Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ cover artist explains his creative process
The spirit behind the cover of Radiohead’s iconic 2000 album, Child A, recently discussed her creative process and what influenced her work for recording.
Together, acclaimed artist Stanley Donwood and band frontman Thom Yorke are co-hosting a new London art exhibition focused on upcoming Radiohead reissues Child A and Amnesiac.
Entitled “How to Disappear Completely”, the exhibition will run from October 5 to 19. It will be held at the prestigious Christie’s auction house on King Street, St. James’s.
Speaking to the auction house about his longtime collaboration with Radiohead, Donwood discussed some of the influences that inspired the two album covers and how his creative process took shape.
Regarding the group’s interest in a physical presentation of their albums, he explains: “It is quite rare that a group is as interested in their visual representation as in the music”. He also spoke about how he was invited to move into the studio during recording sessions for Child A so that his paintings “respond to the developing mood of the album”.
For the exhibition, Donwood sells six large paintings that he created especially for Child A. There will also be drawings, lyrics and digital art also available that were made during this important chapter in the band’s career.
The series of often dark and dystopian landscapes was produced between 1999 and 2001 and closely linked to the themes and aesthetics of the imposing final cover art of Child A. Donwood was also asked about the dark nature of some of his paintings, and he revealed that it had a lot to do with his feelings at the time.
“I had a lot of things in mind with the ongoing conflict in the former Yugoslavia and the death toll,” he explained. “It was some kind of cataclysmic power existing in the landscape.”
This comes from the fact that Yorke had previously described how he and Donwood were “obsessed with triangular mountains” and “had visions of pyramids flying above us”.
Donwood explained, “We started using the computer to reduce the geology itself and exaggerate the mountains and gorges. He continued, “to populate the landscape with pylon-like stalking creatures that had come to life, with half-finished cartoon behemoths and floating red cubes, aerial pools of blood.”
In what is clearly a busy time for the band, earlier this month Radiohead and PlayStation announced a new “virtual exhibit,” focusing on the band’s upcoming re-releases.
Details remain vague on the release, but PlayStation describes it as “an upside down digital / analog universe created from original artwork and recordings to commemorate 21 years of Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac’. . Coming in November 2021.
Listen to Yorke and Donwood talk about the exhibit below.