The Art of the Album – Presented by Real World and Hypergallery
The Album Art Exhibition will be held at Oxo, Oxo Tower, South Bank, London. November 18th 2010 – January 9th 2011, 11am – 6pm daily (4pm Christmas Eve and New Years Eve).
This unique exhibition features something for everyone; from investments in hand signed fine art prints to post cards, and from posters to books to handmade one-offs… all inspired by the music.
“A lot of the album art has been turned into beautiful fine art prints, and they have been put together in an exhibition in the South Bank area in the Oxo Gallery.
“With a lot of other great album art from Bowie, Beatles, Ian Dury, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and Paul Weller, there’s a really good mixture.
“We thought it would be much more interesting than just having my stuff there. …So for those of you passing by on the South Bank that will be an interesting diversion.” Peter Gabriel
This unique exhibition features signed and authorized seminal works from artists including; Sir Peter Blake, Richard Evans, Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell, Robert Crumb, Michael Spencer Jones, Malcolm Poynter, Julian Grater, David Scheinmann, Nils-Udo, Susan Derges, York Tillyer, Marc Bessant, David Cox and the estates of Robert Mapplethorpe and Trevor Key.
Original album art includes: The Beatles, David Bowie, The Who, Ian Dury, Oasis, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Paul Weller, Sex Pistols, Louis Armstrong and much more, including unique pieces never seen before.
Peter Gabriel’s Album Art
Peter Gabriel’s album sleeves have long been celebrated for their startling, instantly identifiable style and creative energy. Ever since Peter Gabriel 1 (“Car”) in 1974, his cover art has been created in collaboration with some of the world’s foremost artists, sculptors and photographers.
It’s an impressive line up of some of the art world’s most influential names from the past three decades. It includes the likes of Storm Thorgerson of the groundbreaking early ‘70s agency Hipgnosis, Malcolm Poynter, Julian Grater, David Scheinmann, Nils-Udo, Susan Derges, York Tillyer and Marc Bessant.
“I’ve always loved artwork and album art. I think it’s been a huge part of what people identify and feel about the music and the records” Peter Gabriel
The images range from deceptively simple, beautifully expressive black and white portraiture, through to complex montages built out of pictures, stage sets, and graphic effects. Despite this diversity of styles, there is a consistent and elusive aesthetic running through the work. Ultimately, it’s a spirit of experiment, and excellence in execution. These are carefully considered and meticulously rendered works, reflective of Gabriel’s approach to his music.
What’s intriguing is that (particularly with the earlier works) the images are as hi-tech and as fresh as anything produced today, but the ways in which they were created were lo-tech and labour intensive and shaped some of the tricks of today’s computer-generated graphic Photoshop environment.
In “Scratch” Gabriel’s outstretched fingers tear away the cover. This is a 35mm black and white still, with torn strips of paper glued on top. It was then re-photographed; the new shot was meticulously tippexed to disguise the rougher joins. It was then photographed yet again to produce the end result. Today, a similar effect would involve a basic design program and a lot of messing around, but it could never achieve the same result.
“I used to love gatefold sleeves… when you would sit with a new record and open it up it was just a precious moment. Now we’ve gone into this digital world a lot of that has been lost. We’ve being looking at ways of getting quality prints of the artwork for a long time and I’m happy now it has happened.” Peter Gabriel
In the late ‘70s, Les Krims created “Krimsography”, based on experimentation with Polaroid film. Storm Thorgerson and Peter himself used this methodology to squeeze, squash and force images as they emerged from the camera. That resulted in the distorted face-to-camera shot of Gabriel, which became cover of “Melt”.
The stories that attach to the creation of the images are as unusual as the images themselves: studios stuffed with bendy mirrors to morph Gabriel’s face, low grade prints from Boots 1-hour processors, back-yard photo shoots, and on one famous occasion (for “Ovo”) the building of a nest on a lake which was subsequently burnt by an unwitting gardener who thought it was just a heap of discarded wood.
Hand Signed Limited Edition Fine Art Prints
A series of limited editions of prints of Gabriel’s album images have been launched. There are fifteen pictures in all, covering 35 years of recording. Each uses the finest Giclee printing methods on heavyweight paper. Each is signed in pencil by Gabriel and the artists involved.
For each cover, there are one hundred 19” x 19” prints (some sizes vary) starting price £599, and just twenty-five 28” x 28” prints (some sizes vary) starting price £999. Same number sets can be obtained. There are also poster versions available for most of Peter’s albums priced at £20.