As the self-named “visual alchemist” (props to Molly Ross at Nana Projects for letting me borrow her words), for Mobtown Moon, I’ve been having a blast letting my imagination go wild and learning a lot about the visuals associated with Pink Floyd material, as we continue to build this project to epic proportions.
Let’s face it: the iconic, stark-yet-emotional, completely mesmerizing image created by Storm Thorgerson for the original cover of “Dark Side of the Moon” is untouchable and, in my humble opinion, now intimately related with that beautiful composition of music. I didn’t want simply an homage or update of this beautiful piece of artwork–I wanted something that would capture the unique approach that we were taking to this music. Both Sandy and I wanted it to be clear that this is not simply a cover album, but a new interpretation of this music that truly highlights the majesty and power of the lyrics and melodies. I needed to find a Baltimore City based artist that could capture all this, AND create an iconic image of our own.
I started looking at local artists online and asking my visual artist friends for recommendations. Of course, I was buried in amazing images created by the hard working painters and sculptors here in our Charm City. One day while I was working on this, I just happened to be listening to two of our musicians, Femi and David (The 5thL), solo albums, “In Late Bloom” and “The Clown with No Circus”. I took a break from the computer screen and noticed the cover art on both these albums was dramatic, emotional and beautiful. I emailed Femi and he wrote back that the artist was his good friend, Sylvia Ortiz.
I made contact with Sylvia, and we quickly met and discussed my vision for the cover: something that paid homage to the original image with color, but emphasized the idea of “moon” and (like the recording) be uniquely our own. I sent her a few tracks that weren’t finished yet to listen to, so she could get the vibe of the record. From this tiny amount of information, Sylvia was able to sketch out a few ideas and even seeing just a paper and pencil version of the image was enough to convince me that we had found our cover artist!
A few weeks later, Sylvia sent me a photo of two versions she had created using watercolors and acrylic paint. I have trouble describing how excited I was to see it–just to know that we suddenly had something–almost like an “identity” or “face” for this music that we had all been working so hard on, for such a long time. And now, for your viewing pleasure, for the first time ANYWHERE, is the cover artwork for our upcoming cd.
I strongly feel that Sylvia captured the collaborative spirit of our project and frankly, I can’t wait to see this thing on t-shirts, walking around–EVERYWHERE!