/27/arts/openings-outside-tokyo/kit-popular-music-collection-exhibition-album-art/

c) Part of the Manchester (UK) International Festival that’s kicking off today is an art exhibition titled True Faith that’s been built around the images of – and those inspired by – the talented artists who created the trend-setting album cover and promo imagery for Factory Records, lead by the iconic works done by designer Peter Saville, of which 14 images are included in this display.

Here’s a link to the recent Intro article in The Guardian featuring comments from show co-curator Jon Savage, who selects some of his favorites – https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/jun/27/factory-outlet-the-art-inspired-by-joy-division-and-new-order-ian-curtis

Saville’s favorite, as he relates in this interview by reporter Lucy Lovell found on the Manchester Evening News site, is Power, Corruption and Lies, the cover he produced in 1983 for New Order that’s based on French artist Ignace Henri Fantin-Latour’s 1890 oil painting titled A Basket of Roses after purchasing a postcard of the painting during a visit to The National Gallery… http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/iconic-joy-division-new-order-13206204

More info on the exhibition and other MIF events can be found at http://mif.co.uk/mif17-events/true-faith/

d) South Africa’s oldest newspaper, The Herald, just published an article about a recently-ended (but extended a short while in another location) album cover art show featuring over 60 years worth of cover artwork for musical acts from the region. A group of local designers and collectors curated the show, titled “SA Musical Graphics & Collectibles” and, according to the article, “this exhibition of 150 CD and album covers will take you on a nostalgic stroll down musical memory lane, from Arthur to Zonke, from Juluka to Savuka, from Springbok Hit Parade to the Springbok Nude Girls and plenty more in between.”

http://www.heraldlive.co.za/my-heraldlive/2017/06/08/alliance-francaise-soulful-exhibition-album-covers/

While I personally have next to no knowledge about the South African music/design scenes (although I have seen Ladysmith Black Mambazo in concert 5-6 times – thanks, Paul Simon), I’m sure that this would have been an interesting show to see and learn more from.

e) As fate would have it, now that I no longer live in Portland, OR, one of the most-talented PDX-based designers was the subject of a new show that was held there recently and, as such, I wasn’t able to attend it in person but, according to the artist, the smart collectors back there swooped in and bought everything that was not nailed down, so while the show was scheduled to be running through early August, it’s now just a whisp of a memory…. The gallery that’s part of the East Side’s ultra-hip Jupiter Hotel complex was the temporary home of the aforementioned show by “the thinking man’s artist” and rock poster/album artist extraordinaire Emek, the Israeli-born artist and guy responsible for the surrealistic covers for records by artists including Erykah Badu, Neil Young, Bad Religion, Blue Cheer, Los Lonely Boys, Henry Rollins and many others.

https://jupiterhotel.com/artist-emek-first-friday-june-2/ for a recap and https://emek.net/ for the latest on this talented man’s career.

f) Genesis Publishing, responsible for some of the most-bautiful music art/photo-related collectible books made available to collectors, recently staged a gallery show in Soho, London to celebrate the release of their 100th edition. From Friday, June 16th to Sunday the 18th (including a reception on the 17th), company staffers moved in to the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms to set up an impressive exhibition of “prints, books, and rarities spanning our four decades of publishing.  Running across two floors, the show will include many of our authors and artists, including: Jeff Beck, Mick Fleetwood, George Harrison, Sir George Martin, Yoko Ono, Jimmy Page, Lou Reed, Ringo Starr, Sir Jackie Stewart, Klaus Voormann, Paul Weller, Ronnie Wood and many more.”

Audiophile Man Paul Rigby just published an overview of exhibit on his site that gives you all of the details – http://theaudiophileman.com/george-exh/

g) It’s not often that I can share images I’ve taken of a show, but now that I live “in the big city” (Chicago) and one that has several world-class art establishments, I’m pleased to include some shots I took at the Takashi Murakami Exhibition at MOCA in Chicago, including several of the original works of art that were used in the packaging of Kanye West’s Graduation I was really taken by the scope of the artist’s work, but my day was made when I entered a room to find the “Dropout Bear” sculpture and the several oil paintings used on Graduation‘s packaging. As someone whose career included a stint in the animation business, it’s always fun to see the works of an artist whose own works reflect the cartoon world’s impact on his/her own creativity… Writing for the Chicago Tribune, reporter Audrey Gorden takes a look at the show and provides a lot of background into the relationship between two distinctive creative personalities and how they worked together (for nearly 3 years!) to achieve a milestone in contemporary album cover packaging – http://www.chicagotribune.com/redeye/culture/ct-redeye-murakami-exhibit-mca-chicago-20170605-story.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dropout Bear Sculpture (AKA “Kanye Bear, 2009”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduation Cover Painting (2009)

h) Given the opportunity to showcase 25 of your favorite rock music-related images in a gallery setting, which ones would you choose? In a show called “The Music Seen: Beyond the Stage” now running in the St. Louis, MO area through July 14th, an admitted “photography addict” – Jeff Appel – has given visitors a lot of great imagery to absorb. According to Robert Bullivant, proprietor of the gallery where the 25 photos – most in B&W and sized at 11″ x 14″ – are currently on display, the show is “a unique opportunity to show some of the best-known musical artists in both their onstage as well as offstage moments, as captured in a documentative style by some very talented photographers – a combination of performance art and visual art, if you will, but also considering the human side, meaning sure, these were famous musicians, but they’re people, too.”

Here’s a show intro as provided in the local Ladue Newshttp://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/new-bullivant-gallery-exhibit-showcases-years-of-musicians/article_d59eb885-4c20-5a43-bd1d-7828073d608b.html

i) Writing for the Kent Online site, Angela Cole gives us the details of a recent show at the Chappell Contemporary Art Gallery featuring the works of local and international art legend Sir Peter Blake, one of the noted designers whose work helped create some of the lasting images from 1967’s Summer of Love. In addition to the show, visitors to the area were given the opportunity to ride a Blake-decorated double-decker “art bus” – http://www.kentonline.co.uk/whats-on/news/dartford-born-sgt-pepper-album-cover-godfather-exhibits-in-whitstable-127036/

j) Another reminder to folks travelling through scenic Italy this summer – be sure to stop in at the Wall of Sound Gallery in Alba to look through the two exhibitions photographer/gallerist Guido Harari has up for your enjoyment – Stone Free, an exhibition of mid-1960s psychedelic posters, featuring the best-known practitioners of the form at the time, including Mouse & Kelley, Rick Griffin, Martin Sharp, John Van Hamersveld, Wes Wilson, Milton Glaser and many, many others. You’ll also see these artists’ works on album art for The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Cream, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa and more. Available for viewing through September 10th, Stone Free also includes a photo show with works by Ed Caraeff, Herb Greene, Art Kane, Jim Marshall and Bob Seidemann, with an illustrated catalog available to take home as well.

Also on display at the Fondazione Bottari Lattes in nearby Monforte d’Alba is Harari’s Wall of Sound 10 tenth anniversary exhibition that’s been built around fine art portraits – some in blue, on aluminum – of some of the many famed musical acts Guido has had the privilege to photograph over the years, including David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Bob Marley and dozens of others. This show will be available for viewing now through September 2nd before moving on to Spazio Don Chisciotte, in Turin, Italy from October 26th to December 24th.  More info on these shows is available at http://www.wallofsoundgallery.com/en/exhibitions.php

k) Proud Gallery (UK) is soon launching a show of photos by Michael Joseph that were taken during the 1968 photo sessions for the Rolling Stones’ controversial Beggar’s Banquet. Most of us will remeber the outrage seen when the record was ultimately released in December of that year (after being initially rejected by the record company and banned in some areas) with a cover shot by Barry Feinstein (design by Tom Wilkes) that featured a graffiti-covered bathroom wall. According to this recent release on PhotographyBlog.com, these photos – used on the inside of the gatefold sleeve – were ”shot on location at the Gothic studio of Sarum Chase, Hampstead and the derelict ruins of Swarkestone in Derbyshire.” These atmospheric images, elaborately staged and including real animals and the band participating in a Medieval feast (were any animals harmed in the making of these shots?), completed the package, and you’ll find a number of photos from these sessions on display (and for sale) during this show, which runs through the end of July.

http://www.photographyblog.com/news/beggars_banquet_photographs_by_michael_joseph/

More info on the show is available on the gallery’s site – https://www.proudonline.co.uk/exhibitions

l) The Fine Arts division of the UTA talent agency, launched in 2015, is participating in its first art fair by putting on a display of “rebel artists of the past 30 years”, lead by art by the late Nirvana songwriter/guitarist Kurt Cobain. Paintings by Cobain, including one used for the album cover for the band’s Insecticide collection, along with other works by Mike Kelley, Raymond Pettibon and others, will be shown during next month’s (Aug. 3rd thru 6th) Seattle Art Fair, with details on the upcoming show and, perhaps, a larger exhibition to come, covered in this recent article Eileen Kinsella on the ArtNet News site – https://news.artnet.com/market/kurt-cobain-artwork-to-get-star-treatment-at-seattle-art-fair-1009391?

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Over on The Undefeated site, Miss Rosen brings us an interesting interview with photographer Michael Lavine about his photo shoot in January, 1997, which resulted in the cover for Biggie Smalls/Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 record Life After Deathhttps://theundefeated.com/features/notorious-big-life-after-death-album-cover/

I always hesitate using the word “shot” when talking about a photo session and, in this case, it’s particularly germane as the subject of the photo was, in fact, shot to death a short time after the photo, which certainly seems prescient in hindsight, was taken at the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY. Lavine’s story about the entire project is an interesting-but-eerie read.

b) Century City News Pop Music and Film reporter Keith Chagall shares a recent interview with Henry Diltz re: the making of a number of different record covers, including those for Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Eagles, The Monkees, James Taylor and Mama Cass Elliott, who Diltz refers to fondly as the “Gertrude Stein of Laurel Canyon” – http://centurycityview.org/celluloid-picasso-of-laurel-canyon-p852-176.htm

c) While not specifically an article about an album artist, designer and partner in the well-respected Pentagram design agency Angus Hyland is featured in this recent video interview on the Design Week web site during which he shares the fact that his love of the work people did on the album covers he was exposed to during his childhood ultimately inspired his choice of careers – https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/15-21-may-2017/angus-hyland-record-sleeves-reason-ended-graphic-design/

The interview is presented as a part of the publication’s “Design Week at 30” series and was conducted by Aimée McLaughlin

d) While Sepultura’s guitarist Andreas Kisser was scouring the Web for inspiration for the band’s most-recent album release – a record titled Machine Massiah – he came across the work of Filipina visual artist Camille dela Rosa, whose paintings seemed to perfectly reflect the album’s concepts. Kisser then reached out through a representative of San Miguel Corporation (which sponsored the band’s show in Manila last year) and, as though it was Kismet, a deal was struck for the band to use dela Rosa’s painting (titled “Deux ex Machina” and inspired by her love and respect of the work of the late surrealist H.R. Giger) on the record’s cover. A former singer herself, Camille was known to local audiences after she had appeared on the long-running Ang TV youth-oriented variety series on ABS-CBN Filipino TV) before switching her career path to painting.

A recent article on the ABS-CBN site by Rick Olivares shares the exciting story of how this match made in Heaven all came about –

http://news.abs-cbn.com/life/05/16/17/ex-ang-tv-star-creates-album-cover-for-metal-band-sepultura

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) The most-recent Heritage Entertainment Auction (held in mid-June) included the original artwork presented by artist Alton Kelley as an alternate scheme for the 1970 Big Brother & The Holding Company Be A Brother LP, the band’s first record after singer Janis Joplin left for a solo career. The 14″ square item, made from a photo of the band placed on a board, with Kelley adding his signature design flourishes and lettering, was not sold during the auction and, if you hurry, you can still buy it for $500. https://entertainment.ha.com/itm/entertainment-and-music/big-brother-and-the-holding-company-alternate-original-artwork-by-alton-kelley-for-be-a-brother-columbia-c-30222/a/7161-89422.s?ic4=GalleryView-ShortDescription-071515

4) New Print/Book RELEASES –

Here are some quickie intros to several books hitting the market that should be of interest to album art fans –

a) The Austin, TX-based limited-edition art and music company Mondo has just released an interesting new package created in cooperation with the Z2 Comics company based on the score(composed by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) to the “musical noir graphic novel” Murder Ballads which comes complete with music, graphic novel and art prints – now THAT’s how to sell something unique and desirable to your fans! The set includes music (on colored vinyl), a 160-page book and three exclusive prints by artist Tyler Boss. Packaged in a clamshell box decorated with artwork by Jon Langford of The Mekons (did EVERY great musician go to Art School?), it is available for viewing (and purchasing – $200) on the Mondo site via this link – https://mondotees.com/products/murder-ballads-deluxe-graphic-novel-10-ep-mondo-exclusive

b) Photographer and art show curator Raj Prem is releasing a new career retrospective photo book, with the details available in this PR release I discovered on a site called Military Technologies.net (??) – http://www.military-technologies.net/2017/05/20/raj-prem-announces-he-will-publish-new-book-documenting-career-in-music-photography/

c) Malaysian artist Mustaffa Ahmad Hidzir, who goes by the name “Tapa”, has released a new book that contains 200 of his album cover projects in full color and showing again how works by world-renowned album artists such as Roger Dean and the team at Hipgnosis have influenced sleeve design all over the world. Titled 12 x 12, the book’s been published by Institut Terjemahan dan Buku Negara (ITBN). There had been a related exhibition in Kuala Lumpur which ended in early June, but you can read more about Tapa’s work via this article on the Star2.com site (an entertainment and lifestyle portal based in Malaysia) http://www.star2.com/culture/arts/2017/05/23/tapa-album-art-book/

d) While I don’t have a specific category for non-print/book releases, this will do – two new sets of sculptures being released by the talented artists at KnuckleBonz now allow fans to purchase statues of the members of KISS as they appeared in two of the best-known album cover images – KISS ALIVE! and Hotter Than Hell – Check out the product shots and details via the links – https://knucklebonz.com/product/kiss-alive-bundle/
KISS ALIVE! Rock Iconz Set

https://knucklebonz.com/product/kiss-hotter-than-hell-bundle/
KISS Hotter Than Hell Rock Iconz Set

Like all other products offered by the company, there are only 3000 of each statue made and are available as a set or individually. Each hand-painted statue is numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity on the base.

Clear off your bookshelves – KISS is coming….

5) Other articles of interest –

a) In support of their ongoing celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the release of the seminal Beatles album, the web team at Goldmine Magazine has posted an interactive Sgt. Pepper’s cover collage image that give you the details of every character on that cover – http://www.goldminemag.com/sgtpepper50/

b) Writing for The Guardian, music reporter Christina Lee offers up an article titled From Midnight Marauders to cute and cuddly: how rap cover art softened up where she presents her arguments that many of today’s hip-hop stars, including Lil’ Yachty, Big Baby DRAM and Drake, are chosing to toss the gun-toting, bitch-slapping “hyper-masculine” imagery so commonly found on the genre’s record covers and, instead, present us with pix of their kids, their puppies and their friends of all colors and lifestyles (which the author calls “cute and cuddly”). While there certainly are those who still feel the need to present fans with the more-traditional album art elements, it can’t be denied that there are many fans that welcome these occasional variations on the theme – https://amp.theguardian.com/music/2017/may/26/rap-cover-art-softened-lil-yachty

c) Sales of tattoo maven-turned-lifestyle brand Kat Von D’s line of makeup are being promoted by videos that re-create several attitude-filled album covers to help sell makeup – http://www.nylon.com/articles/nylon-album-covers-kat-von-d-june-july-2017 (includes video)

d) Here’s an important and interesting read for those of you who are working in the album cover art field and would like to know a bit more about how to protect yourself/your work (AKA “intellectual property”). Just like song compositions, album art can also be registered with the U.S. Library of Congress (AKA “the Copyright Office). And, just like song compositions, creators can retain the rights and license the work for use on record packaging (and merch). Yes, even if you do it for your best friend’s record.

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/05/29/musicians-protect-music-intellectual-property/id=83619/

e) The design work done by the design team at FilthyMedia for British DJ Audio’s new record called Beastmode is featured in Sarah Dawood’s recent article on the Design Week site – https://www.designweek.co.uk/inspiration/beastmode-album-cover-filthymedia/

f) For the History Channel’s web site, reporter Christopher Klein writes about five people who were supposed to be on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s who were, for a variety of reasons, removed from the final product – http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/5-historical-figures-erased-from-the-sgt-pepper-cover

No surprise – Adolf Hitler. But why no Elvis or Ghandi or Jesus Christ or actor Leo Gorcey (HooTF is Leo Gorcey)? You’ll just have to read it to find out…

g) Speaking of cut-outs (sorry, clever play on words unavoidable) – Tony Curtis’ cut-out included in the famous collage by Sir Peter Blake and friends was put up for auction at the June 17th Heritage Entertainment gathering and had expected to bring around $60K. It went unsold, but you can read more about that item and its history in Tom Derbyshire’s recent article on the Antiques Trade Gazette – https://www.antiquestradegazette.com/news/2017/tony-curtis-cut-out-from-sgt-peppers-album-cover-up-at-auction/

h) As we’ve seen in the press recently, there are factions within our society that thrive on conspiracy theories (“Bigfoot surgically removed my congressman’s frontal lobes”), so it only makes sense that there have been a series of Album Cover Art-based conspiracies over the years (“Paul Is Dead” and “Breakfast In America predicted 9/11” are the ones I remembered quickly). But wait, there are more, shared by Rachel Sharer (?) on the Listverse site – https://listverse.com/2017/06/13/top-10-bizarre-conspiracy-theories-about-album-cover-art/

i) Grammy Award-winning rapper 2 Chainz recently took album cover “re-creationing” to a whole new level via his purchase of a house on Howell Mill Road in Atlanta, GA, which he subsequently painted pink and tagged it with the word “TRAP”, creating a new neighborhood landmark that looks somewhat like the album cover art for his Pretty Girls Like Trap Music recording, released on Def Jam Records in June of this year.

Following up an earlier marketing stunt in which a local nail salon was redecorated in a similar fashion and where fans could get 2 Chainz song-themed nail treatments for free, this latest moved has been earning reactions in the press and from local businesses that range everywhere from kudos along the lines of “this was an act of marketing genius” to complaints from the neighbors about excessive traffic and loitering. Personally, I like anything that builds upon a record’s visuals and gives fans a chance to participate…read more about it in this article by Najja Parker on the Statesman.com site – http://www.statesman.com/news/national/chainz-creates-atlanta-latest-landmark/DsuAuVLVwlVuzgnYhqPC2O/

Over 500 people have posted photos of their visit to the TRAP house on the project’s Instagram site – https://www.instagram.com/thepinktraphouse/

j) Lastly but not leastly, here’s an article that I’m sure will make you toss your 4th of July cookies – we all know that there are celebrities that are famous merely due to their ability to market themselves, and not for any specific talents or displays of creativity, and nowhere is this more evident than in this sad display of Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s usurping other peoples’ album cover imagery and, after adding their own why do we see them so many times faces, putting the results on some t-shirts they’re trying to hawk. The Twitterverse has responded unkindly but, I’m certain we’ll see, that won’t stop adoring fans from snapping these products up (perhaps a copyright infringement suit will accomplish just that – go get ’em Tupac and Biggie!).

And this is “making America great again”, circa 2017. Sad.

http://ew.com/music/2017/06/29/kendall-kylie-jenner-music-t-shirts/

That’s all for now – be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.

All text and images included in this article are Copyright 2017 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Album Cover Artist and Art News Summary and Preview for the Months of May and June, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR JUNE, 2017.

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings to you all on this first day of June, 2017.

I’d like to first let you know about an important change I’m making in the delivery schedule for my album cover artist/art news bulletins. For the next several months, I’ll be reducing the frequency from weekly to monthly (plus timely news alerts) in order to be able to focus my almost-complete attention on my book project. As it was my plan to have the book completely written prior to the launch of my fund-raising efforts – with final design and editing to come based on the success of that fund-raising (i.e., the more $$ raised, the more pages I can include in the book) – it finally occurred to me that I was getting further and further behind and, at this point, I’m nearly a year past when I’d hoped to put this out.

This is simply unacceptable to me. I’d promised all of the fine people who’d contributed to the book’s content that I’d have it in my readers’ hands ASAP, so now, even if it means trimming my news coverage, I’m going to do everything I can to live up to those previous commitments.

Such is the life of a one-man operation.

I do appreciate all the support I’ve been given and continue to get from both contributors and my readers, and I will work hard to finish this project and get back to the important work of updating the ACHOF’s bio section, adding more interviews and producing a regular series of news updates.

And so, In this month’s summary, you’ll find both a robust recap of last month’s stories about the talented people working to produce great visuals for clients in the music business as well as several previews of what’s going to be on display/hitting the shelves next month. As always. you’ll find that the galleries, publishers, curators, etc. who support and promote these works continue on with their good work, and it’s my pleasure to be able to share the details about what they do with you and whoever you choose to share this information with. There continues to be an impressive number of items about album cover art/artists in the daily news cycle, adding stories of great interest and fascination to the month’s recap of the articles, interviews, museum and gallery show information you’ll find on a wide range of related topics.

Please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

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Interview with Taschen’s Julius Wiedemann about his newest book – Art Record Covers

Interview with Taschen’s Julius Wiedemann about his newest book –  Art Record Covers

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

March 8, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last month, I reported on the latest effort by the prolific album cover art book editor and author Julius Wiedemann of the famed Taschen publishing house, who had recently announced the details of a new book just released in the U.K. (with buyers in the U.S. having to wait patiently until later in February to get theirs) titled Art Record Covers that, according to the press announcement, “showcases an alphabetized collection of artists’ record covers from the 1950s to today. Highlighting the relationship between image-making and music production, the anthology presents 500 covers and records by visual artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Ed Ruscha and many more.”

The new book was assembled by “contemporary art and visual culture historian, writer and artist” Francesco Spampinato who, in addition to be an art professor at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, has authored two other recent books on design, including 2015’s Can You Hear Me? Music Labels by Visual Artists, published in 2015 by Onomatopee (Eindhoven, NL).

While some of you may recall that I’ve been working on a book based on the interviews I’ve done over the years with many of the best-known album art creators (due out later this year, I’m hoping), I am the first to admit that, as I’m not a trained art historian, I have always lobbied for the inclusion of album cover art/artists in the bigger ongoing discussion about the relationship between music and the visual arts, so it is inspiring to read books written by educators that further that conversation. Based on what I’d read and seen on this new book, I knew that I’d need to work to get a more-detailed look at the book and its contents, and the always-interesting Mr. Wiedemann was kind enough to work with me on a special feature for the ACHOF that I’m presenting to you today.

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Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of February, 2017

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUary, 2017

by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings from Chicagoland. It’s “awards season”, what with the Grammy Awards, BAFTAs, Writer’s Guild and Independent Spirit Awards and, to end the month with a bang,  the Oscars (followed, in a few months, by another flurry including the Billboard, Tony and BET Awards shows). I don’t know about you, but I’m growing a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of these shows and am somewhat confused as regards their relevance beyond the steady stream of production-related income enjoyed by the folks that stage them…Of course, people should be proud of what they do and want to praise the best examples of work within their respective fields of artistic endeavor, but I find it somewhat sad that some of the most-talented people – those working behinds the scenes, with their credits listed well-down from the top (you know, the part that’s sped through at an impossible-to-read pace during on-screen credit rolls) – are only mentioned in passing or, as we saw during the Oscar telecast, relegated to their own sparsely-attended and covered award ceremonies. Trust me, I understand why this is the case. I mean, who wouldn’t rather see a popular musician’s acceptance speech than hear from the recording engineer or the music video director (or the team that created the group’s logo and album cover), so that’s what sponsors and fans expect to see during an award show telecast. I guess that we fans of cover art can only take solace in the fact that you’ll probably see many more people wearing Dark Side of the Moon t-shirts than clothing emblazoned with a photo of Katy Perry thanking her fans, the label, her manager and her accountant for their support…

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Interview with Isle of Man PO’s Paul Ford on The Islands and Bridges Stamp Set by Roger Dean

Interview with Paul Ford, Stamps & Coins Coordinator, Isle of Man Post Office (UK) about the Islands & Bridges stamp set by Roger Dean

 

Roger Dean Islands and Bridges

by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

This past August, I reported on an art show that was taking place on the Isle of Man built around the works of artist Roger Dean.  With a portfolio that includes not only album cover imagery but (both alone and working with his talented brother Martyn) stage designs, architecture, calendars and a wide variety of merchandise, Dean’s fantastic work continues to impress fans with its ability to transport you to places beyond the imagination. He has worked in many different media, creating designs and illustrations for commercial and fine art customers, including several  architectural designs he’s done of dream-like living spaces and furnishings.

In addition to this show – titled Islands & Bridges – that ran through mid-November at the Manx Museum – a National Heritage organization on the U.K.’s Isle of Man – Dean’s works served as the basis for a collection of postage stamps produced by the Isle’s Postal Service, an organization that has gained a world-wide following of collectors who have been impressed with their previous series of collectibles, including specially-commissioned stamps featuring quintessential U.K. and Isle of Man subjects such as the works of the Aardman animation studio (Morph, Wallace & Gromit and Shaun The Sheep), artist Matt Sewell’s illustrations of birds and, of course, the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races.

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Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of December 2016

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, 2016

So, we’re done with 2016 – let us all heave a sigh of relief. What a year.

While I typically have a lot to say in these intros, I find myself somewhat shell-shocked and, therefore, at a loss for words, so I suppose that, rather than ramble on meaninglessly, I should simply relate what’s new and exciting in the world of album cover artistry. Whenever I’m in a funk, I trek on over to my favorite art museum and find something to inspire. Several days ago, my wife and I set out on a trip to the fabled Chicago Art Institute and, on the way, stopped at the impressive Chicago Cultural Center (a must-see for classic Chicago architecture fans) and, much to my surprise, found an excellent show of the works of Harlem-based abstract expressionist painter Norman Lewis on display (PROCESSION: The Art of Norman Lewis is on display until January 8th – https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/norman_lewis.html). Music – particularly, jazz – influenced a number of Lewis’ works (his brother Sol was a musician), and although he never did an album cover (at least, not to my knowing), it was uplifting to see such creativity and imagination on display that drew inspiration from the local music scene. And while Lewis didn’t garner the art world fame that many of his other WPA-era contemporaries did (Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, etc.), I am glad to have been able to discover his talents at this point in my life – it made me smile again.

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