Photograph by Morgan Howell
A British contemporary visual artist who explores the social history of 7 inch records by re-imagining them at ten times their original size. Howell spent 25 years in the advertising industry, with his art an escape from the commercial world. He tried repeatedly to gain entry to the Royal Academy, submitting traditional painting and sculpting, but it was only after he developed his unique focus and approach, that he gained entry in 2005. Howell reflected upon what was significant in his life, friends and family and as an avid vinyl collector, music. He began painting replicas of old 45 singles, but instead of 7 x 7 inches he painted them 30 x 30 inches, with all the dents, scrunches and tears and bits of handwriting, which had become part of the history and beauty of the single sleeve.
As Smiths guitar maestro Johnny Marr (who went so far as having the ‘45rpm’ logo tattooed on his arm) said:
“The seven-inch single, as an entity, is an absolutely powerful, possibly otherworldly object.”
Howell’s original paintings are attracting a cult following amongst musicians and music industry moguls. His painting of David Bowie’s 'The Jean Genie' sits proudly on the wall at Sony Music, 'Yesterday' by The Beatles is at the iconic Capitol Building in L.A. and famous owners include Ozzy Osbourne, Al Murray, Ian Brown and Johnny Marr. Examples of his work are a permanent feature of the Radio 2 Green Room alongside Elton John’s piano.
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