The Californian punk scene in the 1970s was a melting pot of music, creativity and drugs. Those who did not commit suicide or die of an overdose often wrecked their lives through unremitting self-destruction. Raymond Pettibon is one of the few who survived the wild period of those years and is still alive. As the designer of the legendary album cover for the punk band Black Flag, he himself became a legend early on – famed far beyond the punk scene.
The radicalism of Pettibon's design provided a compass for subsequent generations of artists who were faced with the task of defying the restrictions imposed by the format of an album cover by creating powerful and influential designs.
Visual Vinyl provides the first comprehensive overview of these “artist's covers”. The extensive archive of the Dutchman Jan van Toorn – one of the most avid collectors and greatest experts on the subject – served as a treasure trove. The featured works range from surrealist designs by Salvador Dalí to covers by pop art icons such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Jean-Michel Basquiat to works by the Viennese Actionists and contemporary creations by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Banksy and Ai Weiwei. Another major focus are the designs of artists who were close to Fluxus and who frequently produced music during happenings, performances or events and published their own works on LP.
The book invites both specialists and amateurs to immerse themselves in the abundance of designs and background information. In addition to iconic works of the genre enjoying fame far beyond the actual fan base, there are many new discoveries. This overview is completed by an intimate interview with Raymond Pettibon which offers extensive insights into his work as an artist and cover designer.