Robert Frank and the Rolling Stones, Annie Leibovitz and Cindy Lauper, Helmut Newton and INXS, Herb Ritts and Madonna, Weegee and George Michael, among others, lead the exhibition Total Records. Vinyl & photography (until March 11, 2018) at Fundación Foto Colectania (Barcelona, Spain).

Vinyl: Miles Davis, Tutu, Warner Bros. Records – 1-25490, Estados Unidos, 1986. Design: Eiko Ishioka. Photo: Irving Penn.
Vinyl: Miles Davis, Tutu, Warner Bros. Records – 1-25490, Estados Unidos, 1986.
Design: Eiko Ishioka.
Photo: Irving Penn.

The exhibition shows a selection of covers of the most emblematic vinyl records of all times, the result of a collaboration between prominent photographers and artists.

The musical and photographic history of the twentieth century is reflected in these surprising collaborations between artists such as Robert Frank and the Rolling Stones, Bernd & Hilla Becher and Kraftwerk, Nobuyoshi Araki and Björk, Jeff Wall and Iggy Pop, Anton Corbijn and U2, William Klein and Serge Gainsbourg, Jean-Paul Goude and Grace Jones, Irving Penn and Miles Davis, Ryan McGinley and Sigur Ros. Visual artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Dieter Roth have also made their mark on the vinyl, using the album’s cover as a space for experimentation with various photographic techniques and artistic practices.

Vinyl: Grace Jones, Island Life, Island Records – 207 472, France, 1985. Design: Greg Porto. Photo: Jean-Paul Goude.
Vinyl: Grace Jones, Island Life, Island Records – 207 472, France, 1985.
Design: Greg Porto.
Photo: Jean-Paul Goude.

The exhibition is divided into different thematic sections that explore several aspects of this unique art form and also shows how many album covers were not ordered, but the result of a search by the musicians themselves in order to find the most suitable to illustrate their work. At times, the images chosen by the artists caused scandals and later headlines after being censured. On the other hand, the covers of the albums have also served as a platform for political demands, being used as propaganda instruments. Finally, in musical genres such as jazz, vinyl covers have often been designed, not so much to highlight individual artists as to enhance the appeal of a record label or released series.

Vinyl: The Rolling Stones, Exile C69100, Inglaterra, 1972. Design: John van Hamersvel / Normal Seeff. Photo: Robert Frank.
Vinyl: The Rolling Stones, Exile C69100, Inglaterra, 1972.
Design: John van Hamersvel / Normal Seeff.
Photo: Robert Frank.

After being shown in Arles, Zurich and Berlin, now the exhibition, with the collaboration of the Banco Sabadell Foundation, arrives for the first time in Spain. Total Records. Vinyl & photography is produced by the festival Les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, and it is curated by Antoine de Beaupré, Serge Vincendet and Sam Stourdzé, with the complicity of Jacques Denis.

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