BULLETIN: News in brief
Last night we were at the opening of The Gathering Storm at The Proud Archivist in London N1. What a great show to celebrate the prints that Storm Thorgerson created. Go and check it out while you still can! On until 2nd December. We'll be posting some pics and thoughts here shortly.
Looking back at the year so far we have a lot to be proud of, with beautiful new editions of prints by HR Giger, David Scheinmann, Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson, as well as a collection of work created for Elvis Presley and for Jazz releases on Columbia Records. The plan chests are heaving!
To Print, or to Print : How we reproduce images….. and does it really matter?
Hypergallery guest blogger: Amy Wiggin
About me: helloooo i'm amy wiggin, other wise known as wiggles or wiggy. I am currently studying Visual Communication at The Glasgow school of Art. I like drawing, printing, painting and taking photos-some of which i post here..
The techniques for printing have grown dramatically over the years - not only because of the developments in technology and indeed knowledge, but also due to the changing fashions within the art and design markets.
I am currently studying Design at Glasgow School of Art where my specialism is primarily as a printmaker, specifically screen printing. So it was a recent and shocking discovery to learn that my education within the British art school system had made me blithely unaware that design schools in other countries do not value, or even retain, the equipment required to make analogue (non digital) reproductions or prints. On my exchange programme to The Danish design school, Copenhagen, I was mocked and even teased for specialising in what is deemed a “dead” and “redundant” technique by many of the students. “Why bother” seemed to be the attitude when a digital printer could do the same. I discovered that in this sense Britain and a small handful of other countries, Germany and Holland being examples, are unique in their celebration and retention of these analogue techniques. Of course screen printing is commercially used, particularly within the textiles industry, but as a technique within the commercial Design and Art markets it is not a cost effective choice for many. The ideas I held dear in my practice as a screen printer have been challenged as I am currently working at a commercial art gallery; Hypergallery. They sell high quality prints of rock album covers which the gallery publish, exhibit and sell. I was surprised to discover that only a small percentage of their editions are achieved through analogue techniques (screen printing or lithography). The majority of the prints are created using a technique called Giclée, where inkjets inject the paper with high quality archival inks. The results are amazing and it is often hard, when comparing a silkscreen print to a giclée, to ascertain which is which.
But perhaps herein lies the difference: we are publishing ‘limited edition’ prints. The very meaning of this was coined from the traditional techniques; the creation of a plate or screen which was then printed, and then destroyed (hence where we also developed terms like ‘artist’s proof’ and ‘cancellation print’). The key point was that the plate could never be used again, where by contrast the giclée technique can easily be achieved at the click of a button once all the original proofing work has been approved. To play devils advocate, the prints from a plate could (and have been) reproduced from a plate before the cancellation print was made without anyone’s knowledge, but what has become more important in this day and age, what gives a print or artwork lasting value, is the legality of a print: a signature.
Mark Rosen, the former head of the Print department at Sotherbys points out that a genuine Picasso without a signature is worth at least half the value of a Picasso with a signature. That is the mark that grants the artwork authenticity, and therefore value, and furthermore its potential value as an investment. Hypergallery often endorse the print even further, sometimes asking the musician or band themselves to sign the prints; With the likes of 10cc, Debbie Harry and even David Bowie being examples. This not only adds to the monetary value of a print, but from an art history perspective ensures that the origins and history of an artwork can be traced back to its very roots and creation. So does it matter how we print?... The current consensus seems to signal that what matters for posterity is the authenticity of a print. Of course we cannot overlook the very concept, ideas and feelings communicated in any given artwork which will again hold its value throughout history. Regardless of how students at art schools or dealers at auction houses feel about contemporary printmaking and its authenticity or investment potential, the pleasure reaped by the individual owners who have claimed their part of the artistic and musical (his)story is clear.
We're KooKoo for Debbie Harry
H. R. Giger, the Swiss artist responsible for this fantastic image, is probably best known for his terrifying Alien design. He won an Oscar for that in 1980, his huge success in Hollywood arguably overshadowing his status as an artist and master of the airbrush medium. He has created a prolific body of work depicting disturbing landscapes, machines and creatures in a distinctive style described as “bio-mechanical”, and created a number of album covers, probably the best known being Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery. KooKoo was recorded while Debbie Harry and Chris Stein were taking a year long break from Blondie. H. R. Giger's artwork was based on a photograph of Harry taken by the renowned photographer Brian Aris, Giger created several variations of the cover (another of which is seen on the album's inner sleeve) in what Debbie Harry described as a combination of punk, acupuncture and sci-fi. Harry has actually said that the album title came to her after she saw Giger's completed work.
For the promotion of KooKoo, Chrysalis Records planned to display large posters of the album cover in various stations of the London Underground but officials deemed the image, with metal skewers going through her face and neck, to be too disturbing!
There are 200 individually numbered and signed prints in the edition, plus Artists and Hors de Commerce proofs, being the property of the artist and the publisher.
Giger has personally overseen the printing of the edition, which has been produced in Densbüren, Switzerland by Kunstdruckatelier exclusively for Hypergallery.
We met up with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein the day after their Roundhouse gig in London, and they charmed us as they signed KooKoo before heading off to the Bowie Is exhibition at the V&A.
|Chris and Debbie making light work of the print signing|
The ArtistIf you want to know more about H. R. Giger you can seek out this full length documentary on his work...
Or visit the H. R. Giger museum in Gruy
Artist profile: DAVID STOREY
I started designing album covers while still at college (Middlesex). After graduating I joined Chrysalis Records which, in the early 80s was THE label to work for. The early 80s also happened to be the golden age of album cover design with covers being regarded as an art form in their own right and recognised as such by a show at the ICA.
I'm particularly proud of the work I created for the 2 Tone (a subsidiary of Chrysalis) bands such as The Specials
, The Selector
, The Beat and Madness that I produced alongside my colleague John 'Teflon' Sims, under the creative direction of Jerry Dammers (founder of 2 Tone and keyboard player in The Specials). Our design approach was what you might call 'none design' meaning that Jerry would root out any attempts by John and I to introduce gratuitous design embellishments. This ruthless weeding process resulted in bold, simple, direct graphics and is probably the main reason that the 2 Tone style has such an enduring impact and timeless appeal. It was an exciting time for me personally and a privilege to package and promoted such a unique style of music – dance music that conveyed important social and political messages. Probably the best examples of the genre are 'Ghost Town
' and 'NelsonMandela
', both by The Specials.
I left Chrysalis in 1984 but they kept me on a retainer to continue working with Jerry Dammers and also on their new subsidiary label Go! Discs for whom I created the design style of The Housemartins
amongst other things.
Around 1990 the creative opportunities in the music industry started to decline rapidly mainly because the CD format was replacing vinyl but also as marketing replaced art as the major vehicle for selling music. It was at this time that I started to concentrate more on my own projects and for the last 20 years I've worked primarily as a painter/printmaker – I'm represented by the Thomas and Paul
I still design the odd album cover. I was recently commissioned to produce a limited-edition vinyl box-set called Untrue Island
which is a collaboration between the composer Arnie Somogyi and the writer Robert Macfarlane and is their reflections on Orford Ness – a de-commissioned cold war weapons testing site on the Suffolk coast. The box will also include a limited edition screenprint by me so the project has brought together my design expertise along with my work as an artist. I plan to write a separate blog about this project in the near future.
New Lambda print now available!
Album artwork before photography
When record companies (with a little help from Alex Steinweiss) first began to see the potential role of album covers beyond simple packaging, advertisements were nearly always illustrated and often still in black and white. Billboards, movie posters, magazine ads and packaging of household products all featured the work of graphic designers, illustrators and artists.
As photographic printing techniques became more readily available and affordable, photography took over as the media of choice for record companies looking to promote their product to the music loving public. As art directors and copywriters began to work directly with photographers, the graphic artist was slowly pushed aside. The image of the recording artist became the focus and for the vast majority of covers the unique imagination of the illustrator, and their stylish cover designs, were history. For a while.
Of course in design as in fine art, photography began to weave its own magic; the photo design studio Hipgnosis is the prime example of this medium reaching new potential under the guidance of great artistic talent. Illustration, too, has regained a place in album cover art of today - just look at the work by Katie Scott for Bombay Bicycle Club or Tinhead's work for Foals to see that the bands with an eye for the extra special will often find it in the graphic arts and eschew the safe but often banal photographic portrait.
The origins of album artwork from the great talents of Alex Steinweiss, Jim Flora, Neil Fujita provide us with a snapshot of a time when illustration was the only way, and the fullness of creative talent was given to the LP sleeve designs at record labels such as Columbia. In the course of publishing limited edition prints of some of this work, and with the help of the research already done by the wonderful folk at Birka Jazz, we'll be compiling a series blog posts that shine a long overdue spotlight on some of the artists and individual works that came out of this 'pioneer' era.
Let us know if you have any details to add!
Columbia Records: new jazz prints from the home of cool
Hypergallery is embarking on a project, in collaboration with Sony Music, to rescue what we hope will be a huge collection of album cover art from the Columbia archives and make this work available as limited edition prints. The music may be available in other formats but the original artworks, along with their designers, must not be forgotten. We hope that by working with Sony to seek out the original designs and make them available in this way, we are helping to preserve this important visual archive for generations to come.
Columbia, the oldest brand name in pre-recorded music, was also pioneer in the field of album cover design, from the first big era of advertising through to the big era of the 12” vinyl that saw Led Zeppelin conquer the world. It was for Columbia that Alex Steinweiss created the first illustrated cover, before which albums were simply sold in plain brown sleeves. Some of the most significant artists ever to design album covers were subsequently employed by Columbia, with many of them leading the way as Artistic Directors for the label including Jim Flora, Neil Fujita and Bob Cato.
Hypergallery has been publishing works of album cover art from this last great era and beyond for a while now, and had built up a small collection of work from the 1950s, largely those published by the archive of the inimitable Jim Flora. We felt it was high time more of the outstanding work from these early days in the field of sleeve design saw the light of day - particularly as many of the LPs themselves have become so rare. We hope you will join us in this endeavor and perhaps begin your own personal collection of hg edition jazz prints!
About the collection
Each of the Hypergallery hg editions Jazz Prints will be published in a limited edition of only 100.
Each print will be giclée printed in archival inks on paper.
Each print will be numbered in pencil and issued with a unique certificate of authenticity.
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The blog has had to take a back seat for a short while but we're back! And due a makeover...
Hypergallery have maintained a tentative presence on Culture Label for a couple of years, and we have been fans since its launch. For those of you that haven't yet heard of them, it is a great place to find gifts and treats of all sorts for your cultured selves, friends and family. Their brilliantly curated suggestions for gifts groupings - so often a pointless list of items that miss the mark - are a really useful and inspiring effort, under such headings as Hipsters and History Lovers. Pick a category that you think fits you and just see how many of their suggestions you want to add to your birthday wish list! The long list of desirables we came up with is testament to them and also to the vast range of wonderful products they have for sale.
So, we are properly loving Culture Label right now and are honoured to be featured as part of a relatively new Culture Label endeavour; Private View is, in their own words, an "expertly curated art and artist-designed products from the world's most iconic artists, designers and cultural brands."
Sir Peter Blake prints from Hypergallery are currently available on a special Private View exclusive with Culture Label and there will be more offers to come exclusively available to Private View members. We think it's a lovely idea well executed; where many 'special offers' and suggested item lists can leave you cold, Culture Label have taken the time to ensure that you warm to them as much as we have.
Print Launch this Thursday
One more 'plug' for out latest print:
The launch party is this Thursday 17th January from 6pm to 8pm at SNAP Galleries in Piccadilly, London, UK.
Remember: the print will rise in price from £360 to £480 after the event, so get in quick! This is a silkscreen edition of only 60.
We hope to see you there!
De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising by Toby Mott + the Grey Organisation
New York City, Hip Hop in The Daisy Age, Summer 1989
An essay by Toby Mott, 3 Feet High and Rising cover artist & Grey Organisation Founder
It is getting hot on Canal Street; things get a little cooler on entering the subway. I'm travelling uptown on the 6 train to meet Monica Lynch at Tommy Boy Records to talk about a new act they have signed from Long Island. She gives me a 12" promo DJ copy of De La Soul's debut, Plug Tunin. Back downtown in my loft on Grand & Centre Street in lower Manhattan - it's where Chinatown meets Soho - the rent’s cheap but there are rats on the staircase. I put the record on the turntable and have to play it at full volume; it's so low fi, it sounds 'dusted'. This is not Bring the Noise Hip Hop but something completely fresh; altogether more melodic and playful.
It’s 1984 in NYC and I find myself working as a bicycle messenger taking packages around town from studios to advertising agencies. I move along breathing in a city that has existed for me as an exciting celluloid dream - through Times Square, passing the break dancing b-boys and giggling fly girls, taking subway trains which rumble along still graffiti covered. As I immerse myself in the city, opportunities open up and I find myself in the Hip Hop world working with acts from Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, all of who seemed to continue my English punk sensibility by being inventive, challenging and new.
Five years later, the summer of '89 is scorching hot and humid. Nights out are spent at the downtown hip hop clubs Payday and Saturdays in the Lower East Side. I'm part of the self styled Grey Organisation arts collective from London, now working as art directors in the burgeoning Hip Hop music video scene as well as exhibiting our paintings in the East Village galleries. Dressed in our uniform of grey suits, buttoned up white shirts and shaved heads, we find a home in NYC having caused trouble for ourselves with the authorities back in London with some of our 'Art Actions', like covering the gallery windows of Cork Street in Mayfair with grey paint. I know Tommy Boy Records from working with their act Information Society on their video and record sleeves, they are a synthpop band from Minneapolis and are doing well on MTV with a very bright 'Pop' look we have given them for their breakout hit, Pure Energy. With De La Soul it is not going to be about the prevailing rap stereotypes of gold chains, cars and guns, this is not about getting, 'paid'. We have come up with the 'Daisy Age' visual concept. De La Soul visit our loft where we lay them down on the floor facing up, their heads making a triangle. We photograph them whilst hanging precariously off a step ladder, one idea being that the cover would not have a right way up. CD's have yet to be the dominant musical format so the vinyl album sleeve is our most effective way of making a statement. We layer the brightly-coloured hand drawn flower designs made with Posca paint pens on acetate over the black and white photographic portrait print, which is rostrum camera copied. This is well before the time of Apple Macs and scanning etc. On release the albums success is immediate and crosses over to the 'college audience', then the code for 'white'. Hip Hop at this time is not the monolithic culture it is now. The intent of the design of De La Soul's, 3 Feet High and Rising LP cover is to be new and bright, with the overlaying of the fluorescent flowers and text reflecting a synthetic pop cartoon look, not a reworking of some earlier hippy ideal. If anything, it is almost a loving parody of the Daisy Age label that De La Soul has been given. This is a move away from the prevailing macho hip hop visual codes which dominate to this day. It was forward thinking of both Tommy Boy Records and De La Soul to take a chance with the Grey Organisation that summer in 1989. The downtown NY club scene embraced De La Soul, it was a meeting of minds as we danced the nights away to the sounds of 3 Feet High and Rising. It's as fresh today as it was, 'back in the day'.
About the Grey Organisation
The Grey Organisation’s origins can be found in the Punk movement and 70’s youth politics; its founding members had also been members of the Anarchist Street Army, a loose collective of young punks and anarchists from several inner city London Schools. They undertook a series of direct art actions, including an attack on Cork Street, then centre of London’s art establishment, in which they covered some of the city’s most famous galleries in grey paint. They also organised live concerts, directed films and took part in exhibitions. Towards the end of the eighties they were living in New York designing album covers and art directing music videos for Tommy Boy Records, Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy and MTV. What may seem like a strange turn of events was in fact a fateful meeting of two very different pioneering groups. This is the previously unknown story of how the Grey Organisation and De La Soul produced one the most well known Hip Hop LP’s of all time.
|Toby Mott, Manhattan, 1989|Toby seems, at first glance, seems to be from an entirely different world to that of De La Soul's 'D.A.I.S.Y. Age' but this is an artist who defies pigeon-holing and straddles conventional categorisation with an easy self assurance. When the Grey Organisation disbanded in 1991, Toby Mott pursued a solo career as a painter, exhibiting at White Columns in New York, The Thomas Soloman Garage in Los Angeles, Interim Art in London and being represented for many years by the Maureen Paley Gallery. Later as a designer Mott founded the iconic fashion brand Toby Pimlico. Most recently, whilst continuing to make work of his own, he has been curating exhibitions and events for The Mott Collection; an archive of British punk fanzines and other visual ephemera along with an accompanying publication, Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper. The success of this venture has positioned Mott as something of an authority on its subject, a particular moment in British popular culture.
Read more about the print itself here.
3 Feet High and Rising print launch
New limited edition print in day-glo ink featuring the iconic cover art from De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising.
Over 20 years after its release, 3 Feet High and Rising remains one of the most feted albums in the hip hop canon. This unique LP emerged in 1989 amidst the burgeoning US hip-hop scene.
While most now forgotten groups took the cookie-cutter approach to hip-hop, replicating the style, lyrics and golden chained aesthetics of the era, De La Soul’s daisy aged record broke the mould. 3 Feet High and Rising became New York’s unofficial soundtrack, it’s bouncing beats and positive vibes match the city’s late 80’s early 90’s vibrancy. Today the record is still spinning, having stood the test of time. Its unique aesthetic approach to the formation of hip hop is represented both in its sounds and its unforgettable album artwork.
About the print
LIMITED EDITION OF 60
First available for delivery after 10th December
Signed and numbered in pencil by the artist Toby Mott
Embossed with the official stamp of the Grey Organisation
Giclée and silkscreen in 6 colours on Woodstock Felt 310gsm
Printed by Senecio, Oxford and Hippo Screenprinters, Essex
Image size: 20" x 20"
Paper size: 25.5" x 26.5"
This print has been through two separate processes: a black and white giclée print was overlaid in silkscreen for the outrageous day-glo illustrations. All the extra effort has paid off though, and when we unrolled the proof for the first time we knew we had done it justice. For such an iconic image it's a very small edition of only 60 prints and we are really honoured to have been able to do it.
Toby Mott was still in possession of all the original artwork for De La Soul and was hugely enthusiastic about what we proposed. This enthusiasm was all the more precious given that he was in the midst of a busy schedule of events for his wonderful British punk collection whilst also finding time to produce a series of outstanding paintings inspired by the 2011 riots in the UK.
We took an unusual path to get this print right but when we first set eyes on the proof we knew it had paid off. The edition is the product of a two stage process: the faces of Plug 1, 2 and 3 were printed by Senecio, who have achieved a clean giclée image over which the cartoon-like illustration sits. We knew we needed to capture the day-glo spirit of the original design but fluorescent inks simply aren't available for giclée. We turned to Lynne at Hippo Screenprinters in Essex who was the perfect match for this project. She has produced the most outstanding edition for us; the hand pulled printing mirrors the feel of the cover design and, more to the point, of the original sketch submitted to Tommy Boy records by the Grey Organisation.
A launch party, to exhibit the print alongside the original sketch and other archival material, will be held on Thursday January 17th at SNAP Galleries, Piccadilly, London, SW1Y 6NH
Following this launch the price of the print will rise to its official price of £400
10cc Tenology: Hypergallery celebrate the album release with new print collection
The Hypergallery and 10cc journey began in January 2011, when Storm Thorgerson handed over some of the original Hipgnosis artwork for us to image.
We have now reached the point of publication, to coincide with the release of 10cc's latest album, Tenology
This turned out to be quite an adventure, full of twists and turns as the chosen images changed and new source artwork was found, new proofs were required and ideas about how to present the series, 10 of 10cc were proffered. Finally, we can reveal the 10 chosen images and soon we'll be able to offer a beautiful bespoke box set designed to accommodate only 20 of the full edition of 80. This set will come with a booklet designed and authored by Storm Thorgerson and signed by Graham Gouldman.
But for now, let us revel in the finished edition:
Here's the final How Dare You
And here is Tenology
You can view the full set and print details at Hypergallery
but don't hesitate to get in touch if you want to know more.
Here is Lol Creme in his studio in 2011, sharing his recollections of working with Hipgnosis on the How Dare You
Plastic Circles: Peter Gabriel - So box set by Marc Bessant
Plastic Circles: Peter Gabriel - So box set by Marc Bessant: Marc Bessant-designed So 25 set additionally demonstrates Gabriel's commitment to work that is beautifully realised.
The legacy of physical artifacts and the stories they preserve future generations, or for exchange between cultures, has become hugely valued by the western world. Pop culture has joined the canon with a bang. In fact it is fair to claim that cultural legacy has become part of the design process from the get-go.
The art of the album cover encompasses two kinds of cultural asset: the tangible, visual culture of art and artifacts; with the intangible culture of nostalgia, traditions and shared experience associated with music. The physical memory of flicking through a stack of LPs; the emotional memory of hearing the music that matters; the visual identity of the album that is so tied up with the whole experience that it is difficult to separate, even when the image has been removed from its original purpose and given new, vibrant life as an art object, collectable in its own right.
Therein lies the joy of the thing; the importance of cultural heritage and the stories that are there to be told are what drives us at Hypergallery. We are passionate about album cover art. We believe the stories that are out there, in the minds of the artists and the musicians, are stories that should be told and preserved as part of our collective cultural heritage.
We'll be looking into some of those stories here over the next few months as we throw a spotlight on some of our favourite prints. Look out for the frist in the series coming soon: Spotlight on 10cc.
FRAMING PRINTS: advice on mount board / mat board
My previous FRAMING posts looked at finding a good picture framer and choosing a moulding style. Another big decision you'll need to make is whether you want a mount or not. In the USA, a mount is called the mat (mountboard = UK, mat board = USA). I'm talking here about the card that sits over the paper around your print that frames the image. A mount gives a traditional and well-finished look to your framed work of art and holds it in place. It also keeps the printed surface away from the glass. You can get mounts of varying thickness so, again, do have a look at pictures in other galleries and museums to get an idea of the style you like. Things to consider if you do want a mount:
- how thick
- how many layers / steps (a framer can cut several mounts in staggered sizes for a more dramatic effect
- what colour (do you want it to match the paper? Do you have other framed pictures with mountboard in your house?)
If you prefer a very contemporary look you can ask your framer to use a spacer. This will sit just inside the moulding and keep the paper away from the glass without being visible.
Art of the Album Cover feature
Stop press! Hypergallery are going live at Art In Woodstock
this Autumn. In advance of the exhibition, we have been featured in Oxfordshire Limited Edition magazine. Click on the image to go through to the article online (pages 101 and 103). We hope to see you there!
FRAMING PRINTS: choosing a moulding
Choosing a FRAME MOULDING
The moulding for your frame is the big decision. You may already know what you like or perhaps you have other pictures in your home that this will need to match or compliment. If you are starting from the beginning, have a look at pictures in other galleries and museums to get an idea of the style you like. Also bear in mind the style of your home and decoration. Finally don't forget the style of the print! You don't have to play safe but you do want to choose something that works with and even for your print, and not against it.
London Calling on 19th Sept
Have you been watching? Sky Arts have had a great documentary series running called London Calling and we are super excited about the next episode.
Episode 1 featured Graham Coxon and Wire's Colin Newman and looked at how Britain produced so many iconic bands, beginning with the phenomenal influence of its art schools.
Episode 2 was all about rock photography ... getting warmer...
Episode 3, you guessed it, is all about the art of the album cover! Hypergallery superstar and sleeve art don Storm Thorgerson will be interviewed, and it promises to be a really interesting look at how pioneering album art has helped to define British bands including Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols.
So, date for the diaries: September 19th 2012, 8pm. Be there. If you have access to Sky Arts. Hmm.
Alan Aldridge: Elton John & The Who cover art!
Alan Aldridge has been busy proofing, printing and signing prints of his album cover art for Elton John's Captain Fantastic and The Who's A Quick One.
They'll be up on hypergallery.com
soon but here are some snaps to whet your appetite!
to our e-bulletin to be first to hear about new print releases.
The Pink Floyd Pig at Danny Boyle's 2012 Extravaganza
I wrapped and waived off an Animals
print this morning. As it flies up the river to London and its new home I though about the Pink Floyd
inflatable pig and it's cameo in Danny Boyle's 2012 Olympics Opening ceremony. One of the staple props of Pink Floyd's live shows, Danny Boyle recognised the pig's iconic value and put it in the show for which he is receiving such acclaim (with a perfect touch of bafflement) now.
A fitting image for London 2012, it seems (anyone see Boris dangling in mid air yesterday?) and one that will continue to hold a special power over Londoners and Floyd fans alike, i'm sure.
Printing, by any other name...
A thought or two on titles and perception...
As pop art movement appeared in the 1960s the group of artists working under the label of Pop, such as Peter Blake, were attracted to screen printing in part precisely because of its potential to confound accepted notions of what constituted a fine art print.
At the same time, however, artists using screen printing to make works of art often gave the technique the name Seriography to disassociate their art from the commercial origins of the technique. Similarly, today, fine art prints produced digitally with ink jets will be labelled as Giclées.
What's in a name?
Hipgnosis and Storm Thorgerson on the Southbank
There are only a few more days left to catch The Raging Storm at the gallery @ oxo on the Southbank.
Don't miss it! There are plenty of new prints to see, including a collection we are about to publish for Storm, 10 of 10cc, that includes nine covers designed by Hipgnosis (Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson) and one more recently by Storm.
Here they are on the gallery wall:
And another shot from the show:
It's a really nice lunchtime trip if you're local, or a good day out in London if you aren't.
Louis Armstrong's Hot 5
There is so much great art being made for records right now by art school leavers and establishment figures alike but i’m going to go way back in time to talk about an artist that deserves a regular shout out.
A truly musical illustrator, Jim Flora (1914-1998) had a wonderful ability to make the music he loved manifest in his drawings. The Flora archive is a treasure trove of his fantastic designs for magazines, children’s books and, of course, his record sleeve designs. Flora began working in the art department of Columbia Records in 1942 and was promoted to Art Director in 1943, replacing the godfather of album cover art, Alex Steinweiss. The "golden age" of Flora covers came when he was promoted to Advertising Manager and began taking design assignments on the side. He created unbelievably fresh designs like Mambo For Cats and Bix and Tram. My favourite is his design for Louis Armstrong’s Hot 5. The album was a reissue of 1920s material for Columbia's "Hot Jazz Series”. Just look at it! Everything is in there; you can almost hear that New Orleans jazz leap off the image into your ears.
You can see the whole collection of his album cover art prints on his hypergallery page but here is a sneak preview of a new print, Inside Sauter-Finegan, set to join the collection next week.
FRAMING PRINTS: what and how
Once you have a name and number for a picture framer (see the last post on framing for some useful tips about this) make a call or pop in and see them to talk though WHAT you want them to do with your print.
You'll probably find that your recommended framer deals in conservation standard framing or archival, museum quality framing. A museum will have strict guidelines surrounding the care and preservation of its collections so this sets the bar for you in terms of the glass, mount and method employed by your framer. As I said before, don't feel bad about coming in under that standard if your budget doesn't stretch but it's worth being aware of the options. A framer advertising themselves as working to archival standards should:
- not use glue, sticky tape or masking tape to secure the print
- only use acid-free mount board and papers
- offer you UV (ultraviolet) blocking glass and even anti-glare
You can ask your framer about their materials before employing them. If they are good, they'll be happy to talk you though the tools of their craft.
You will probably also find that they are full of advice on what frame and mount styles might work with your print, but it's worth having an idea about this before you go in so that you aren't too strongly guided by someone else's opinion (unless you want to be). Flick through some interior design magazines to get an idea of the style of framing that you like as well as ideas for where to hang your picture once it is framed. Most magazines have websites you can browse too. If you're having trouble choosing you could create an ideas board in Pinterest
or just a simple old cuttings book. Get inspired!