Mat Maitland, an artist who has most recently created the cover of Michael Jackon’s latest album, Xscape, (and has worked with the likes of Prince, Beck, and Basement Jaxx) give us his take on #ListenForYourself
I have used literal elements and lucid abstraction to reflect the aroma of my playlist. The literal elements form the central focus, much like the chorus in a song, becoming the visual hook you remember. So, there’s a falcon which refers to a lyric from This Is Not America, a leopard referenced from Leopard Tree Dream - the moon being a nod to Nocturne For Michel - and lastly a female arm hinting at something sensual or alluring which could symbolise Liberian Girl, Screams Of Passion, Mystified or Boys & Girls. Obviously songs are more than simply titles or choruses, there are whole worlds of inaudible subtlety within each production, musical parts and arrangements that sit under the lyric and melody, sonic stories being painted. With this in mind I have used a variety of abstract elements, almost dancing over the surface of the image.
Mat Maitland’s contemporary surrealist derived images and films are instantly recognisable and memorable. His work is full of enthralling pop complexities referring to fashion, music, paintings and films. His rich textures and multi-layered compositions frequently consist of disembodied body parts or animals, pianos, clouds and brightly coloured elements combined to form enchanting and magnetic images. His many years of experience also cover the disciplines of art direction and design. Currently Creative Director of Big Active Design, he has created powerful and innovative music campaigns for Michael Jackson, Prince, Beck (earning him a D&AD Yellow Pencil), Goldfrapp, Basement Jaxx, Elton John and Mark Ronson among many others.
«I read the whole novel straight through. And I got up and drank water, man. You should’ve seen me. I couldn’t move. That’s what a good writer will do to you. He’ll damn near kill you…a bad writer will too.»
- Charles Bukowski, on the first time he read Celine. (via wordsnquotes)