What do Dali, Bruegal and Warhol have in common?
The work created by artists such as Salvador Dali, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Andy Warhol have all made it onto album covers. So it is no surprise that our new album cover will feature an amazing painting by one of UK’s award-winning visual artists, Justin Weeks. Here is an interview with the artist.
When the band approached you to create a painting for their album cover design how did it make you feel?
Justin: I felt creatively challenged and honoured. Challenged by the task of making something specifically for this album (as opposed to to using an art work that already exists) and not allowing the process to become illustrative or literal.
I wanted to evoke the the atmosphere and feeling that is in the song writing and music. Quite arbitrarily the image that kept coming to mind whist I was in the process of painting it was William Blake’s Ancient Of Days, it ties in with the seemingly mystical elements of Simonne’s lyrics such as her references to the likes of St John of the Cross and the biblical echoes in Don’t Be Late.
Do you listen to music when you paint?
Justin: Sometimes. Although I don’t actually listen but I need something as background noise. I can’t listen to music that I care about because that would deserve attention and my attention needs to be somewhere else.
I mainly listen to talk radio and podcasts. These provide a curtain of words that insulate the outside world but can also inform and cultivate. But when I’m working at night, hammering stretchers, priming and underpainting then I usually tune into Nights with Alice Cooper on Planet Rock. All depends on mood really and what stage I’m at with and what I’m working on.
There are other bands that have used art for their album covers. What are some of your favourites?
Justin: Yeah a couple come to mind. The first is Patti Smith’s album Horses. It’s a black and white photograph of Patti Smith dressed in a white shirt with a black jacket flung over one shoulder. Apparently, the photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe used only natural light and a polaroid camera. I read somewhere that she posed in a way that was influenced by Charles Baudelaire and Frank Sinatra.
The other one is Velvet Underground and Nico’s album used Andy Warhol screenprint.
Another one that comes to mind is Japan’s album titled Oil On Canvas as it features a very impastoed painting called Head of JYM ll by Frank Auerbach. Great band, great album and a great painter!
Can we get a sneak preview of the painting? And how can someone acquire it?
Justin: This painting is exclusive for the band’s Kickstarter campaign. I think it is part of the Ultimate Dark Star Reward when someone pledges £1000 and over.