Remembering Storm

On the fourth anniversary of his death, just thought you might like to lose yourself in some of the brilliant artwork created by the genius that was Storm Thorgerson during an illustrious career – with Hipgnosis and Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, and later with StormStudios.

You might not get much work done today…

Do let us know which you like best.

31 comments

  1. Taki

    I’m at work already, so just a short response: I loved the idea with hundreds of beds for an album cover. What a contrast to the simple but iconic The Dark Side Of The Moon cover!

    I finally decided to visit the PF exhibition on 9th of July and hopefully will see some of his creations first hand.

    Cheers from the snowy Bavaria (!),

    Taki

  2. Emilio

    It’s hard to choose one. Maybe I’ll go for Ummagumma.

    I have a story to tell about him, about his kindness. I wrote in 2010 to his website’s generic mail, asking for an info, and he soon answered with his personal one, and we exchanged some mail and thoughts… He never worked for an Italian artist (shame), and it would have been the first time. Unfortunately my company at the time didn’t understand how much important it was. But…OK, it’s fine. I feel honoured to have exchanged some words with one of the all time greatest artist and to know, once again, that the more you’re really great, the more you are simple and gentle.

    Thank you again Storm.

    Ciao
    Emilio

    • FEd

      Thanks for sharing that, Emilio. It’s a lovely story, confirming that Storm was indeed the type of man that I believe he was: simple and gentle, as you say.

  3. Lizzy

    Easy, the one I have on my office wall: an original signed Storm print of Ummagumma. My favourite. I also really like Muse’s ‘Absolution’ and The Cranberries’ ‘Wake Up and Smell The Coffee’. Basically they’re all great though; they never get boring and you want to look at them again and again.

    In 2008 I was in Cambridge for The City Wakes and went to his talk about his work in one of the local bookshops. When one of the guys in the audience (Dutch, German, Danish – something foreign like me anyway) wanted to answer one of his questions, Storm did a sort of Marjory from Little Britain’s Fatfighters: What did you say? What did you say? What did you say? What is he saying? Very funny – because I couldn’t help thinking he did it on purpose – but it did made me keep my mouth firmly shut. 🙂

    • FEd

      He had a great sense of humour, apparently. It shows in his work, of course.

      Thanks for sharing, Lizzy. A lovely memory.

  4. Andrew

    I still have a Pink Floyd themed poster that was designed and signed by Storm for a charity event here in NY.

    I always loved his eye for design and how he would create pieces that would always make you pause. He certainly had a way to visualize PF music in a way that just made sense.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  5. Scottishfloyder

    Hello FEd, it’s Storm’s 4th Anniversary already, where does time go huh?

    I love the “Tree Of Half Life”, this is amazing.

    About Tree of Half Life:

    Tree of Half Life is a limited edition silkscreen that was one of the very first selection of Pink Floyd images to be revisited and re-envisaged as an art print by Storm Thorgerson at the very beginning of this century. The Tree of Half Life was a cover waiting wistfully for an album to go with it but one that has been adopted by the Pink Floyd catalogue nonetheless. Though originally intended for a band called Catherine Wheel, Tree of Half Life always seemed very Pink Floyd – it is certainly classic Storm. It was submitted as an image for a Floyd 30th anniversary campaign that never got fully realized but it was so well liked by the band that it appeared as a t-shirt and as the frontispiece of the Mind Over Matter book of Floyd imagery.

    In Storm’s words, “Is the tree head a real physical thing? A fluke of nature, or a sculpture of some mad topiary artist? Is it the spirit of the forest? Is the spirit taking the shape only briefly in order to communicate with us, to let us know there is intelligence there? Will it revert back to normal tree shape just as quickly? Look again and it will not be there. Was it in the mind all along? Are the branches like the neurons of the brain? The tree of knowledge, the tree of half life. The official story is that this tree profile head was achieved by helicopter topiary – a man hung from a helicopter and cut the shape much as he might a hedge. Anybody who says different, who says the Tree Head was made on computer is a telltale and a stinking rotten liar. Photographed on Hasselblad 500C with daylight transparency in a London Park in February with available light. The tree is still there, but you might not see it like this unless in the right frame of mind.” The soft quality of this print, on a lovely Somerset paper, chimes with the whimsical or even mystical nature of the imagery.

    Not only a truly amazing piece of Art but a great story from Storm himself to go with it, very deep stuff.

    Thanks again FEd.

  6. Daniel

    The artistic concept of Storm Thorgerson is genius beyond thought but more in a Dream state that we call life.

  7. Michèle

    This gave me the opportunity (and joy) to explore again my copy of his ‘Mind Over Matter, The Images of Pink Floyd’ (third edition, 2003) and ‘Tree of Half Life’ is one of my favourites.

    Storm said: “This image was adopted by the Floyd both as a T-shirt and as a frontpiece in a book because they liked it and it felt Floyd-like.” – Oh I want this T-shirt! 😉

    I think that this one is great too (metaphorically speaking).

    I also love David’s foreword:

    “Storm has always had a big mouth. When I first met him he was fifteen and I was in short trousers. I still have a picture in my mind of this schoolboy holding forth to a group of similar-minded teenagers his views on things like Art, Drugs, the Meaning of Life and Immortality. Nothing much has changed (apart from my trousers). I am enormously fond of Storm. He has been my friend, my conscience, my therapist and of course my artistic advisor for over thirty years.

    There was a time – during the making of the Momentary Lapse Of Reason album – that we were persuaded to consider other artists for the cover. The ideas presented by these ‘proper’ designers seemed to be based on purely commercial terms which didn’t fit what we were about. It was with relief that we went back to the devil we knew. Storm’s ideas are not linked to anyone’s ideas of marketing: that they are atmospherically linked to the music is a bonus. I consider what he does to be art.”

  8. Maya

    I’m pretty sure Storm created my favorite poster of all time. It’s the man swimming in sand, titled, “The Meaning of Life”.

    I also love the “diver” from WYWH and the story about the yogi master who posed for the picture, balancing on a bucket (or something) until the ripples left the water completely so they could get the perfect shot.

    And somewhere I saw an interview of Polly promoting The Kindness, talking about one of her first dates with Gilmour. Storm came running out to say goodbye to them as they were leaving and he said, “Bye sweetie,” to David – which made Polly think she was a beard for the night. It was a very sweet story when she told it, I’m ruining it a bit. But there are few things more appealing to me than a little bit of naughty and sass. My secret soul smiled that Storm would carbuncle their first date. That’s what friends are for…

    RIP Storm. And thank you for art that absorbed me, inspired me, made me ponder life and death and things bigger than me for many many wonderful hours over the course of my life. You remain an incomparable genius.

    Here is a link to The Meaning of Life.

    • Michèle

      Speaking of the ‘Wish You Were Here’ artwork (about absence), am I the only one who thinks that it’s a true ‘homage’ to surrealist painter Magritte (especially this image)?

  9. G Stewart

    Storm always created thought-provoking pieces of art. Simply put, he was a one-off genius.

    Personally, the ‘tree of life’ is my favourite.

  10. Kimberley

    Another person I wished I could have met. He certainly had a different perspective on the connection between dream and reality.

  11. Damian Cunningham

    Even the man’s name is Art. I do like the one of the men coming out of the tunnel with orbs, anything to do with lights. Every time I visit my mum I bring her new solar lights, her garden looks like Blackpool illuminations.

    Damian.

  12. Ralph

    I am still kicking myself for not buying the large “Broken China” image when I went to see Storm’s exhibition in Oostende (Belgium) back in 2012. I love that image.

    As for his sense of humour, I remember his “photo of four geezers” comment on the DSOTM documentary.

    RIP Storm

  13. William Cheng

    Storm’s artwork is really the pinnacle of originality and grace. It is amazing to think of how these great minds (David, Roger, Syd, Storm) grew up with each other, yet their work remained so individually distinct from one another.

  14. MaryAnn

    I have always found Dark Side Of The Moon to be striking, especially when the image appears somewhere unexpectedly. Never fails to make one stop and stare, even after all the years.

    A new favorite is Oh, By The Way. Love it. I have never seen that one before. Always learning and seeing new things here on The Blog!

  15. Emilio

    Well, another thing that I love of Storm is that he was, no doubt, recognizable in a moment.
    I clearly remember when in 2003 Muse did ‘Absolution’- I discovered the band with this album – and I was with a friend at his house, and the thing went like this:

    Emilio : ‘Hey it seems a F****** Storm Thorgerson cover!’

    Friend : ‘ It’s great. Can you open the booklet please, who is?’

    Emilio : ‘Storm Thorgerson’.

    Closing curtain.

  16. Ina

    I saw Storm one row in front of me at “Ron Geesin/David Gilmour – Atom Heart Mother, Cadogan Hall, London – June 15th 2008”. It was amazing to see this great artist in live. RIP!

    And after the show we met David’s brother Mark Gilmour and chat a little bit with him.

    Great memories!

  17. ash

    I was quite startled and wondered if there was another Pink Floyd/Gilmour album I didn’t know about when I saw this on a wall. It belongs to my 24 year old niece. 🙂

  18. Hannouresk

    Apart from the PF and DG cover I really like “Tug of War” by Paul McCartney. McCartney not always had great cover illustrations, but this one is never boring.

    It’s sadly a stressful time, so have a nice chat tomorrow without me. 🙁

  19. Amedeo

    Storm was definitely one of a kind. Great sense of humor, very down to earth. Such a huge part of these bands. After all, when you see or even think of a record, the album cover is instantly there in your brain, embedded. Visual and sound go hand and hand, and Storm’s Art on these albums just captures the mind and intrigues the hell out of it.

    A great man, RIP.

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