The cross-cultural collaboration of N.A.S.A.’s debut album The Spirit of Apollo (Feb 17, 2009 on Anti-) has been passionately carried over to the album artwork. Each album will contain artwork for five interchangeable covers by popular artists from varied backgrounds and cultures.
The artists who contributed covers include:
Shepard Fairey. Los Angeles-based artist and graphic designer Shepard Fairey recently gained international prominence through his iconic imagery of Barack Obama (which subsequently graced the cover of TIME Magazine). Fairey’s cover utilizes his distinctive graphic style to address the themes of money, capitalism, war and various other upbeat global issues of the day.
Sage Vaughn. Los Angeles-based artist Sage Vaughn started out as a graffiti artist and has become one of the most respected painters in the contemporary art scene in
Los Angeles. Vaughn’s collage for the cover of The Spirit of Apollo deftly incorporates a disco ball, rockets, seemingly drunken astronauts and a religious Spaniard.
The Date Farmers. The Date Farmers (Carlos Ramirez and Armando Lerma of the Coachella Valley) artwork echoes their Mexican-American heritage rooted in California pop culture. Their paintings, collages and three-dimensional sculptures contain elements influenced by graffiti, Mexican street murals, traditional revolutionary posters, sign painting, prison art and tattoos, all elements present in their cover for N.A.S.A.
Marcel Dzama. The Canadian artist known for small-scale ink and watercolor drawings of human figures, animals, and imaginary hybrids. In addition to creating iconic covers for such musical artists as Beck, They Might Be Giants and The Weakerthans, Dzama’s visual art has been praised throughout the world. By signing onto the N.A.S.A. project by contributing a cover Dzama’s reach may finally expand into space.
Mark Gonzalez. A former professional skateboarder and artist, Gonzalez is known in the skateboarding world as the pioneer of modern street skateboarding. Gonzalez has designed skateboards and clothing, and his original art has been shown in galleries around the world. Gonzalez chose an aquatic theme for his contribution to N.A.S.A. – we can only hope that there are fish on Mars.
All of the cover artists have contributed to The Spirit of Apollo’s animated music video project, which pairs these artists with animators to create music videos for songs on the record. The first such video, featuring the art of Shepard Fairey, was released digitally in late 2008 and can be seen here:
Shepard Fairey also designed the first official poster for The Spirit of Apollo, using graphical themes and images from the video for “Money.”
We’re not finished, N.A.S.A. will be launching two skateboard decks to commemorate the record release. A limited edition deck for Girl Skateboards will feature art by
The Date Farmers, and deck brand Chocolate will be designing a N.A.S.A. deck with their in-house design team. Both skateboard decks will be available in skate shops by street date and will include Mark Gonzalez-designed sticker/download cards – which will allow buyers to download the entire album.
For more information on the music, art and videos visit http://www.squeakecleanblog.com