Monday, May 16, 2011

The album art of Neon Park

Most famous for his long term collaboration with the rock group Little Feat, who considered him a member of the band, Neon Park (born with the more prosaic name Martin Miller, 1940-1993) was an American artist and illustrator whose surreal paintings graced all but one of Little Feat's album covers and perfectly complemented the band's surreal sensibility. Though he will always be synonymous with that group, his other famous album cover was for Frank Zappa's Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Though his paintings remained kitsch (in a sort of late-style Magritte way), surreal and humorous throughout his career (most notably in his pin-up ducks period), in the late 80s he concentrated on a 'taping' technique whereby he would combine two paintings using taped stripes. Mexico, where he spent a lot of time, also figured in his late paintings. His wife had the almost-as-catchy name Chick Strand (though born Mildred Strand).

Notice on the middle far right of the Sailin' Shoes cover (top), a portrait of a dandy-looking Mick Jagger dressed as The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough (the painting that inspired Robert Rauschenberg to paint). Park was apparently inspired by the film Performance which starred Jagger. On the back is the artist Bruegel, hiding behind a bush.

Previously on Barnflakes:
The Amazing Album Art of Mati Klarwein

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