6 July 1945 |
Paulton, North Somerset, England, UK
|Known for||Painting, Drawing|
|Movement||Fantasy art, Surrealism|
Matthews was born in Paulton, North Somerset. In 1978, he published Yendor: The Journey of a Junior Adventurer, a hard-back picture book featuring his distinctive paintings of "The Wild Country", a fantasy world seen through the eyes of young Yendor, named after his son (Yendor is, of course, Rodney backwards). These paintings were accompanied by irreverent and light-hearted text written by Graham Smith, forming an episodic story about Yendor's journey. Despite not featuring any coherent plot structure, this whimsical book achieved cult status amongst fanatics of fantastic art due to Matthew's striking and surreal paintings.
Rodney has worked with a number of bands on album covers, the most notable of which is Birmingham melodic rock band Magnum for whom he designed the art-work for Chase The Dragon, The Eleventh Hour, On A Storyteller's Night, Sleepwalking and Escape from the Shadow Garden as well as various compilations and reissues. He also designed album covers for Thin Lizzy, Tygers of Pan Tang (Crazy Nights), Diamond Head (Am I Evil) (Borrowed Time), Praying Mantis (Time Tells No Lies, Predator In Disguise), Nazareth (No Mean City), Scorpions (Lonesome Crow), Veni Domine and Eloy (Metromania and the picture disc for Time to Turn).
More recently he worked on Magnum's later album, Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow, which was released in March 2007; this is the first Magnum studio album since 1992 to feature his art-work. He has also worked with the rock group Asia. His most recent works to date are on The Immortal, a solo album by Magnum lead singer Bob Catley, released in September 2008, and The Mystery of Time by melodic metal project band Avantasia, released in March 2013.
Alongside his album cover work, he has illustrated a number of books and magazines, primarily fantasy and science fiction. He worked on the covers for the Witch World novels by Andre Norton and many of the novels by Michael Moorcock who introduces a section in "In Search of Forever". He also worked as the artistic designer on Gerry Anderson's 1998 TV series Lavender Castle.
Paper Tiger Books have published several art books of Matthews' work, including In Search of Forever (1985), Last Ship Home (1989) and Countdown to Millennium (1997).
In 2010, Rodney designed the illustrations for Marco Palmer's book The Fantastic Intergalactic Adventures of Stanley and Livingston, a fantasy novel aimed for young teenagers, in a world where plumbing is the centre of society. The two have been friends for a number of years. The author, Marco Palmer, is most famous for his past comedy duo act with Rodd Christensen, who starred in the children's TV programme "Balamory".
- Official website
- Rodney Matthews at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Rodney Matthews' Gallery on Inside Your ART