John Paul Thurlow’s Covers
Since the day we become aware of design and beauty, we have collected all the objects that bring us visual joy. From our favorite album covers to intelligently composed film posters, we adorn our walls with them; desire to have them surround us at all times.
John Paul Thurlow’s favorite item for collection is the captivating magazine cover. There are so many of them out there, rolling off the printers on a daily basis, that we forget how a well crafted front cover can please and intrigue us. There are the rare few that have become iconic in their own right but amongst them there are many more that deserve our attention.
Entitled Covers, Thurlow’s latest project pays homage to this forgotten canvas by re-illustrating his favorite all-time magazine covers. With a crafty pencil and pages of blank paper, he doesn’t merely just duplicate them. But like a good cover song, he uses them as a source of inspiration, a point of departure to let his creativity flow and place his own interpretations upon them.
Elements get added, removed, and toyed around with. The result in the end is not just someone’s doodles, but an insight into the relationship between art and artist, design and designer, and, like any good pop-art, the relationship between mass culture and art. It is his personal way of turning mass-consumerism into cult-production.
It is not just a tribute to the art form that Thurlow is interested in; he also wants to respect the many men and women behind them. For they have created images of temporary beauty, before they are usually chucked aside by the public who have forgotten to appreciate them.
Thurlow will publish his first 100 illustrations in a book in 2010, alongside an exhibition. And in an ironic twist to the story, Elle magazine UK will publish number 92 of his illustrations in their magazine in April, after he had used Elle for Cover #0.
by Henry Guyer