"I listen to the music, read the lyrics, speak to the musicians as much as possible. I see myself as a kind of translator, translating an audio event – the music – into a visual event – the cover. I like to explore ambiguity and contradiction, to be upsetting but gently so. I use real elements in unreal ways." – Storm Thorgerson
British graphic designer and artist Storm Thorgerson has created some of the most iconic album cover artwork ever made, including the globally recognised Pink Floyd album ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. "Many people agree that Storm Thorgerson is the best album designer in the world. Look at the evidence. By which I mean look at your collection of LPs" (Douglas Adams from ’Eye of the Storm’ 2000).
Over the years, Thorgerson has designed the album artwork of major bands such as The Alan Parsons Project, Biffy Clyro, Black Sabbath, The Cranberries, Genesis, Muse, The Offspring, Phish and 10CC, as well as those of rock artists such as Ian Drury, Led Zeppelin, and the Mars Volta. His first major artwork was Pink Floyd’s album cover for ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’, and many of his other classic album covers since then have become masterpieces in their own right. Heavily influenced by the paintings of Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte, as well as Man Ray, Picasso, Kandinsky, Juan Gris, and Ansel Adams, Thorgerson himself came to be recognised as a key figure in the modern Surrealism movement. His technically-demanding set ups anticipated computer design software such as Photoshop; the artist instead used photography, paint and sculpture to place objects out of their traditional context, and set them in vast spaces to give them a playfully disjointed but thought-provoking new appearance and meaning.
"Since I cannot draw for toffee, I work with photography. But just because I can't draw, it doesn't mean I can't take the flight of the imagination. I like photography because it is a reality medium, unlike drawing, which is unreal. I like to mess with reality. Some of my work asks the question: is it real or not?" - Storm Thorgerson