Alan Aldridge (1971)
|Born||8 July 1938|
|Died||17 February 2017(aged 78)|
|Residence||Los Angeles, USA|
|Occupation||Artist, illustrator, graphic designer, creative director, graphic entertainer|
|Spouse(s)||Rita Farthing |
Alan Aldridge (8 July 1938 – 17 February 2017) was a British artist, graphic designer and illustrator. He is best known for his psychedelic artwork made for books and record covers by The Beatles and The Who.
Aldridge was born in North London and lived in Los Angeles, California. Aldridge was twice divorced. He is survived by eight children: Miles, Saffron, Pim, Marc, Toby, James, Lily and Ruby.
Four of his children are fashion photographer Miles Aldridge and models Saffron Aldridge, Lily Aldridge and Ruby Aldridge. On 17 February 2017, his daughter Lily announced his death via Instagram.
Aldridge first worked as an illustrator at "The Sunday Times Magazine.'' After doing some freelance book covers for Penguin Books, he was hired in March 1965 by Penguin's chief editor Tony Godwin to become the art director of Penguin. Over the next two years as art director, he especially focused on science fiction book covers and introduced his style which resonated with the mood of the time. In 1968 he moved to his own graphic-design firm, INK, which became closely involved with graphic images for the Beatles and Apple Corps.
During the 1960s and 1970s, he was responsible for a great many album covers, and helped create the graphic style of that era. He designed a series of science fiction book covers for Penguin Books. He made a big impression with his illustrations for The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics book. He also provided illustrations for The Penguin Book of Comics, a history of British and American comic art. His work was characterised by a flowing, cartoony style and soft airbrushing – very much in step with the psychedelic styles of the times. His work includes the 1971 anti-war poster entitled A great place for hamburgers but who'd want to live there!
He is possibly best known, however, for the picture book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper Feast (1973), a series of illustrations of anthropomorphic insects and other creatures, which he created in collaboration with Harry Willock, William Plomer wrote the accompanying verses. This was based on William Roscoe's poem of the same name, but was inspired when Aldridge read that John Tenniel had told Lewis Carroll it was impossible to draw a wasp in a wig.
Honours and awards
"Aldridge was the 'Guv'nor'....no one comes close to matching his influence on illustration in the 20th Century!..." – Sir John Betjeman, The Times Literary Review, 1975.
Nicknamed himself "The Man with the Kaleidoscope Eyes" after a line in the Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds".
Was known in the 1960s and '70s as "the Graphic entertainer".
- Cover for Boswell's London Journal 1762–1763, ed. Frederick Pottle, Penguin (1966).
- Cover design for A Quick One by The Who (1966).
- Poster for Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey's film Chelsea Girls (1966).
- Covers for Penguin Science Fiction books (1967).
- The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics (US, Houghton Mifflin; UK, MacDonald Unit 75, 1969) editor, select illustrations.
- Ann in the Moon (1970), with story by Frances D. Francis.
- The Penguin Book of Comics (1971), with George Perry, published by Penguin Books.
- The Ship's Cat (1977), illustrated in collaboration with Harry Willock, with verses by Richard Adams.
- The Peacock Party (1979) and The Lion's Cavalcade (1980), sequels to The Butterfly Ball, based on anonymous sequels to Roscoe's version with verses by George E. Ryder and Ted Walker respectively. Illustrated in collaboration with Harry Willock.
- Phantasia: Of Docklands, Rocklands and Dodos (1981)
- The Gnole (1999), with Steve Boyett (writer) and Maxine Miller (colorist).
- Illustrations and logo design for Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, the sixth studio album by British pop rock/new wave band Tears for Fears, 2004.
- Aldridge is also credited for Art Direction and Illustration on Light Grenades (2006), the sixth studio album for Incubus.
- The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes (Thames & Hudson, 2008), 240 pp, ISBN 978-0-500-09342-9; also published as The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes: The Art of Alan Aldridge (Abrams Books, 2009), 240 pp, ISBN 978-0-8109-0596-2
- "Alan Aldridge obituary". The Guardian. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- "Alan Aldridge, Album Cover Designer for The Who and Elton John, Dies". Best Classic Bands. 18 February 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- "Artist profile on the Palazzo website". Archived from the original on 18 March 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- Bio of Saffron Aldridge
- "The Art of Penguin Science Fiction".
- "Palazzo : Artist & Author Profiles : Latest Profiles : Alan Aldridge". The New York Times. 17 September 2006. Archived from the original on 18 March 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- Aulich, James (2007). War Posters: Weapons of Mass Communication. New York: Thames & Hudson. p. 237. ISBN 9780500251416.
- "Alan Aldridge". Design Museum. 2006. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- Alan Aldridge in The Times, October 12, 2008.
- "Alan Aldridge". Archive edition of audio-video lecture by Aldridge(?) with brief preface. 17 September 2009. Bradley University Galleries, Bradley University.
- Costa Book Awards. Archived 7 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Aulich, James (2007). War Posters: Weapons of Mass Communication. New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 9780500251416.
- Official website
- Picture of Alan Aldridge @ The Design Museum
- "Alan Aldridge – The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes". Dexigner. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- "Alan Aldridge – The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes at Design Museum – Museums & Attractions – Time Out London". Archived from the original on 28 October 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
- Alan Aldridge's science fiction covers for Penguin Books.
- Alan Aldridge agent website
- "Man Alive: Top Class People". Working Class Britain Collection. BBC. 10 May 1967. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.. Alan Aldridge is one of six people interviewed during the 29-minute BBC2 program.
- Alan Aldridge at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Alan Aldridge at Library of Congress Authorities, with 19 catalogue records