Robert Rauschenberg + The Talking Heads’ Speaking in Tongues

For a fan of unique music and great art, it doesn’t get much better than this:

David Byrne asked fellow NYC artists Robert Rauschenberg (one of our personal faves) to design his band’s release “Speaking In Tongues” album (one of our personal faves too!).

“I approached Bob Rauschenberg in the mid-’80s to design a cover…I had recently seen some of his black-and-white photo collages at Leo Castelli’s gallery on West Broadway and thought they were amazing, and I wondered what he would do with an LP cover,” Byrne wrote in an op-ed obituary for the artist, published as Bob The Builder in the New York Times in May, 2008.

Rauschenberg agreed, but didn’t simply want to provide an illustration for the standard 12” cardboard sleeve. “His package consisted of a conceptual collage piece in which the color separation layers — the cyan, magenta and yellow images that combined to make one full-color image — were, well, deconstructed. Only by rotating the LP and the separate plastic disc could one see — and then only intermittently — the three-color images included in the collage. It was a transparent explication of how the three-color process works, yet in this case, one could never see all the full-color images at the same time, as Bob had perversely scrambled the separations.”

Check the gallery below for this beauty – some are still available online for purchase.

Excerpts taken from: Artists’ Books and Multiples

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