Edinburgh, Magrite and how the cover of ‘Garden With You’ came to be

As a teenager I mostly grew up in Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline and would always be excited when I could somehow get across the Forth Rail Bridge to see Edinburgh the capital of Scotland.
Over the years I developed regular haunts and one of them I indulged regularly was a visit to the Modern Art Gallery in Edinburgh. The collections didn’t change a huge amount but I just liked the building, the setting and the mood it put me in when I was there. I
was/am big on the surrealists and they had plenty of good content in that direction.

Time passed since then and in May of this year (2010) I was experimenting with different ideas for imagery for a single I was completing. I was in Argentina recording another album and was completing the artwork and remixes for this other single – ‘(When You Go You Take The) Garden With You’.

As the single was a dance single I thought that I could try a geometric idea and keep it simple in the way the imagery of electronic dance music often translates the music maths of sine waves and frequencies to their artwork.
I thought of a green triangle simply communicating the pubis of a woman but it was boring when mocked up and the idea had been done before. Then I thought of cutting out grass in the shape of a triangle and slowly the idea developed and crystalli
sed when I remembered a wonderful painting by Magrite (Belgian surrealist with a penchant for bowler hats) that used to hang in the back room of the Edinburgh Modern Art Museum. Using the painting as a launchpad I had the specification below for the artist that was going to work on bringing the idea to life.
Here is the mail I sent to the artist….
Specification for ‘Garden With You’ Cover Art

The song title is a reference to a womans body as a garden – specifically her vagina/pubis. The idea for the cover is to have a picture frame shaped like a womans hips and the picture frame to contain green grass with one triangle cut out (like a womans pubic hair shape) showing the brown soil underneath.

There is famous painting by a surrealist
Magritte called La Représentation (1937) that used a picture frame shaped like a womans hips and it would be good to use this shape (not the actual frame) for the picture frame.

I have done a very rough mockup in photoshop to give you an idea but I do not consider it to be anywhere close to a finished piece because :


  • The picture frame is not shown squarely i.e. I used the photo which shows the frame at an angle. I have not taken the frame shape and created a new frame. A new frame shape is needed not a photograph using wood or branches for the frame
  • The grass is not attractive enough (I used quick stock footage photo) and is in much too low a resolution. The grass should be rich, green, natural and shown from an aerial view.
  • The soil is not rich and warm or complementary to the colour of the grass. The triangle should look like it has been cut out of the grass.- the pubis triangle shape could look more like a womans pubic hair
  • Proportions are not correct and the elements do not look like they belong in the same composition
  • It doesn’t look sexual or erotic

It should be immediately clear to viewers that the picture is a representation of a womans hips and pubis using grass/soil and natural elements.



And this is what Santiago Carosella managed to come back with exceeding my expectations by some margin.

Single is available now directly from drongomala.com and also available from iTunes and other online shops around July/Aug 2010.
More exciting artwork coming for Almas Buenas, a record recently finished in Buenos Aires due out later in the UK summer.

Sergio Carrera (graphic artist) interview (in Spanish) during Almas Buen…

http://www.youtube.com/v/DJC0EKCkNmk&hl=en_US&fs=1

Matías Chapiro (piano) Interview (in Spanish) during recording of Almas …

http://www.youtube.com/v/IakZyQk7YwY&hl=en_US&fs=1

Carlos Corrales (Bandoneón) profile during Almas Buenas Recording 2.mov

http://www.youtube.com/v/pv58CUyT4N0&hl=en_US&fs=1

Juan Pablo Navarro Interview (in Spanish) during Almas Buenas Recording

http://www.youtube.com/v/5pSqvRGRZ4I&hl=en_US&fs=1