Taken By Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis

Taken By Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis

Taken By Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis
Roddy Bogawa
Video, 95 min., 2011, USA

“For over forty years, using 12” x 12” album covers as his canvas, Storm Thorgerson has produced some of the most visually arresting images in popular culture — Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy — relentlessly pushing the boundaries between art and commerce. Spurning hi-tech manipulation in his quest to 'do it for real,' Thorgerson has created some of the most enigmatic images in the music industry, often building site-specific sculptures or tableaus, or staging performances and photographing them live. Using Thorgerson's own reflections, his personal archive of never-before-seen photographs and films, and firsthand narratives from some of the most important musicians of our time (including David Gilmour and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Robert Plant, Rob Dickinson of Catherine Wheel, and Dominic Howard of Muse), as well as the numerous artists who have helped execute the work from the days of Hipgnosis to his new company StormStudios. Taken by Storm documents Thorgerson’s idiosyncratic artistic process (like dragging 765 iron beds onto a beach for Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason) and also explores how one of the most powerful image-makers in rock and roll transcended the constraints of commercial marketing to realize his unique artistic vision, creating a powerful visual legacy that resonates throughout contemporary culture.” (RB)A film by Roddy Bogawa about the life and work of legendary album art designer Storm Thorgerson

For over forty years using 12" x 12" album covers as his canvas, Storm Thorgerson has created some of the most iconic images in the history of Rock and Roll. Eschewing computer manipulation in favor of building massive sets and tableaus, staging performances and actions and "doing it for real" in what he calls"mind movies" and "photo paintings", Thorgerson has deliriously and relentlessly confounded expectations of the relation of images and music, hyperrealism and the everyday, and the role of the record sleeve at the intersection of art and commerce.

As famed graphics company, Hipgnosis, Thorgerson along with Aubrey (Po) Powell and Peter Christopherson designed some of the most iconic record sleeves in the history of Rock and Roll including DARK SIDE OF THE MOON for Pink Floyd and HOUSES OF THE HOLY for Led Zeppelin as well as covers for Genesis, Peter Gabriel,10cc, Alan Parsons, Black Sabbath and Paul McCartney and Wings. Thorgerson has continued his work as StormStudios having designed artwork for The Cranberries, Catherine Wheel, The Mars Volta, Anthrax, Ween, Audioslave, Muse, Biffy Clyro and The Steve Miller Band.

With intimate interviews of Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell and never seen before film and photographs of the production of past and present record covers as well as legendary musicians such as Pink Floyd's David Gilmour , Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, Graham Gouldman of 10cc, TAKEN BY STORM ... takes Thorgerson back to the sites of some of the most famous imagery - the Burbank Studio lot where the businessman on fire was photographed for Pink Floyd's WISH YOU WERE HERE and the Battersea Power Station in London for the ANIMALS shoot - as Thorgerson recounts the creative processes and methods in their production. As a film documenting Thorgerson's philosophies ("a record cover should parallel themes in the music rather than illustrate"), idiosyncratic processes (dragging 765 wrought iron beds onto a beach) and his disdain for the limitations of commercial marketing in the pursuit of one's artistic vision (the design for Led Zeppelin's IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR feat 6 different versions of the cover all hidden in a brown paper bag sleeve), TAKEN BY STORM ... is also a film about one man's artistic journey amidst technological change and its affect on image-making and our collective memory and culture.

Other interviews include Steve Miller, The Cranberries, Catherine Wheel, The Mars Volta, Biffy Clyro, pop artist Sir Peter Blake (noted designer of SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND), artist Damien Hirst and numerous photographers, illustrators, and graphic artists who have worked closely with Storm Thorgerson throughout his career.



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