Sunday, June 16, 2013

ACBA: The Story of Moondog by Andy Warhol

Moondog (born Louis Thomas Hardin in 1916) was a blind American composer and street performer known as The Viking of 6th Avenue. His compositional style is often seen as a precursor to the Minimalism of Philip Glass and Steve Reich. The Story of Moondog, his fourth LP, was released on the Prestige label, in 1957. It consisted primarily of percussive jams, often on instruments of his own creation.

It is the 22nd album cover designed by Andy Warhol, created when he was still employed as a commercial designer, before his later success as a pop artist. The credit, though, went to Reid Miles, the designer of hundreds of albums on the Blue Note label. The handwriting on the cover is by Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola, who Warhol had write out the sentences several times and then collaged into the final version, omitting any spelling errors or crossed out words (presumably explaining the variation in colour). She is not credited by name, but rather as "Andy Worhol's Mother". When she was recognized a year later for the work with an award from the Art Directors Club, her award was engraved accordingly, including the perpetuation of the spelling error.

Her handwriting also appeared on two other covers designed by Warhol, and on his business card (below) and letterhead.

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