måndag 20 september 2010

>>The psychedelic surrealism of Mati Klarwein

Mati Klarwein, an artist whose work has been used on a number of epoch-defining rock and jazz records of the 70s and beyond.

Klarwein is one of those artists you’re already familiar with if you have an interest in music — you may just not be aware that you are. One of his best-known covers was for what’s commonly thought of as Santana’s best album, Abraxas (1970). The picture is called ‘Annunciation,’ and by his own description, it was his first after his “New York awakening” in 1961.

Mati Klarwein - Annunciation

Another important cover art painting was for Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. This psychedelic, ‘fantastic realist’ masterpiece is particularly striking because of how modern it looks — almost like it’s been digitally rendered. Many of Klarwein’s paintings have this quality. It comes out in the sheen of the skin of his subjects, in the carefully rendered, almost Baroque nudes that grace many of his fantasies.

Mati Klarwein - Bitches Brew

After the successes with Bitches Brew and Abraxas, Klarwein worked on a cover paining for a new Jimi Hendrix record with Gil Evans. Unfortunately, this project was never completed, but the painting exists and is striking in the same style as the ones above (the equestrian marauders are both bizarre and amusing — and what exactly is it that’s attacking Jimi’s face like that? Has his afro gone rogue?):

Mati Klarwein - Jimi Hendrix

The cover art for Miles Davis’ Live-Evil double album (‘Live’ was the front and ‘Evil’ the back cover) followed in 1972, striking in its contrast of Afrocentric fertility imagery with “J. Edgar Hoover as a toad in drag” The toad in drag, strangely, also looks a lot like a newly invented Hindu god, with its carefully coiffed hair and muscular limbs.

Mati Klarwein - Live

Mati Klarwein - Evil

Text from: http://www.teabowl.net