The 45 rpm single is a complete cultural icon. Remember your first time? All your old singles, in simple paper sleeves? Maybe you still even have them. If you don’t you’ll certainly remember the years you spent as a teenager playing 45s on a cheap record deck. For many music fans, consuming singles was a huge part of life – and a trip to your local record store was an important rite of passage.
Many of our clients are collectors of classic LP cover photography – often because they want a special link with a memory of something important from their past. So while we have always been able to provide access to classic LP sleeve art and session images, we have never been in position to offer anything like that when it came to classic singles, for the simple reason that (picture sleeves aside) there are no photographs on the covers of classic early rock ‘n’ roll 45s.
But as sure as eggs are eggs, singles are worthy of celebration – and for many people, their cherished music memories comes from classic singles rather than albums. So if we could find a way for people to celebrate a classic 7 inch single, through the medium of a piece of art in a visually arresting and innovative way, then that must be a good thing right?
Introducing Morgan Howell
Every now and again, we see something really inspirational. Often it is an idea that begs the question "Why hasn’t someone done it before? " Well, luckily someone is doing it now, and doing it brilliantly. When we met British artist Morgan Howell, we felt we had found the motherlode. Here’s why: imagine your favourite seven inch, its bag worn at the edges through constant use. Now imagine that on large scale, around 27 inches x 27 inches ( 68 x 68 cm). That’s Morgan’s speciality – he creates original paintings of classic 7 inch waxings, but on a superscale. These are not paintings on flat canvas – these are 3D paintings, in handpainted worn bags, crinkled and creased at the edges by Morgan. So difficult to get across on a website, but amazing in the flesh.
Morgan’s paintings reproduce the label artwork in all its glory and also some stunning bag designs. Often overlooked in favour of picture sleeves and LPs, the paper bags for singles sleeves actually displayed some simple but beautiful designs. Makes sense when you think about it. Give a designer an empty surface, sooner or later he will design something to go on it.
Until the beginning of September we will be displaying two of Morgan’s paintings at the gallery – the Beatles Double A-Side, Hey Jude / Revolution. The paintings reflect two sides of the same double A-Side single, so you get a nice contrast between the front and back of the Apple Corps logo. The attention to detail is incredible: the creases on each side of the record bag even mirror each other. They are for sale as a pair.
One for yourself?
Morgan is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Art and his work has been shortlisted for The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. He has already produced commissions for a number of high profile clients, and now we are offering you the opportunity to have your favourite 45 turned into one of Morgan’s original paintings to be displayed on your walls at home or at work.
Each original painting takes 4-6 weeks to produce and is supplied ready for hanging with a special mounting system that fits through the hole in the middle. Presented in the way, the sleeve and record appear to float off the wall. Alternatively, these artworks can be supplied in box frames for added protection. It’s all down to personal preference, and we can talk you through the options if you decide to go ahead.
If you or a loved one has a favourite single that you want to celebrate, in a big way, and you are interested in finding out more about Morgan’s commisions, please get in touch, and we can deal with any questions you may have.