Home RMW News Stanley Donwood Discusses Radiohead Artwork

Stanley Donwood Discusses Radiohead Artwork


stanleydonwood1Long term Radiohead collaborator Stanley Donwood has recently shared some of his stranger ideas regarding the cover art for the band’s incredible 2016 record ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’. According to Donwood, the original concept art could have been created by a Dr. Who ‘Dalek’.

Stanley Donwood (who’s real name is Dan Rickwood) is one the UK’s foremost contemporary artists. An avid painter, writer and graphic designer, Donwood is undoubtedly best know for his work with the band Radiohead, whom he has collaborated with for over a decade.

Donwood first met Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke whilst they were students an the University of Exeter.  The pair experienced an immediate fondness for each other and became huge fans of each others work. In 1994, Yorke asked Donwood to design the promotional cover art for the single ‘My Iron Lung’. Donwood has been responsible for every piece of Radiohead cover art ever since. He has also created artwork for Thom Yorke’s solo records and supergroup side-project Atoms For Peace.

Radiohead released their most recent record ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ in May of last year. In a recent interview with Creative Review, Donwood revealed that he and the band had some pretty wild ideas for designing the album’s artwork, explaining: “It’s normally about two years to make a Radiohead record. The first things we were talking about were trying to get away from narrative and figurative art, to try and do something that was more to do with chance and happenstance.”

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“I had this idea of a painting Dalek that instead of exterminating people would squirt paint…. But unfortunately our technical skills weren’t up to the job of constructing a Dalek.”

He continued: “So we started messing around with what we could do with the weather and paint, and what happens with large quantities of paint and wind,” he added. The artist started leaving canvases outdoors: “We almost removed human agency from the painting process,” he says, “it was like setting up an experiment and seeing what happened. Some of the canvases were rubbish, so we just painted over them with white and started again. But, by and large we ended up, through a process of editing, with a body of work we were really, really pleased with.”

Photo: Getty


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