Juxtapoz 15th Anniversary Art Auction: Stanley Donwood

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 16 Sep 2009

'Radiohead artist' Stanley Donwood blew the mind of our managing editor, Evan Pricco, way back when he interviewed him two years ago. Hear why he is the next contributing artist to be a part of our 15th Anniversary Art Auction now:

It was an odd interview because I was a fan. I don't fan-out too often. I try not to show my cards, but it was hard with Stanley Donwood, one of the reasons being that he has created the imagery for an Oxford, England band that used to be called On A Friday and now goes by Radiohead, and the other reason being that in a world gone astray circa 2003, Stanley's art for the album Hail to the Thief seemed to tap actually into the soul of every person who felt disenfranchised by Bush, Blair, Homeland Security, terror alerts, corporate jingles, Guantánamo, Iraq, music, movies, etc, etc, etc. Shit had hit the fan, shit has hit the fan, and somewhere in the middle of all of this, Stanley Donwood paints THAT picture. It isn't pretty, but it is in fact, really, really pretty.

In 2007, I got a few words in with Mr Donwood, as he was melting wax in a saucepan, creating work that would be centered around Radiohead's In Rainbows. A few of our exchanges are as follows. –Evan Pricco

Evan Pricco: Would you say you’re somewhat sorted now?

Stanley Donwood: Probably. Yawn. What next? Car accident? Nuclear war? Yes, I’m sorted. I should get a fucking pension or something, if I thought for a minute that there was any point at all.

Does anything surprise you?

Everything, all the time. And not pleasantly.

Are we okay?

No. I can’t reconcile our economists’ and politicians’ idea of endless growth, endless building, endless production with the intimations that we’re a civilization in terminal decline. The world’s largest oil field, the Ghawar, in Saudi Arabia, has peaked. We rely on oil for everything from medicines to pesticides through transport and packaging, and there really is no viable alternative, nor is there likely to be. The suburban experiment, which has been called “the biggest misallocation of resources in the history of humanity,” continues apace, and the most important problems facing us as a civilization are too enormous and terrifying to be addressed by any politician, or indeed the people ruled by them. Infantile politicians like Blair et al are predictably concerned with the manipulation of fear and control. I can’t blame them for this; it’s what the broadly consensual politics of the last 200 years have been geared towards. Our system is the result of the industrial revolution, and as the revolution spins to a halt anew, and far more frightening, politics may emerge. I’m very sorry.

--Excerpt from Juxtapoz #79, August 2007.


All auction info can be found at www.juxtapoz.com/auction



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