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“I listen to the music, read the lyrics, speak to the musicians as much as possible. I see myself as a kind of translator … I like to explore ambiguity and contradiction, to be upsetting but gently so. I use real elements in unreal ways.”
These words of Storm Elvin Thorgerson (28 February 1944 – 18 April 2013), an English graphic designer whose ideas have become iconic covers of the most famous rock musicians Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nik Kershaw, Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Yes, Al Stewart, Europe, Catherine Wheel, Bruce Dickinson, Dream Theater, Anthrax, The Cranberries, The Mars Volta, Muse, The Alan Parsons Project, Helloween, Biffy Clyro, Angels and Airwaves и Rival Sons.
His images or real, but placed in unrealistic conditions or his real situation is filled with unreal characters. Like the music that sets own images for every perso. Thorgerson began the career of the designer with the founding of his own studio with his classmate Aubrey Po Powell, born September 23, 1946, also in the future the famous designer and later director, producer and screenwriter.
Many unique covers were created in the studio Hipgnosis, which existed until 1983 . After his business partner created his production company, at the same time, Storm Thorgerson founded the Storm studio, in which a huge number of images for books and albums were made. The studio continues his work after the death of the designer in 2013.
The Dark Side of the Moon is one of the greatest designed albums of all time, made by Thorgerson and his studio. Many of the designer’s works are known for surreal elements. He often put objects in an unexpected environment, far from their usual context, creating vast spaces around them, and the strange appearance of the characters there highlighted their beauty.
“I like photography because it is a reality medium, unlike drawing which is unreal. I like to mess with reality … to bend reality. Some of my works beg the question of is it real or not?
Thorgerson anticipated what was then possible to create in Photoshop, his collages are a unique world created by imagination inspired by music.
Here, in an interview from 2009, he talks about some of his creations
Storm: ‘This picture of a sheep on a psychoanalytic couch was designed as a poster insert for 10cc’s 1980 album, Look Here. The band asked for ‘something different’. I never really have a clear idea of what that expression means … I thought it was more engaging to ask a question and between us we came up with ‘are you normal?’ Anyway, the question led to the idea of normality and what could be more normal than a sheep, all of whom tend to follow each other. But to be normal you’d need a lengthy dose of psychotherapy.’