ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR NOVEMBER.
BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM
Let me be straight with you – with both the upcoming mid-term election here in the U.S. and this year’s nominating/voting process for the Album Cover Hall of Fame Class of 2018 dominating my time, I really have only had the chance to gather a small selection of album cover artist/art-related news tidbits for you (and I’m even late doing that) so, without any further delay, here are those highlights, for your weekend reading pleasure (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) Southport Galleries in Fairfield, CT is hosting a new solo exhibition built around the works of noted rock photographer Jay Blakesberg. The show, curated by Fairfield University art historian Dr.Philip Eliasoph, is titled “Chasing Splintered Sunlight: The Rock & Roll Photography of Jay Blakesberg”, launched last Sunday, October 28th and runs through December 1st.
b) Famed designer Jamie Reid’s work is the basis of a new show called Jamie Reid XXXXX – 50 Years of Subversion and Spirit which opened in mid-October at the Humbert Street Gallery in Hull, UK (HU1 1TU) and is scheduled to run through the 6th of January, 2019. From his early efforts publishing the Suburban Press in the early 1970s, through his renowned work for the Sex Pistols to more recent works, the show includes (according to the gallery’s site) “collage work, drawings, paintings, prints, poster editions and photographs, demonstrating Reid’s witty delivery and continued dedication in making a statement through art.” More info on this show can be found at http://www.humberstreetgallery.co.uk/exhibition/jamie-reid-xxxxx-fifty-years-subversion-spirit/
c) Fresh on the heels of his hugely-impressive Album Art sale that served to feed the desires – and upgrade the collections – of collectors all over the world who toured the show and brought home some of its treasures, the team at the San Francisco Art Exchange will launch a new show called The Art of Hipgnosis: Inventors of the Dramatic Album Cover on Saturday, November 10th with a reception at the gallery beginning at 7PM local time. Of special note to fans of the Hipgnosis design studio will be the appearance of respected designer/film-maker and past-curator of the hit 2017 Pink Floyd exhibition (Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains) at the V&A Museum in London, artist Aubrey Powell.
Per the gallery’s advance press, “on display will be over 70 works of art from the Hipgnosis catalog including limited edition prints & photographs, originals, and objects. Included will be many of their most powerful and dramatic designs including works for bands like 10cc, AC/DC, Pretty Things, The Police, UFO, Yes, The Scorpions, Styx, and many more!”
Continuing with some additional details, the gallery notes that “also featured will be a number of never-before-seen photographs made in the process of creating album covers for The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney & Wings, The Who, Syd Barrett, and Peter Gabriel. These include candid and studio portraits, live performance shots, and several well known album cover outtakes.”
More information on this event, along with a way to request a PDF catalog of the show, can be found at http://www.sfae.com/index.php?pg=400166
d) On display now through November 24th at the Fahey/Klein Gallery on LeBrea Blvd in Los Angeles is something that will be of great interest to fans of the photographic and graphic design arts. Those fitting that description are in for a treat with a new show called “Janette Beckman, The Mash Up”, which is built around a series of prints “conceived and curated” by former Def Jam Records creative director Cey Adams that feature portraits of many of the best-known hip-hop artists taken by the famed British (but now based in NYC) shooter Janette Beckman that have been “enhanced” via the artistic efforts of such renowned graffiti artists as Crash, Futura, Lady Pink, Queen Andrea, Revolt & Zephyr. Now, how cool is that?
In addition to these unique and creative prints, the gallery will also have a nice selection of photos from Ms. Beckman’s impressive portfolio – one which includes album cover photos for some of the top post-punk musical acts from Britain (The Police, Squeeze, Arthur Russell and others) and the pioneers of hip-hop and rap music, including Gang Starr, Grandmaster Flash and Salt-N-Pepa, among many others. The limited-edition prints of photos from this show and book were lovingly and expertly crafted by the team at Gary Lichtenstein Editions in NJ, who’ve published works by both artists previously.
The show opened on October 11th with a reception at the gallery, where Ms. Beckman was on hand to sign copies of the new 220-page book that’s being released in conjunction with this show.
More info is available on the gallery’s site at http://www.faheykleingallery.com/exhibitions/janette-beckman
e) Photographer Brian Griffin’s SPUD! photo exhibition continues its conquest of The Continent as the show moved in late October to a new venue in London, where it will remain on display until December 8th. You’ll now find Brian’s work at the MMX GALLERY (448 New Cross Road London SE146TY) where it’s on view Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 12 – 6pm and Saturday: 12 – 5pm (closed Sunday & Public Holidays).
Related event include one this Saturday, November 3rd beginning at 2:30PM local time at the gallery, where Brian will be on hand and in conversation with curator/photography expert Zelda Cheatle. Tickets are £7 and include complementary refreshments.
More information and booking via Eventbrite here
Then, on Tuesday, December 4th, the Horse Hospital Arts Venue in Bloomsbury, London will be the site of a screening of the two films – The Surreal Lives of Brian Griffin by Michael Prince & a short film by Brian Griffin. Doors open 7pm and the screening starts at 7.30pm, with more info and tickets available via this link – https://www.thehorsehospital.com/events/the-surreal-lives-of-brian-griffin
f) While a previous update provided the details of “The Velvet Underground Experience” multi-media extravaganza currently on display in the NYC area (on display Tuesdays through Sundays – closed Mondays – until December 30th at 718 Broadway in Greenwich Village, with $25 gen’l admission/$50 VIP tickets), there’s a related event scheduled to soon take place that I thought you might enjoy. Noted author Anthony DeCurtis, whose extensive interviews and conversations with Lou Reed just prior to his death now serve as the basis of his new book Lou Reed: A Life, will be on hand at a special event taking place at the show venue on Election Day, November 6th, and again at the Yorkville Library on East 79th Street in NYC on Monday, November 26th from 5:30pm – 6:30pm.
According to the pre-event press release, DeCurtis will be the tour guide as you “travel deep into his defiantly subterranean world, enter the studio as the Velvet Underground record their groundbreaking work, and revel in Reed’s relationships with such legendary figures as Andy Warhol, David Bowie, and Laurie Anderson. Gritty, intimate, and unflinching, Lou Reed is an illuminating tribute to one of the most incendiary artists of our time.”
g) Themed exhibitions are one great way to exemplify how music-related artwork can help illustrate Pop Culture themes, and it’s always a fascinating display when you see groupings of album covers that contain similar subject material. One example I saw recently was in the window of the Concerto record emporium in Amsterdam, where they just assembled a store window full of albums with eyeballs on the cover (replacing an assemblage of covers showing mushroom clouds).
On a related note, I received notice that, in Los Angeles, the Mr Musichead gallery is hosting a themed exhibition called The Smoking Series which features, per the gallery’s promo email, “an outrageous collection of original artworks by Michi Broussard and limited edition photographs from the Mr Musichead Archive depicting music legends looking oh so cool…”
The exhibition runs through November 7, 2018, with more at https://www.mrmusichead.com/events/2018/10/25/musicians-the-smoking-series-michi-broussard-opening-reception
2) Artist interviews/profile articles –
a) 53 years after taking his first photos of Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – famous for being the show during which he dared to perform with electric guitars and amplification, causing a near-riot by the “purists” in the crowd – photographer Jerry Schatzberg is releasing a new book of photos – accompanied by anecdotes about the making of these shots – that’s titled Dylan By Schatzberg. The 91-year-old photographer was responsible for the memorable cover image for Dylan’s 1966 record Blonde On Blonde (as well as covers for Frank Zappa, Aretha Franklin, Sonny & Cher and many others) and was there during many of the Bard From Minnesota’s recording sessions and public performances, so the time spent going through the hundreds of photos in his archives unleashed many detailed memories, some of which are touched upon in this recent article (and brief video interview) by Regina Graham for the UK’s Daily Mail – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6218905/Bob-Dylans-Blonde-Blonde-album-cover-photographer-Jerry-Schatzberg-unseen-photos.html
The 262-page tome, featuring nearly 200 photos, will go on sale on October 25th, with the book’s publisher (ACC Art Books in NYC) now accepting pre-orders on their site at https://www.accartbooks.com/us/store/pv/9781851498932/dylan-by-schatzberg/jerry-schatzberg/
Related article with JS talking about the photo used on the cover of Blonde On Blonde – https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/bob-dylans-blonde-on-blonde-cover-was-an-accident-had-nothing-to-do-with-drugs-says-photographer
3) Sales/Auctions –
a) Taking advantage of the upcoming premiere of the new Queen movie (Bohemian Rhapsody, premiering today), the folks at St. Paul’s Gallery in the UK are offering music/art fans the opportunity to buy one of their Queen hand-signed (i.e., signed by Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor) limited-edition art works. Print titles include A Day At The Races, A Night At The Opera, News Of The World and Jazz, with each print from an edition of only 195 total world-wide. As the owner of a News Of The World print (featuring the memorable artwork by the late famed illustrator Frank Kelly Freas), I can personally attest to the beauty of these items – http://www.stpaulsgallery.com/prodtype.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=304&numRecordPosition=1
4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –
a) Photographer Glen Wexler is well-known for his intimate portraits of folks from the entertainment world, and you’ve seen his work on album covers for musical acts ranging from Rush to Van Halen to Black Sabbath to Chaka Khan (and scores more), so it’s no surprise that the new Kickstarter campaign he’s announced for a new book he’s calling The ’80s Portrait Sessions – raising 30% of its goal on the first day! –is sure to raise the money needed to go to press. According to Glen,” I’m thrilled to be working with Andy Burgess and Dark Spring Press on The ’80s Portrait Sessions. The collaboration provided the opportunity to produce this book exactly as envisioned with exquisite quality and attention to detail. It’s been rewarding to have an objective and astute sounding board to strike the balance between pop culture and the art world…To top it off, I’m humbled and honored that Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top wrote the book’s foreword. There are a number of musicians I could have asked, but I think Billy is a perfect representation of the importance of style and image emerging from the decade.”
The finished book will be a 12×12” case bound tome with dust jacket. Glen and his publisher have turned to Kickstarter to raise the money so that they can utilize the superb tri-tone printing process and print the book on premium heavyweight paper, with gloss spot varnish on each photo for additional contrast and depth. The book will be 132 pages and include over 60 images. An $80 retail value for the book alone, the promotion is set with beginning pledge amounts for a signed copy at $50, while pledges at higher levels will award supporters with limited-edition prints of various sizes of a number of Glen’s better-known portraits, including those of Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, ZZ Top, Michael Jackson, Bob Weir and many others, while a single $10K “Platinum Contributor” will receive a signed, limited edition deluxe book package (copy 1 of 100), a signed standard edition book, signed poster, 4 signed 24×24 inch limited edition prints, 1 signed limited edition 36×36 print (some images not available), your name in the book and invitations to all book release and gallery showings worldwide (value = priceless, although travel and accommodations are not included).Follow the link and reserve one for yourself today (the project closes on Monday, December 3rd) – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/glenwexler/the-80s-portrait-sessions
5) Other articles of interest –
a) At “Artisan Awards” ceremonies held at The Art Gallery of New South Wales on October 11th that precede the full ceremonies to be held at The Star Event Centre in Sydney on Wednesday, November 28th, the winning album covers for the 2018 Australian ARIA Awards were announced, with Aboriginal singer Dr. G Yunupingu’s hot-selling debut record Gurrumul Djarimirri: Child of the Rainbow winning the award for Best Cover Art, beating out other nominated designs for records from Tash Sultana, Good Mood, The Presets and Amy Shark – https://www.ariaawards.com.au/nominees/2018/Artisan-Awards/Best-Cover-Art .
The full ARIA Awards Ceremony will be broadcast around Australia on the Nine Network and will be hosted by Keith Urban.
b) The folks at Art Vinyl, as part of “National Album Day” in the U.K. (celebrating the 70th anniversary of the release of the vinyl LP, invite you to enjoy some of the best record sleeve designs and vote for your three favorites. Joining previous winners of the Best Art Vinyl Award competitions are 53 additional designs representing “one great piece of record art for each year starting with 1949.”
Top vote-getters will be announced on November 20th, so be sure to vote (yes, again!) for the most-deserving images at https://www.artvinyl.com/best-record-cover-design-competition/
c) Sad to report the passing of artist Boyd Elder, the man responsible for the album cover imagery for one of the best-selling albums of all time – Eagles: Their Greatest Hits. News of the Valentine, TX-based artist’s passing was shared on his daughter Shauna Elder’s Facebook page on October 6th. He was 74 years old. A Texas native, Elder received his art training at the renowned Chouinard Art Institute (later known as the California Institute of the Arts, with other famous alumni including Ed Ruscha, S. Neil Fujita, designer Bob Mackie and cartoonist Chuck Jones) and, staying on in So. Ca. after completing his schooling, met many of the then-emerging musical acts that played the clubs on the Sunset Strip in LA and, in 1975, was hired to come up with the cover for the Eagle’s One Of These Nights, on which he featured a decorated and painted wild steer skull. The symbol would become one of the band’s best-known icons.
Read more in this article posted on 93.5 FM Marfa Public Radio’s site – https://marfapublicradio.org/blog/valentines-boyd-elder-has-died-at-age-74/
d) This month’s collection of Sound and Vision articles – which provide in-depth details of the stories behind some of your favorite album art – offered to us by Eben Bensen and the nice people at Juxtapoz Magazine includes quite the range of music/art of both recent and historical vintages. Managing Editor Eben Bensen has continued to impress with his weekly selections, with the most-recent articles summarized below:
– In support of this year’s Halloween celebrations, let’s learn more about everyone’s favorite skull fiend, courtesy of our friends in The Misfits – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-misfits-horror-business/
– Keeping with the spooky masks theme, this story is about Eric Coleman’s “man in the iron mask”-derived photo found on the cover of MF DOOM’s 2004 record Madvilliany – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-madvillainy-with-cover-photography-by-eric-coleman/
– When I first saw artist/designer/musician Robert Beatty’s art for Tame Impala’s 2015 release Currents, I was reminded of the ultra-cool airbrush art made by the late “master of the airbrush” Peter Lloyd – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/design/sound-and-vision-tame-impala-s-currents/ you can find more of his portfolio on his website at https://robertbeattyart.com/
That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.
TO THOSE READERS LIVING IN THE U.S.A. – PLEASE VOTE ON NOVEMBER 6TH – YOUR RIGHTS, AND OUR DEMOCRACY, DEPEND ON IT!
Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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.