Radiohead Artist Stanley Donwood Envisions a Doomed L.A.

By Doug Bleggi

British artist Stanley Donwood is known to most as the man responsible for Radiohead’s eye-opening album artwork. Often bleak and apocalyptic, he has given our generation some of its most iconic images in music. One of Donwood’s most awe-inspiring drawings is his artwork for Thom Yorke’s debut solo album, The Eraser. Entitled “London Views,” it features England’s capital city in ruins, overcome with tidal waves and destruction being brought about a mysterious cloaked figure featured on the left hand side of the album’s front cover.

In Donwood’s latest creation, “Lost Angeles,” Donwood revisits the concept of “London Views” with an equally dismal premonition for the city of Los Angeles. Expanded to an 18-foot panoramic display, the piece shows the city burning, flooded and showered with meteors. Consisting of 18 linoleum panels, each section is further burnished on Japanese Kozo paper. The piece along with a selection of equally dark depictions, are currently on display at Subliminal Projects. While the exhibition shows various sections of L.A. in utter destruction, one curious feature is the Capitol Records building, the label being Radiohead’s former US imprint.

“There is no future,” says Donwood. “We have evicted ourselves from our own cities, rendered our agriculture poisonous, criminalized the poor, aggrandized the rich, honored the stupid and ridiculed the intelligent…I have no solutions, no wisdom to offer…Whilst Rome burns, I take up my little chisel and I carve a panoramic apocalypse of my own…and if you want to see it, you’re more than welcome.” A very typical summation, given the man’s consumerist-centric covers for Radiohead’s OK Computer and Hail to the Thief.

“Lost Angeles” along with “Apocalypse 101,” “Hollywood Dooom,” “Tremendous Meteorite” and a 192-piece jigsaw puzzle will be on display at Subliminal Projects until Saturday, May 26.

[Via Laist]

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