Thursday, 25 April 2013

Covering Art
The Kings of Leon new one?
When I was a teenager I didn’t really do art. If you’d have asked me, I’d probably have said that Van Gogh played inside right for Ajax and wasn’t Monet that shabby detective who kept lighting his pipe on the wall? I liked Rubens but that was because he depicted naked women lying on cushions smiling at me.

What I did was LP covers. I didn’t even need to leave my room. All I had to do was flop on my bed and stare at them for hours. Why stress over the significance of the hand gesture of a Madonna or the beauty of Turner’s treatment of water? I had far more important things to consider. Such as, did the trees in the background of the photo on Bob Dylan’s “John Wesley Harding” make the shape of a man’s face? Everyone said they did. I’d worn the grooves flat before I came to the conclusion that they made the shape of trees. Lots of lousy art appreciation but some great music.

And did the turned-down cornet on the cover of “Sergeant Pepper” in front of Ringo’s waxwork cover up an opium poppy? Was that really Jackson Browne dressed up as a lawman on the inside sleeve of “Desperado”?  And was the woman lounging by the fireplace on “Bringin’ It All Back Home” Bob Dylan himself dragged up? If so, what was the significance?

These were the serious issues I faced in my teens. OK, the Vietnam war, poverty and racism were important in their own way, but you had to put them to one side when considering why Roger Dean had painted the alien moon green on the latest “Yes” album.

I like to think I’ve grown up. I do art now. I was looking at Gainsborough’s portrait of the Linley Sisters last week. I stood for twenty minutes. Was that an alien spaceship hidden in the tree trunk? Could that be a magic mushroom growing under her slipper? And that sheet of music she’s holding – it isn't Hendrix’s guitar solo from “Voodoo Chile – Slight Return?”, is it?

If so – why?


  1. Et tu Tony?
    I am sure art has its charm. But I am yet to find it.