Words by Lewis Noke Edwards
Album cover art has always been an extra layer of creativity or stress for bands.
There are some truly iconic album covers, some that provide a dichotomy to the music, others that complement and capture the essence of the album, while others take a quite literal direction (I’m looking at you, Pink Floyd Wall).
Because there is an added element of creativity, some artists decide to take this a step further, bringing in artists in their own right to put their stamp on the finished record. we have compiled 10 pieces of album cover art made by some world renowned artists.
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Banksy – Blur think tank
While Banksy’s identity remains anonymous, his contributions to the art world have certainly not gone unnoticed. Known for works like Love is in the air (Flower Thrower)and a collection of murals girl with balloonBanksy also sold a printed and framed version of girl with balloon before it was smashed inside the frame after the auction.
Banksy also did the album art for Blur. think tank. The album is loosely a concept album about “love and politics”, a contrast often portrayed in Banksy’s art.
think tank it is one of the only commercial jobs that Banksy has accepted, generally being against them in principle. In response to the criticism, Banksy said that he thinks it’s okay for him to work on “something you really believe in, making something commercial doesn’t make it shit just because it’s commercial.”
Damien Hirst – Red Hot Chili Peppers I’m with you
Damien Hirst is an artist and art collector who produced the artwork for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’m with you for release in 2011. Having dominated the English art scene throughout the 1990s, Hirst is also known for his formaldehyde sculptures, where animals plunge into a pool where time stands still.
This style does not stop reminding the I’m with you artwork, showing a fly sitting on a pink and white pill. At that time, the leader of the gang. antonio keidis he didn’t give too much prose to art having a specific meaning, saying, “It’s art. Iconic. We didn’t give it its meaning, but it’s clearly open to interpretation.”
The Pill harkens back to Hirst’s earlier drugstore-related work from the 1990s, as well as the obvious life-or-death, scientific themes present in his formaldehyde sculptures.
Andy Warhol – Nico and the Velvet Underground Velvet Underground and Nico
Arguably one of the most famous album covers ever, Andy Warhol created the now-famous banana artwork for a collaboration album between German singer Nico and The Velvet Underground.
Known for his pop art, Velvet Underground and NicoWarhol’s artwork is classic. Several versions are available, but always with Andy Warhol’s name signed, as well as a peelable version that reveals a pop-art pink banana beneath the yellow and black peel.
Andy Warhol – Rolling Stones sticky fingers
The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers was released in 1971, representing a return to form for the band. After a few years of experimentation, sticky fingers the songs are primarily composed by the four band members, rather than layers of additional production, percussion, and musicians.
Andy Warhol’s artwork for Sticky Fingers was originally complete with a zipper that opened to reveal the man’s underwear, and later prints featured only a photo of the closed zipper as the mechanism had damaged the vinyl sleeves and the discs themselves. They were also very expensive to produce and difficult to sell for the price.
Robert Mapplethorpe-Patti Smith Horses
Photography is a seemingly simple concept for album art, but few photos capture the essence of a record, the melancholy and pain of music like Robert Mapplethorpe’s album art photo. Horses.
Part of a series of photos, the artwork shows Smith in a white button-down shirt with suspenders and his jacket slung over his shoulder. The art couldn’t be more Robert Mapplethorpe, his style consisting almost exclusively of black-and-white photographs of celebrity portraits, male and female nudes, and still-life images. They all capture the essence of a moment in one way or another.
Jean-Paul Goude-Grace Jones discos
Jean-Paul Goude is, in a word, a creative. He is a graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, commercial filmmaker and event designer, and he took the now iconic photo of Grace Jones for her album. discos.
In contrast to the rest of the disco scene, dressed to the nines with jewelery, flashy outfits and over-the-top dancing, Grace Jones sported a dark suit against a beige background, the white of the cigarette peeking out, her angular body. Haircut to match the sharp shoulder pads and striking features of hers. Shot in 1981, Goude said, “I wanted to focus on her masculinity, to use what other people found shameful and turn it to her advantage.”
Mark Ryden – Tyler the Creator Wolf
Mark Ryden is known the world over for his contrasting pieces involving doll-like figures in hauntingly beautiful, dreamlike scenes. The style has been dubbed pop-surrealism, art pushing boundaries in a kind of augmented reality.
Ryden painted Tyler, The Creator for his album art Wolf. Tyler is depicted on a bicycle, sitting looking, open-mouthed, facing a lake. His hat shows his name. Wolf, and while it’s seemingly a simple scene, Tyler is surrounded by an eyeball on a tree trunk, a baby sprouting, and a teddy bear-like creature wandering behind him. Ryden’s work is immediately identifiable, and the Wolf the artwork is no different.
Roy Lichtenstein – Bobby “O” Cry for you
Roy Lichtenstein pioneered the pop art movement along with the likes of Andy Warhol. The irony and parody in his work is part of what made him famous, as is his use of the digital medium to create layering and depth of color.
Lichtenstein’s style is reminiscent of the comics, and this is particularly present in Bobby “O”‘s artwork. Cry for you. The artwork, used for the single and LP, depicted a woman with tears rolling down her cheek, the movement within the art implying that she is moving at high speed. There is also a variant version available, focused only on the eye, with tears falling on the frame around it.
Gerhard Richter – Sonic Youth dream nation
Departing from his usual color studies, German artist Gerhard Richter created the artwork for Sonic Youth. dream nation. Richter is known for his colorful creations, using different tools to scrape, smear and layer paint on himself, revealing shapes and depth, he named some of them simple terms like Abstract painting, abstract painting and abstract image.
Beyond his abstract work, Richter also created stunningly realistic paintings, Sonic Youth using Kerzé (“Candle“) for his 1988 album. Kerzé is an oil painting of a series of them by Richter.
Salvador Dali-Jackie Gleason lonely echo
Salvador Dalí’s work is instantly recognizable, his depictions of dreamlike scenes sharing depth and clarity in his painting.
This is shown on the cover of Jackie Gleeson’s 1955 album for lonely echo. Borrowing from his earlier works from the 1930s that explored depth and perspective, Dalí painted a desert landscape, the shadows lengthening at the end of the day. The lone walker offers perspective to both the butterfly totem and the rock depicted in the painting, while the lute appears to be about the size of a human.
Read on for Banksy’s shredded artwork here.