Tag Archives: art

My Poster Production.

When I was in medical school from 1962 to 1968, I was involved in the Students’ Union and somehow got into a group responsible for organising student dances. These were the heady days of Swinging London, Carnaby Street and all things psychedelic and together with Andrew Batch, I started producing posters for dances, balls and many just for fun. Heavily influenced by American west coast art I painted many posters for dances we called “Inflam” as well as for lectures to be held in the hospital. There were several notice boards around the Guy’s Hospital campus and therefore four posters were required for each event. Many copies disappeared but I managed to save at least one copy of many of the posters, which have followed me around for the last fifty-plus years. For the past seven years they have been languishing in my flat’s cellar storage.

In the past week I have been trying to go through all the detritus that I have collected over the years. Old diaries, out of date credit and membership cards, books and a few records that no longer deserve a place in my collection. However, the most space-consuming articles were my posters and prints, collected over many decades. I started to look through the large folder containing most of the posters I had painted between 1966 and 1968. I was astonished (and a bit proud) of my typography, produced at a time when fonts were not easily found, but had to be copied manually. I have thus far found over forty posters and many friends have been impressed by my handiwork. A couple of fellow students have had memories awakened by seeing them again after such a long time.

Inflam posters:
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Party & Dance posters:

Lectures and gatherings:

Plays:

Art Posters:

There are a few more that I might add later. But I was surprised to see that the majority of my artworks had survived more than fifty years of being ignored. There was one unfinished poster that I found and I decided to finish it — four hours of painstaking draftsmanship and it was done:

This poster is called Johanna’s Not Here. Reading the text may give a hint as to why it’s got that title.

I’ve put some of these posters on Facebook and several FB friends have suggest I arrange an exhibition of them. But I’ve no idea how to go about it. So they’ll have to stay exhibited here. Perhaps I’ll get around to painting some more in the near future.

Warhol’s Films on Record & CD covers.

Andy Warhol was an artist — both commercial and “fine”. But he was so much more beside. He was an author, film maker, photographer, publisher, business mogul, socialite, collector, hoarder and, not least, what today would be called an “influencer”.

All facets of his creativity are represented on the sixty plus record covers he produced during his lifetime and have been almost continuously produced since his death over thirty years ago. Warhol’s film career began with the film Sleep — a five hour and twenty minute monochrome, silent film — starring John Giorno (1936-2019) released in 1964. However, Warhol had already begun filming his Screen Tests a year earlier and by the end of 1966 had filmed over five hundred of these three minute studies, of which four hundred and seventy have survived. The subjects of these Screen Tests were Superstars, friends, sundry famous people, anonymous Factory visitors and associates. They were not intended as screen tests in the film industry meaning of the term. They were not auditions for parts in any of Warhol’s films. They were simply portraits of the sitter. They were simply arranged. Warhol placed his Bolex camera on a tripod, arranged the lighting and seated the sitter so that he or she would be filmed from the shoulders up usually in front of a light background. Such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Dennis Hopper, Salvador Dalí, Allen Ginsburg, Jim Rosenquist and Ivan Karp sat for Screen Tests, along side Factory Superstars such as Edie Sedgwick and Jane Holzer and Factory stalwarts Billy Linich (Billy Name), Gerard Malanga, Mary Woronov and Ondine (Robert Olivo). Of course musicians Nico, Lou Reed and John Cale all sat as did Ed Sanders and Rufus Collins. Steven Watson’s book Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties lists just sixty one of the people portrayed in Screen Tests, many filmed more than once.

While Warhol’s illustrations and commercial art grace the covers of records produced from his earliest days in New York in 1949 through to the early 1960s, in wasn’t until 1978 that a still from one of the Screen Tests appeared on a record cover. This was a still from Susanne de Maria’s screen test. Susanne de Maria Wilson married artist and musician Walter de Maria in 1960. Walter de Maria had joined John Cale, Lou Reed and Ton Conrad in a band called the Primitives, a name suggested by their record label, Pickwick. Susanne de Maria met artist Joseph Cornell in 1962 when she was working at the Museum of Modern Art and became his assistant until 1968. The record that used a still from her Screen test was by a band called Skyline and was a bootleg released on the Four Stars label in 1978. The cover image was identified by Raimund Floeck and Guy Minnebach from illustrations in Callie Angell’s Andy Warhol Screen Tests. The Films of Andy Warhol. Catalogue raisonné, Vol. 1.

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The original 1978 Skyline cover.

No further stills from any of Warhol’s films appeared on record or CD covers in Warhol’s lifetime. The next was John Cale’s Eat/Kiss–Music for the Films of Andy Warhol in 1997. The booklet used stills from both Eat and Kiss.

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The cover of John Cale’s Eat / Kiss CD with still from Kiss.

The following year, the band Hopewell released their CD Contact that used a still from Warhol’s Empire State film as its cover image.

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Hopewell’s 1998 CD Contact with still from 1964’s Empire film.

The latest release to feature stills from Screen Tests appeared in 2010 on a 7-inch sigle by Dean and Britta called I’ll Keep it With Mine / It Doesn’t Rain in Beverly Hills. This was released by The Warhol Museum in a limited edition of 500 numbered copies.

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Dean & Britta’s I’ll Keep It With Mine single cover.

 

The latest release to use stills from a Warhol film was also produced by The Warhol Museum. This was a limited edition double LP of 500 copies released in May 2019 titled Sound for Andy Warhol’s Kiss. The concert by ex Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon (vocals, guitars, harmonica) supported by Bill Nace (guitar, shruti box), Steve Gunn (guitar), and John Truscinski (percussion, electronics) was recorded live in The Warhol theater on August 1 and 2, 2018. The sound score was by Kim Gordon. The gatefold sleeve housed two LPs pressed on clear vinyl. The second disc was single-sided with a silkscreen still image from the film Kiss on the record’s B-side. There is also a booklet featuring work and essays from the Museum’s Kim Gordon: Lo-Fi Glamour exhibition which ran from (May 19 – September 1, 2019).

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The cover of Sound for Andy Warhol’s KISS double LP showing a still from the film.
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The rear cover for Sound for Andy Warhol’s KISS.
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Label Side A. Sound for Andy Warhol’s KISS.
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Label Side B. Sound for Andy Warhol’s KISS.
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Label Side C. Sound for Andy Warhol’s KISS.

Andy Warhol made hundreds of films (if you choose to include each of his Screen Tests). You can find an exhaustive list on Wikipedia. Chelsea Girls is probably the best known and most often shown. However, only Sleep, Eat, Empire and Kiss and a single Screen Test have been remembered on record and CD covers. And, with the exception of the last of these, all long after Warhol’s death.

These five recordings are the only ones I have been able to identify that use images from Warhol’s films — probably one area of Andy Warhol’s productions that has recently been reevaluated.

A “New” Record Cover by Jann Haworth.

When I was preparing an exhibition of Peter Blake’s record cover art at Piteå Museum in northern Sweden in 2009, I realised that Peter Blake had all but taken over responsibility for the design of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. I wondered how his ex-wife and co-designer Jann Haworth felt about this and contacted her and we began a correspondence. She acknowledged that she has been marginalised. In 2017 the BBC published an interview with her entitled Jann Haworth: The forgotten creator of the Sgt. Pepper cover. we discussed the inequalities that appeared in retrospect about the characters featured on the cover. Why were there so few people representing ethnic minorities, so few women? Obviously, the cover was a product of its time and these questions were only being formulated in the sixties. Jann, now living in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A., has since tried to address this and has produced a large mural called SLC Pepper.

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Jann Haworth in front of her mural in Salt Lake City.

Haworth has also produced a seven-panel womens’ mural that has been shown in various locations around the world.

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Jann Haworth’s Womens mural on seven panels.

During a more recent exchange of emails, Jann told me she had been searching for news of Joe Ephgrave, the artist who painted the Sgt. Pepper drum. He had been a friend of hers and Jann had one of his paintings, of a tiger, on her wall back in the sixties. I asked Jann if she had designed any other covers after the Sgt. Pepper cover. She had not done any covers for real records but in 2017 had taken Joe’s tiger design and produced a painting in the form of a record sleeve.

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Jann Haworth’s 2017 record cover design.

She had made two copies, one in Salt Lake City and the other in Denver, Colorado. And, realising I wouldn’t be able to get one of these, I decided to make my own. First I downloaded the cover picture and sized it in Photoshop and printed it on supersized A3 paper. Then using graphite paper traced the design onto a sheet of wellpap.

Then using acrylic paints I finished my version of the cover picture. However, I had a problem with the record label, which proved much more difficult to copy accurately. I mentioned this to Jann and she kindly helped me by mailing me the design.

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Jann’s mail with the design of the record label.

This saved me an enormous amount of work! making the wellpap “record” took some time and then calculating the size of the label was tricky. Finally, my copy was ready.

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My recreation of Jann Haworth’s Tiger cover.

This “artwork” is an homage to both Jann Haworth and to Joe Ephgrave. Perhaps not as professional as Jann’s original, but made with gratitude and in the knowledge that it’s unique.

Banksy, Blake, Voormann Additions to My Collection.

Here I go again! I regularly boast that I have complete collections of Banksy’s, Peter Blake’s and Klaus Voormann’s record covers (well, I usually admit to lacking one Klaus Voormann cover, but still) only to find out that none of these boasts is true.

I recently found the cover to an unreleased 7″ single version of DJ DangerMouse’s “Keep It Real” cover (you can read about it in an earlier blog post). Now it seems there are a couple of other Banksy covers that I had previously never heard of. I’m not going to say more at the moment, but you can be sure that I shall return to this subject in due time.

My blog posts on the latest record cover art by Peter Blake have only mentioned the various vinyl, CD and cassette versions of The Who’s latest album “WHO“. I had bought two limited edition issues of the album: the 45 rpm double LP version with extra single-sided 10” single “Sand” sold via The Who Store and the HMV “Nipper1” double LP. A mate in Liverpool popped in to see Sir Peter while on a recent visit to London and got him to sign both the 45 rpm and HMV covers for me as well as a copy of the reissued “Stanley Road” album (signed previously by Paul Weller himself.)

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Then I saw an ad for Dr. John Cooper Clarke’s 2018 book and CD “The Luckiest Guy Alive” whith its cover portrait of Cooper Clarke by Peter Blake and Blake’s classic alphabet tiles for the album title and artist’s name.

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The cover of John Cooper Clarke’s CD “The Luckiest Guy Alive”.

So, naturally, I ordered a copy of the book and CD. I wonder if my Peter Blake collection is complete now?

Then I saw an ad for The Blues Band’s album “Itchy Feet” that stated that the cover was designed by Klaus Voormann. I immediately went through my Klaus Voormann collection only to find that I had missed this album (though I had bought the other two Blues Band albums when they came out, and even seen the band live.)

fullsizeoutput_6569While going through the Voormann albums, I noticed that my copy of Gary Wright’s “Extractions” LP was in less than mint condition. It is a U.S. promo copy with a large cut-out hole through the top right corner of the cover, so I looked on Discogs for a better copy and saw that the U.K. original was released in a six panel poster cover that I had never seen.

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The six-panel poster cover for Gary Wright’s “Extractions” LP.

So I ordered both the “Itchy Feet” and the “Extractions” records to “complete” my Klaus Voormann collection even though I’m still missing at least one of his covers. I was lucky that the “Itchy Feet” LP was one of the limited edition pressings that included the large poster of the band in action.

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The poster from the “Itchy Feet” album.

I have to say that I feel I’m nearer to having complete collections of these three cover artists. I’ll just have to keep a lookout to see if I find further missing covers.

 

Robert del Naja (3D) and Massive attack.

I had heard of Robert del Naja in my research into the roots of Banksy‘s art and learnt that del Naja–alias 3D–was a leading figure in Bristolian street art long before Banksy started decorating Bristol’s streets. Banksy has acknowledged 3D as a major influence. I knew also that del Naja was a member of Massive Attack. Del Naja has even been suspected of actually being Banksy. despite Banksy‘s ex-agent Steve Lazarides stating that he had seen Banksy at a Massive Attack gig.

I got hold of Robert del Naja‘s book “3D and the Art of Massive Attack” last autumn and wrote a post about it last October. A couple of months ago I bought a copy of Massive Attack‘s “Heligoland”–the limited edition version from The Vinyl Factory, with its spangly cover.

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Massive Attack’s “Heligoland package with 2 LPs, CD & booklet.

I then saw a copy of The Vinyl Factory’s limited edition (1000 copies) of Massive Attack‘s “Atlas Air” 12″ offered together with a copy of Very Nearly Almost (VNA) magazine No. 26 which featured an article on 3D for the amazing sum of £300! And the VNA magazine was the regular version, not the limited edition one. I picked up a copy of VNA no. 26 for the princely sum of £15!

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The standard shop version of VNA Magazine No. 26.

and decided that I would try to get the “Atlas Air” and “Splitting the Atom” 12″-ers too. I was lucky enough to find a seller in Germany who could supply both! They arrived a couple of days ago and I’m really pleased I got them. The cover art is magnificent.

I decided that I would buy the limited edition of “3D and the Art of Massive Attack“, too. Said and done! My copy was number 149/350 and includes a print by 3D (from a run of 1325 copies, an expanded version of the ordinary book called “Protection” and, not least a single sided 12″ entitled “Vermona“–which is only available in this box set.

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The box set of “3D and the Art of Massive Attack”.

The cover of the book of 3D‘s art and the print (on hardboard) and the “Vermona” single sided 12″ with 3D‘s etching on the reverse.

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The standard version of the book (left) and the limited edition, numbered version (right).

I’m waiting for the remastered reissue of “Mezzanine“, Massive Attack‘s magnificent 1998 album. A special 3 LP version with coloured vinyl will be released in late January 2019 to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The stag beetle cover photo is by Nick Knight and the remastered vinyl package will come in a heat-sensitive box with more photos by Knight and 3D.

Karin “Mamma” Andersson’s art on record covers.

A couple of years ago (July 2014, to be exact) I posted that I had found a record cover using a painting by internationally renowned painter Karin “Mamma” Andersson. The limited edition (1000 copies) EP by Mattias Alkberg called “Epitafium” was released for Record Store Day 2014. It comes in a poster sleeve with art by Mamma Andersson. It initially proved difficult to find, but now there are copies available on line at reasonable prices. Since then I have found a few more covers that use her art.

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Karin “Mamma” Andersson’s painting as a cover poster for Mattias Alkberg’s “Epitafium” EP.

Not long after I had managed to get hold of the “Epitafium” EP, I found out that Mattias Alkberg has released another limited edition featuring Karin “Mamma” Andersson‘s art on its cover. This time it was a limited edition, blue vinyl, 7-inch EP entitled “Skända flaggan” (which means “insult/deface the flag”).

The “Skända flaggan” EP had two different Mamma Andersson paintings on front and rear covers. Well, I thought I had found all covers featuring her art until I received my copy of the wonderful “Art Record Covers” book by Francesco Spampinato (edited by Julius Wiedemann).

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Art Record Covers by Francesco Spampinato.

In the book, Spampinato pictures the covers of two limited edition 12″ singles by Beck with cover art by Mamma Andersson. These are “Defriended” and “I Won’t Be Long“. Apparently they were released in 2013 and only available through Beck‘s website and sold out completely. A Discogs search showed me that there was even a third Beck 12″ with a different Karin Andersson painting on the cover. This was a double 12″ called “Gimme“. All three 12-inchers were readily available, though I suppose considerably more expensive than originally.
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So now I wonder if there are any more records with Karin”Mamma” Andersson’s art on their covers.

More on the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” cover

Andy Warhol produced the “Giant Size $1.57  Each” sleeve in five variations with the help of Billy Klüver, who had recorded the interviews with the artists involved in the “Popular Images” exhibition at the (now defunkt) Washington Gallery of Modern Art that ran from 18th April until 2nd June, 1963. The exact history is not known. A first edition of 75 sleeves with black image screened directly onto the coated stock record sleeve, each signed and numbered on verso was produced in 1963. He could even have printed the coloured covers at the same time or, having saved the screen, made them in 1971. Editions of 75 copies each, silkscreening the black “Giant Size” image onto sleeves that he had first spray painted. There were yellow, green, red and orange editions. These were sold in 1971.

Many covers have included the record from the “Popular Images” exhibition, possibly because Billy Klüver had a stock of the LPs. The record, comprising interviews with all eleven artists whose works were shown at the exhibition was recorded by Billy Klüver and originally came in a cover designed by Jim Dine. It seems, however, that the “Giant Size” cover was not shown at the exhibition.

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Copies of the cover with or without the record have changed hands for anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000, making them unattainable for most collectors of Andy Warhol’s record sleeve art.

However, the technique should be easy to replicate and the “Giant Size $1.57  Each” image is easy to find and reproduce. All that is needed is the right materials. Sufficient 12-inch record sleeves, spray paints, a silk screen and emulsion for transferring the image from overhead film to the screen. Then acrylic paint to screen the image onto the pre-prepared covers.

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So, having foraged for all the materials I set to work and spent 2 1/2 hours spraypainting record sleeves in the four colours.

GiantSize_RedUntil all four colours were sprayed.

I had put my name down to go a silkscreen course and was one of six “pupils” to participate on the weekend of October 12-13th. I intended to make ten sets of five covers and silkscreen the “Giant Size $1.57  Each” design onto two T-shirts.

The silkscreen with the "Giant Size $1.57  Each" image in reverse together with the overhead from which the image was taken.
The silkscreen with the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” image in reverse together with the overhead from which the image was taken.

Then I got down to silkscreening the covers, beginning with the yellow ones. Orange, green and red covers followed and finally, when had learned the technique better, I screened the white, unsprayed sleeves. I had ordered 50 covers – so no room for error. Unfortunately there were a few poor screens so I will need more covers to complete the ten sets I had planned.

The five members of our informal Warhol Cover Collectors Club have contributed to the production of these covers and will each receive a set of all five colours,

Silkscreening the first cover.
Silkscreening the first cover.

The first yellow sleeves screened.
The first yellow sleeves screened.

One set of five screened sleeves.
One set of five screened sleeves.