Tag Archives: Ed Ruscha

Ars longa, vita brevis, more or less

One of the collaborations that has become pretty much a part of antiquity is the art created for records (generally for LPs and then possibly adapted from the 12 x 12-inch canvas of the album cover to a 7 x 7-inch version for the 45, though not always).

Consider, for example, the cover of The Velvet Underground and Nico, created in 1967 by Andy Warhol. Arguably that banana theme was carried over by Warhol to his work for the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers album art (1971).

In 1967 the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released with an incredibly crowded cover that was executed by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. The band (the Beatles, not Pepper) had been introduced by Blake and Haworth by a gallery owner, Robert Fraser.

Fraser was to introduce them to Richard Hamilton. I would (and do) argue that Hamilton was more important as an artist than Warhol as he actually created Pop Art in 1956, with a collage he created, “Just What Is It that Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?” No Pop and Warhol might have simply continued with Bonwit Teller window displays. (Hamilton also made a major contribution to the world of art through his curation of a retrospective of the work of Marcel Duchamp at the Tate in 1966.)

Hamilton created the art for The Beatles (a.k.a., The White Album). What’s more, he suggested the name for that album. Hamilton recalled that he’d been paid some £200 for his work on the album. The album that has subsequently racked up sales of some 24 million copies. (McCartney is known to be thrifty. This takes it to a whole new level.)

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