Massive Attack’s art of darkness

HELIGOLAND (2010) New Massive Attack album art banned on London Underground

“We can’t use any of the Heligoland artwork I’ve painted for the posters on London Underground. They won’t allow anything on the tube that looks like ‘street art’. They want us to remove all drips and fuzz from it so it doesn’t look like it’s been spray-painted, which is fucking ridiculous. It’s the most absurd censorship I’ve ever seen. We’re hosting pop-up galleries [on] tour this year. We’ve got UnitedVisualArtists; Steve Bliss’s No Protection artwork which was like an early prototype for his Grand Theft Auto stuff; and all the extras from Mezzanine and 100th Window.”

This is an excellent article on the website that tracks the artworks and ideas behind the videos and album covers of UK band Massive Attack since 1985. (I saw them play in Glasgow way back when…). They’ve worked with some well known names in the UK and they write about their artistic influences and collaborators such as photographer Nick Knight, and director and writer Michel Gondry. (Cool!). It’s a nice insight into the flow of an artistic practice that is wide and varied and isn’t restricted to anyone medium or influence…very good reading…and in terms of photography – this is pretty interesting:

100TH WINDOW (2003) With Daddy G on sabbatical, Nick Knight blows stuff up

“This is the most expensive sleeve we and, I’m told, EMI ever made. If I’d painted that cover [after G left], it would have looked like it was my project so I went back to Nick Knight to work on something more abstract. I was thinking about crystals, refracted light and prisms, and Nick was talking about blowing things up. In the end, we found a glassblower in Brixton willing to make eight human-sized figures. We blew them up on a controlled site and shot them shattering with multiple cameras. It was crazy expensive, having this warehouse full of glass humans exploding.”

Click through to read the full article here


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