Sunday, April 12, 2015

Link: Roger Dean

In fine art there is a strong drive to avoid any evidence of craftsmanship and skill. You can actually do better things if you acquire a skill and do it properly, and stop dismissing skilled work as a bourgeois affectation. That in itself is an affectation. - Roger Dean

By way of {feuilleton}, a wonderful interview with celebrated rock album cover artist Roger Dean, who worked for Yes, Asia, Uriah Heep, Gentle Giant, and other significant bands:

An interview with one of the most prolific designers in music, Roger Dean

Some snippets:

When you look at a lot of modern album covers, the art school obsession with the Helvetica kind of undermines it. So instead of looking at an artefact that comes from another place entirely, you are looking at an artefact that has been caught and tamed and made corporate.

...I wouldn’t say [the Yes logo] was the first but it was the first really high profile, identifiable and obviously designed one rather than an accidental one.

It was a very, very brief period in history when the album cover art and the music came together to make something that was the perfect gift. But CD isn’t. The CD jewel box looks so tacky, and the record companies took an incredible opportunity to save money on packaging, and that combination of music and art disappeared and it just became a crude access to the music, and then of course you’re only one step away from digital downloads. It’s no longer easy to give it as a worthwhile gift...

Sleeve notes used to be an integral part of the information you were getting when you bought [an album], if you were lucky you’d get art on the cover, a logo, an identifying thing, photographs, interesting notes and information about the tracks: where it was recorded and how long it was and all that sort of stuff...I mean you’re talking about saving such a small amount of pennies [by leaving all that out] that you have to think, did these people really didn’t know what they were doing? And in a sense they didn’t, because it showed no respect for the music or the customers or the project or the art, and no self respect either. And consequently the industry went away from them. I’m giving you a very sombre interview aren’t I?

I love the palpable influence of classic Chinese landscape art in this Dean painting, Edgar Forest Village.

Album Cover Album (Roger Dean and Storm Thorgerson)

Views (Roger Dean)

No comments:

Post a Comment