Category Archives: Jeff Koons

Record Cover Art by Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons.

Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons  are two contemporary artists working in totally different media. Cindy Sherman (born 19th January 1954) is a photographer who specialises in self portraits in which she disguises herself in costume and in various situations. She is considered a conceptual artist.


CINDY SHERMAN

I have thus far managed to find six record, video and cassette covers with cover art by Cindy Sherman.The earliest recording I have found that has one of her photographs on its cover was for the television production “Two Moon July” which featured the music of Laurie Anderson, David Byrne (with whom Cindy Sherman had a relationship from 1991 to 2005), Philip Glass and others. The programme was released on VHS in 1986 and on Laserdisk the following year with Cindy‘s photograph of the Empire State Building on the cover.

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The cover of the “Two Moon July” Laserdisk.

In 1988, one of her self portraits was used as the cover art for a cassette of visual artists talking. The cassette was released as Tellus Magazine #21 entitled “Tellus #21: Audio by Visual Artists“. Tellus was a bi-monthly cassette magazine that was founded in New York in 1983.

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Cindy Sherman’s self portrait on the cover of the cassette magazine Tellus from 1988.

Sherman was involved with the female band Babes in Toyland in the 1980s and even appeared in one of their videos. Her photographs appeared on the covers of two of the group’s records “Fontanelle” (1992) and “Painkillers” (1993).

The punk band Cloudburst released two singles. The first, released in France in 1999 was a purple vinyl, three-track 7″ EP entitled “Love-Lies-Bleeding” and had a Cindy Sherman painting as its cover art.

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Cloudburst’s 1999 single cover with Cindy Sherman painting.

The latest cover i have been able to find is a five-track, single sided, yellow vinyl 12″ EP called “No More Crazy Women” by tenor saxophonist Arthur Doyle. I’ll be returning to Arthur Doyle in my list of Jeff Koon‘s cover art.

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The cover of Arthur Doyle’s “No More Crazy Women” 12″ EP-

JEFF KOONS

There only seem to be three record or CD covers with Jeff Koons’ art. Or that is all I have hitherto been able to find.

Eli and Edye Broad have built up a magnificent collection of American postwar art which is housed at The Broad at 221 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles and is open to visitors. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosted an exhibition of 100 works from the Broad Collection from 7th October 2001 until 6th January 2002. The exhibition was called “Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collection“. In conjunction with the exhibition a CD was released called “John Cage to David Byrne: Four Decades of Contemporary Music“. The exhibition later transferred to The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC (16th March-3rd June 2002).

The CD was a compilation of 13 tracks by artists from David Bowie (“Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide“) to John Cage (“Atlas Eclipticalis”) via The Velvet Underground (“Femme Fatale”), Dizzy Gillespie (“Be Bop”) and Klaus Schulze (“Floating”).

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The “John Cage to David Byrne: Four Decades of Contemporary Music” CD cover with a detail of Jasper Johns’ “Flag” and Jeff Koons’ “Rabbit”.

The CD booklet also contains pictures of other artworks from the Broad Collection, including Andy Warhol‘s “Elvis” (1963), Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s “Horn Players” (1983), Sharon Lockhart‘s “Untitled” (1996) and Stephan Balkenhol‘s “Large Woman with Green Pants” (1996). The rear inlay shows Roy Lichtenstein‘s “I… I’m Sorry” (1965-1966).

The second release with Jeff Koons‘ art is another Arthur Doyle record. This time another single-sided, two track 12″ single with cover that shows Koons‘ print “Donkey 1999” from 1999 produced in an edition of 99 copies. The cover, once again, has two corners cut off.

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Arthur Doyle Trio’s “Live at the Alterknit” cover.

And the third Jeff Koons cover is the best known. Lady Gaga‘s “ArtPop” from 2013. For this cover Koons acted as photographer.

I will keep looking out for more covers with art by Sherman and Koons and will probably update this post sometime in the future.

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Some Record Sleeves by Artists I Particularly Like.

While I specifically collect cover art by five designers — the artist known as Bansky, Sir Peter Blake, Damien Hirst, Klaus Voormann and Andy Warhol — sometimes other artists I admire produce record covers. Over the past couple of years a number of such covers have found their way into my collection.

Here’s a list of these “odd” record covers.
1. Lady Gaga–“ArtPop” – 2xLP. Cover by Jeff Koons.
2. The Unholy Two–“Kutter/Porkys” – 7″ single in fold-out cover with Chuck Close‘s portraits of Kate Moss.
3. Paul Simon–“Stranger to Stranger” – LP and insert with Chuck Close‘s portrait of Simon.
4. Soníc Youth–“Sonic Nurse” – 2xLP. Cover art by Richard Prince.
5. Mattias Alkbergs Begravning–“Epitafium” – 12″ EP. Cover art by Karin “Mamma” Andersson.
6. Mattias Alkbergs Begravning–“Skända flaggan” – 4-track 7-inch EP. Cover art by Karin “Mamma” Andersson
7. The Weaklings–“It’s so Criminal/Real Cool Time” 7″ single. Cover photo by Richard Avedon.

As readers of this blog may recall, I described Lady Gaga‘s “ArtPop” album cover designed and photographed by Jeff Koons in my post about Stockholm’s Spritmuseum’s 2014 exhibition entitled “ArtPop“. A copy of the double vinyl has found its way into my collection.

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“ArtPop” – the inner spread of this gatefold cover showing Jeff Koons photographing the artist.

 

The Unholy TwoKutter/Porkys“: The Unholy Two is a hardcore/punk trio from Columbus, Ohio, who have released two albums to date. The members are Chris Lutzko, Bo Davis and Adam Smith.

There’s a story behind how I came to find this single. Sometime in the 1990s I saw a painting by American artist Chuck Close (born 5th July 1940). It was a large portrait of a man’s face made up of tiny units. I was fascinated. I’ve looked at Close‘s work in galleries and museums since. He is both a painter and a photographer. In 1988 he suffered a spinal artery collapse (whatever that means) and was paralysed. He now paints with a special support on his arm enabling him to hold a brush. He has ascribed is interest in painting portraits to his prosopagnosia or inability to recognise faces. Neurologist and author Oliver Sachs was a fellow sufferer from prosopagnosia. In 2005 Close took a series of photographs of a nude Kate Moss and it was when I was compiling my list of record covers with portraits of Kate, that I stumbled across this single. I first saw it in an Ebay ad which described the cover portrait as being by Richard Avedon (15th May 1923-1st October 2004). I soon found out who the artist actually was.

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Poster for a Chuck Close exhibition showing his 2005 photographs of Kate Moss.

The Unholy Two’s “Kutter/Porkys” single cover:

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The outer spread of The Unholy Two’s “Kutter/Porkys” single.
Kutter-inner
The inner spread of The Unholy Two’s “Kutter/Porkys” single.

Paul SimonStranger to Stranger” LP album released in 2016 has an insert with Close‘s portrait of Simon.

The outer sleeve used an enlarged picture of Paul Simon’s eye.

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Paul Simon’s right eye from the full portrait.

These are the only two covers with art by Chuck Close that I have thus far been able to identify. Does anyone know of any others?

Sonic Youth‘s “Sonic Nurse” was originally released in 2004. It was reissued in July 2016 on heavyweight vinyl with the original cover paintings by Richard Prince (born 6th August 1949). Prince is both a photographer and a painter and often uses other peoples’ work as his starting point. I have not been able to find any other record covers painted or photographed by Richard Prince, but he recorded a CD in 1985 entitled “Loud Song” and a limited edition 12″ was released with cover art by Sonic Youth‘s Kim Gordon.

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Richard Prince’s cover painting for Sonic Youth’s “Sonic Nurse” LP-

Mattias Alkberg is a poet and guitarist and most recently a journalist. He has fronted a number of bands, starting with the Bear Quartet and Mattias Albergs BD. More recent constellations  include Mattias Alkbergs Begravning and Mattias Alkbergs Södra Sverige. He released the “Skända flaggan” in 2013 as a limited edition blue vinyl 7-inch EP, and the 12″ EP “Epitafium” was released as a limited edition for Record Store Day in 2014; I think 1000 copies were pressed. Mattias Alkberg lives in Luleå in northern Sweden and chose the celebrated painter Karin “Mamma” Andersson for the artwork for the double-sided poster cover . Karin “Mamma” Andersson also hails from Luleå.

Mattias Alkberg also used two other paintings by Karin “Mamma” Andersson on the front and rear covers of his 7″ EP “Skända flaggan” released in 2013.

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Karin “Mamma” Andersson’s painting on the cover of “Skända flaggan”.

Richard Avedon‘s photographs have graced the covers of many albums, ranging from Simon & Garfunkel‘s “Bookends” to Allen Ginsberg‘s “Kaddish” and including albums by Cher, Sly & the Family Stone, Barbra Streisand and The Fugs.

In 1999 The Weaklings, a punk band from Portland, Oregon, released their ninth single “It’s so Criminal/Real Cool Time” and chose Richard Avedon‘s famous photograph of Andy Warhol‘s abdomen showing the scars after operations to remove the bullet shot by Valerie Solanas on June 3, 1968. Solanas fired three shots at Warhol, but the first two missed. I used to own several records with Avedon‘s cover photographs, but now only have The Weaklings‘ single. The reason being that I include this cover in my collection of Andy Warhol cover art.

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Richard Avedon’s photograph of Andy Warhol’s abdomen after he was shot in 1968 on the cover of The Weaklings’ 1999 single.

I do not doubt that other covers with art by artists/photogtaphers I admire will find their way into my collection. I’ll keep you posted as and when any new covers arrive.