Guy Peellaert  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Guy Peellaert (Brussels, Belgium, April 6 1934 - Paris, France, November 17 2008) was a Belgian artist, painter, illustrator, comic artist and photographer, best-known for his album covers for rock artists like David Bowie (Diamond Dogs) and The Rolling Stones (It's Only Rock 'n' Roll). He also designed film posters for films like Taxi Driver, Paris, Texas and Short Cuts; and his book of paintings Rock Dreams.


Comic books and graphic novels

He debuts as a theater set designer but first made his mark as comics book creator. His style was evidently inspired by the psychedelic and Pop art aesthetics celebrated in the 1960s (see Hapshash and the Coloured Coat in the UK).

His graphic novel Les aventures de Jodelle appeared in Hara-Kiri. Éric Losfeld published it in book version in 1966. The heroine protagonist Jodelle was styled after French singer Sylvie Vartan). Peellaert followed up with a second version, co-written with Pascal Thomas for a new heroine, Pravda, la survireuse (this time the French singer Françoise Hardy served as a model). 35 years later, the couturier Jean-Charles de Castelbajac would use the imagery of Pravda and Jodelle for his collection Physical graffiti in 2001.

Rock Dreams

Rock Dreams is a book by Guy Peellaert and Nik Cohn first published by Albin Michel in 1973 or 1974. It was republished by Taschen in November 2003.


Peellaert designed film posters for films like Taxi Driver (by Martin Scorsese), Short Cuts (by Robert Altman), L'argent (by Robert Bresson), Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire (by Wim Wenders)

Album covers

Peellaert is perhaps best known for his rock album covers. He designed covers for The Rolling Stones (It's Only Rock' N Roll), David Bowie (Diamond Dogs), Étienne Daho (Pour nos vies martiennes) ; Lio (Wandatta)…

He painted in a very photorealistic style and often used pastel. The album cover of David Bowie's Diamond Dogs (1974) met with controversy. The cover art features Bowie as a striking half-man, half-dog grotesque. It was controversial as the full painting clearly showed the hybrid’s genitalia. Very few copies of this original cover made their way into circulation at the time of the album's release. According to the record-collector publication Goldmine price guides, these albums have been among the most expensive record collectibles of all time, as high as thousands of US dollars for a single copy. The genitalia was quickly airbrushed out for the 1974 LP’s gatefold sleeve, although the original artwork (and another rejected cover featuring Bowie in a cordobes hat holding onto a ravenous dog) was included in subsequent Rykodisc/EMI re-issues.

Peellaert also designed programme titles for television shows on the French tv channel Antenne 2 in 1982.

His work has been exhibited internationally and compiled into several best selling books, such as Rock Dreams (with British rock journalist Nic Cohn), Albin Michel and Paris, 1974. The book Rock Dreams even sold a million copies. Magazines like Les Inrockuptibles, The Guardian and Vanity Fair have praised his work.

He died at the age of 74 of cancer.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Guy Peellaert" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools