I keep trying to be creative, and not only in the record cover collecting field. Last summer I went on another silkscreen course and though I didn’t manage to get as much done as I had hoped, I still did produce a few nice things.
I printed a number of teeshirts and five new sets of Andy Warhol’s and Billy Klüver’s famous Giant Size $1.57 Each record covers. This involved first spray painting the record covers (white, yellow, red, green and orange — the same colours Warhol/Klüver used on the originals) and then screenprinting the Giant Size $1.57 Each text on top. I did 25 covers in all!
I also printed a number of teeshirts with the same design, but this time in gold.
A bit later, I got Urban, my friendly neighbourhood printer, to print replica record labels that I could stick onto some LPs that I sourced from the record store that I sold my collection to a few years ago. They had loads of records that were unsellable and that they were glad to get rid of!
At he same silkscreen course, I printed two pictures using the same Giant Size stencil. These turned out so well that Anette, our course leader, wanted me to print her a tote bag with the design in gold.
But the things I was most pleased with were two large-scale prints 100 x 50 cms that I decided to frame and submit for consideration for inclusion in Liljevalch’s 2023 Spring Salong. Unfortunately they weren’t accepted but I’m pleased I tried.
Latterly, I’ve gone back to painting. Anyone who has followed this blog may have read about my collection of sixties Bill Graham Fillmore Autitorium and Avalon Ballroom handbills. The original posters are now fetching large sums at auction and I always wanted Wes Wilson’s The Sound poster from 1966. Knowing I couldn’t afford an original, I reckoned the next best thing woud be to paint a reproduction… Note: not a forgery, a reproduction.
There are many instances of artists appropriating the work of others, ranging from Elaine Sturtevant, who in the sixties reproduced several of Andy Warhol’s paintings to Ulf Linde, who reproduced Marcel Duchamp’s readymades and which are on permanent display at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet (Linde even got Duchamp to sign the reproductions!) He made further copies (I mean reproductions) fifteen years after Duchamp’s death, but then had his widow sign them! Another celebrated case of reproductions is the Brillo Boxes ordered by Pontus Hultén for an exhibition that were made in Malmö, Sweden, and many were later sold as original Warhol Brillo Boxes. The fact that Hultén had commissioned them only came to light six months after his death in 2006.
So now I decided to paint myself a copy/reproduction of Wes Wilson’s magnificent poster as near full size as possible (acrylic on paper) . And here is the result.
I got inspired by how well this turned out and a friend posted a picture of Banksy’s 2004 I Fought the Law and I Won print. I have two record covers that had travestied this design — The Promise’s 2002 album Believer and the test pressing for Embalming Theatre’s and Tersanjung XIII’s split EP called Mommy Died – Mummified / Hellnoise — and I decided to reproduce Banksy’s original. I did a black and white version and then saw that one of the big auction houses was selling a red/orange version. So I decided to paint that one too.
Then I looked for something perhaps more complicated to paint and I saw the cover of the band UFO’s 1979 album Strangers in the Night and decided to give it a go. However, I though the dots might prove tricky.
My latest painting, completed only yesterday, is the front cover of The Clash’s eponymous first album with photography by Kate Simon.
Painting these record sleeves makes a great addition to my collection of record cover art. I really feel like painting some more. I thought I might try Kraftwerk’s Die Mensche-Maschine cover. A given for anyone, like me, who likes typography. We’ll see if it materialises.