Monday, June 22, 2009

Album Cover Showcase: Wilfred Limonious/ Lemi Ghariokwu

In this age of mp3s, the idea and concept of an album cover has suffered immeasurably. David Byrne wrote a piece on the matter a couple years back. I felt the need to document here, a couple of album cover illustators whose work I've greatly appreciated over the years.

First, is Wilfred Limonious, who illustrated alot of the 70s and 80s reggae and dancehall LP covers. His style is very humorous and exagerated. Sometimes his works come off as casual sketches and other times, much more refined. They would be instantly recognizable to me digging thru the reggae bins, and if the album wasnt good at least youd get a good laugh from the cover art. They would also define that era of reggae art which still inspires today.

Check out more of Wilfred Limonious work here

Second, is Lemi Ghariokwu, illustrator and designer most known for his work with Fela Kuti. His shared political views with Fela afforeded him complete creative control in which he really expressed himself, often penning hard to read notations and small character narratives on the record covers. Alot of his work for Fela, pointed out the injustices and corruption of government and religious institutions, often pitting the state vs the struggling people. Much of his work, like the music of Fela, was banned by this same oppressive government. Lemi has gone on to work with many other artists.