(The following article is featured in the new 54th GRAMMY celebration issue of GRAMMY magazine. Read the full issue online.)
There was likely an entire generation that pictured a soup can when confronted with the term pop art. Indeed, Andy Warhol, whose famous Campbell's Soup can paintings became defining images for contemporary art in the '60s, is perhaps the standard-bearer for the form that also included such artists as GRAMMY winner Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. In its heyday, pop art existed at the intersection of mass consumer culture and fine art.
But where do pop music and art intersect? At least once a year, it's at the GRAMMY Awards. As acknowledgement that the support and nurturing of all the arts help benefit both our culture and the economy, each year The Recording Academy designates an official artist to create a work that functions as a commemorative poster and cover of the official GRAMMY Awards program book and souvenir tickets.
In the case of the 54th GRAMMY Awards, the designation went to renowned architect Frank Gehry. An artist in his own right, Gehry designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. For his 54th GRAMMY artwork, he created a work that combined iconic images — models of his own highly recognizable structures surrounding the world-recognized GRAMMY statue.
Though once the province of graphic artists with an emphasis on simple marketing design, for more than 15 years now The Academy has turned to a revolving cast of artists to create impactful images of varying styles and media. We invite you to browse through the museum of GRAMMY artwork from the past decade.
44th GRAMMY Awards, Feb. 27, 2002
Just a few short months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, The Academy turned to ultra-realist painter Lauri Blank to create a flag-draped GRAMMY image that portrayed solemn respect for those lost and the unity of the nation supporting their memory. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based artist's work, which she describes as "romantic figuratism," has been exhibited throughout the country.
45th GRAMMY Awards, Feb. 23, 2003
The Academy collaborated with iconic pop artist Peter Max, who incorporated his signature rainbow colors and his own close association with New York to bring focus to the last GRAMMY show in the Big Apple to date. Melding Manhattan iconography with the GRAMMY, Max put an urban spin on the official art. It was Max's fifth official GRAMMY art piece following images for the 33rd, 34th, 36th, and 37th telecasts.
46th GRAMMY Awards, Feb. 8, 2004
Noted 3-D artist Charles Fazzino joined The Academy to celebrate the GRAMMYs' return to Los Angeles with an image rich in music and regional Southern California signposts. Though ultimately rendered as a flat image for the poster, the original is a full-relief, layered work. Fazzino has, before and since, created works for other high-profile events such as the Super Bowl, Major League Baseball's All-Star Game and the Olympic Games.
To browse the rest of the GRAMMY artwork from the past decade, click here.
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