Thursday, June 6, 2013


                                             "Diamond Dogs"  album cover for David Bowie

One of my all time favorite books of art portrays the world of rock musicians in a somewhat surrealistic vein.  ROCK DREAMS, a stunningly illustrated book by Guy Peellaert, is a melding of the worlds of art and music that excites the eye.  The book was a collaboration with Nik Cohn, a British rock journalist.  It sold over 1 million copies the year after it was published in 1973.

Peellaert was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1934.  He was a prolific artist, painter, illustrator, comic artist, and photographer.  Prior to debuting as a theater decorator and comic strip artist he studied fine arts in Belgium.  Much of his work was inspired by pop culture, film noir, pulp literature, and psychedelic art.  His illustrations celebrated and exaggerated the rebel heritage of pop music and particularly, rock and roll.  His style of painting was very photorealistic and he often used pastels in his work.  A number of his creations spawned controversy because of their explicit images that were subsequently "cleaned up" for public consumption.

Guy Peellaert was most notably recognized for  his rock album covers after the huge success of Rock Dreams.  To his credit, he designed covers for David Bowie, Etienne Daho, The Rolling Stones,Lio, and others.  Also included in his resume are posters he designed for films like "Taxi Driver", "Paris, Texas",  and "Short Cuts".

Featured second from top, is the album cover for Bowie's record "Diamond Dogs"  (my favorite)  This particular design had to have the genitalia of the half dog, half Bowie creature airbrushed out of the original work.

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