Pink Floyd’s New Album Cover Made by Unknown Teenage Artist
Pink Floyd has announced that their new album, The Endless River, will drop on November 7, 2014. It is the band’s first studio album in 20 years, and their 15th altogether. A tribute to the band’s late keyboardist and founding member Richard Wright, who appears posthumously on the album, it is described as ambient and largely instrumental.
Given Pink Floyd’s status as a seminal rock ensemble with a storied history and a massive fan base, it’s no surprise that buzz around the album is steadily building. But while fans must still wait weeks to hear the music, the album cover has been released. The band’s legendary graphic designer, Storm Thorgerson, who was responsible for what became culturally indelible imagery like the prism from Dark Side of the Moon, died last year, prompting the search for a successor who could visually depict the Floydian mystique. That spirit was found in Ahmed Emad Eldin, an 18-year-old Egyptian artist, hitherto unknown in either the music or art communities.
Eldin’s work was discovered online by Aubrey Powell, Thorgerson’s design partner. She told the Independent: “When we saw Ahmed’s image it had an instant…resonance. It’s enigmatic and open to interpretation, and is the cover that works so well for The Endless River.” The work depicts a man navigating a small wooden ship across a sea of clouds toward a glowing sunset, which indeed seems a perfect fit for an album called The Endless River that is meant to serve as a tribute to a departed friend.
For the young artist, it has been a life-changing experience. “A creative agency working for Pink Floyd contacted me after checking my artworks through the Internet as my work has appeared on online galleries on behance.net, ” he said. The artwork is currently displayed in cities across the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, and Milan. Soon, it will live on the iPods and computer screens of millions, as well as on vinyl versions of the album.
Speaking of his inspiration, Eldin enigmatically explained: “Thinking about life and nature and what is beyond the world of charming factors we have never seen is enough to create millions of different amazing feelings.”
Whether the cover will have the same cultural resonance as Thorgerson’s imagery remains to be seen, and likely depends on fans’ and critics’ reactions to the music. But the decision to go with a cover by a very young artist—one born two years after their last studio album was released—who was found online shows that they’re still very much with the cultural zeitgeist.
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