I, like so many teenagers of my generation, spent hours looking at album covers. There’s something magical about seeing art in an album format.
Album covers are designed to be interesting but a few are awe inspiring.
Like this one from “Wish you were Here” The Pink Floyd Classic.
I love the matter of fact hand shaking, the man on the left oblivious to the distress experienced by the man on the right. A simple yet profound statement on the superficiality of social behaviour!
Last week I was privileged to go to a preview of an exhibition “For the love of vinyl” at Yellow Kite Gallery in Buckingham. The artworks of Storm Thorgerson. I was not familiar with the name until I heard about the preview, but as soon as I walked in I realised, I know his work very well. On entering, I was greeted by 2 walls of album covers. It was easier to count the images I didn’t know than the ones I knew. All among my favourites.
Then there were the prints themselves. Larger versions of the familiar images. Mostly photographic reproductions, limited editions but a few silk screen prints. Spanning a period of around 40 years. His surreal photographic style is achieved as much as possible in one photographic take. Although some images require photographic editing like his Biffy Clyro album cover here.
Aside from the “Wish you were here“ image, this next one is probably my favourite! It reminds me of Steam Punk, although done much earlier, perhaps the inspiration for the genre?
Then again there are the people on tall poles, the giant ball of scrap metal… Soo much choice, I was like a kid in a sweetie shop! It’s the first time I’ve been to an exhibition where I really wanted to buy lots of art. Occasionally I want to buy one, although I admire many, but to want to buy several is rare.
It’s more than pure nostalgia. There’s an ingenuity and lateral thinking to his images, the surrealist qualities which grabs my attention.
Art history and appreciation was always something I struggled with at A level. In the arrogance of youth, I didn’t feel I was influenced by any historical artist or style. How could I be, they didn’t move me! But album art spoke volumes! Literally in some cases.
Over the intervening years I’ve worked to change this attitude to art history through self-education. But, maybe the reason for this lack of emotional connection was it was the wrong type of art I was being asked to appreciate. Let me rephrase that, I’ve learnt to appreciate the work of other artists but these works evoke a passion. In other words, they influenced me!
Now, do you think I can persuade Andrew to increase the mortgage on the house so I can buy a limited edition silk screen print of the burning man?!
What about you, are you familiar with his work?
Which image would you choose? Let me know in the comments!