Lollapalooza may be long over, but the music still lives on and so does the art. After all, music and art make a perfect couple. Just looking around our office at artwork left for research, I can see pieces by artists that have at some point created album covers for popular bands throughout the 20th and 21st century. For example, Mid-20th century American pop artist, Andy Warhol created iconic images, such as “Banana” for the Velvet Underground & Nico album in 1967, and British pop artist, Sir Peter Thomas Blake did the same for The Beatles’ album, “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band,” on the other side of the Atlantic in 1966-67. 20th century American outsider/folk artist, Rev. Howard Finster co-designed R.E.M.’s album, “Reckoning,” with the lead singer, Michael Stipe in 1984, in addition to designing the cover for the Talking Heads’ album, “Little Fingers,” in 1985. Czech art photographer Jan Saudek designed Soul Asylum’s double-platinum album, “Grave Dancer’s Union,” in 1993. In comparison to paintings and sculptures from genres past, most of the cover art on rock albums are derived from contemporary art prints which tend to be easier on a collector’s pocketbook. (Check out art prints at MIR's online gallery: http:www.chicagoartappraisers.com)
Here are a few of the cover artists for several of the headlining acts at Lollapalooza 2008:
Radiohead was the solo headliner on Friday night at Lollapalooza. Over the past 15 year or so, they have had produced seven full length albums with distinguished album covers. Stanley Donwood, a British artist Thom Yorke met at the University of Exeter in the UK and has designed every Radiohead album cover art piece in collaboration with Yorke aside from “Pablo Honey,” Radiohead’s debut album. His commercial works consist primarily of limited edition colored screenprints with whimsically dark subject matter, many of which include pointy toothed bears. On the retail market, his work is sold in the $300.00-$400.00 (USD) range depending on size, subject matter and how extensive of a design technique he used.
Rage Against the Machine, headlined on Saturday night, drawing an immense crowd. Having produced a fistful of albums since their self-titled debut album in 1992, the cover art of their debut album illustrates one of the most powerful images throughout history taken by Associated Press journalist and photographer, Malcolm Browne, depicting Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, burning himself to death in Saigon in 1963. He was protesting President Ngo Dinh Diem's administration for oppressing the Buddhist religion. The confrontational photograph is well paired with the music of Rage Against the Machine, expressing strong activist ideals with their intense lyrics and aggressive sound. Photographer, Malcolm Browne was awarded the World Press Photo of the Year in 1963 in addition to a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1964. In 2006, a print of the photograph with an inscription by Browne sold at auction for $6,500.oo (USD) in New York City.
Nine Inch Nails participated in the first Lollapalooza tour in 1991 and returned this year as a closing headliner on Sunday night. Founding member Trent Reznor hired American graphic artist and photographer in 1999, Rob Sheridan at the ripe age of 19 initially to maintain the band’s website but eventually he became their art director creating album cover designs as well as contributing to additional multi-media projects. Sheridan has also worked with fellow Lollapooza act, Saul Williams who played on the same day as Nine Inch Nails. Sheridan sells limited edition art prints on archival paper at etsy.com in the $60.00-$80.00 (USD) price range.
The affordability of the artwork listed above make them great items for young collectors. So the next time you pull an album off your shelf or download a few songs from iTunes, check out the band's cover art, it might just be the next big thing on the market.
MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.
MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.