This Greedy Pig bring the creators of some of the most iconic album art of recent times to Dublin for a special once-off show
by John Mahon
Not short of an idea or two, This Greedy Pig's latest doozy of a project asks the creators of some of the most eye-catching and iconic album artwork of recent years to re-imagine their own personal favourite album cover. They set the bar high for who they wanted and surprisingly almost everybody said yes, immediately.
Greg, Russell and Hughey the cat sat down for us for a quick chat about their Fantasy 12 project
Greg & Russell of This Greedy Pig (Portrait's by Dave Sexton)
Before we talk about the Fantasy 12 show give us a quick refresher on who This Greedy Pig is and what you guys do.
This Greedy Pig (TGP) is Russell Simmons and Greg Spring. We met around 15 years ago on a roof somewhere with a few sherries taken.
We started TGP back in 2011 with JJ Rolfe because we wanted to sell the kind of clothes we couldn't find anywhere in Ireland but then, last year, a gang of clobber savvy lads broke into our office and nabbed the lot which kind of forced us to change tack.
We've actually seen them waddling around the place wearing our stolen gear a few times….
These days TGP is a music/arts/culture publication, a fledgeling record label and a recently launched creative agency (to put it very broadly). We've also got Hen's Teeth Prints, where we sell limited edition prints by Irish and International artists like Denise Nestor, Maria Lax, Eddie Otchere and Marina Esmeraldo.
We'll be shortly re-launching the publication and then actually get around to announcing that we're open for business as an agency. We'd also like to pull together an international gallery show with Hen's Teeth Prints, and an album release with White Collar Boy among other things.
Now, tell us about the concept for your Fantasy 12 exhibition.
The Fantasy 12 show came about after I interviewed Stones Throw Records art director Jeff Jank for TGP last year. Jeff talked about working on record artwork for heads like Madlib, and how easy the whole process was because he was just so hands off, and that he trusted him to interpret the music visually. But on the flip side there was Aloe Blacc, who pretty much asphyxiated any good ideas because he interfered so much, and loads of sweet iterations of the artwork were left unseen.
So that was our original idea, that we'd reach out to our favourite independent labels and ask them to submit a piece under the brief The Cutting Room Floor, basically work that didn't see the light of day for one reason or another. Some labels were in to it, others weren't, so we switched it up.
So with Fantasy 12 we've teamed up with Choice Cuts and have invited artists that have worked on some of our favourite album covers to choose another album and reinterpret the cover. So for example, Dewey Saunders who designed the cover for Anderson. Paak's Malibu, has reinterpreted the cover for D'Angelo's Voodoo,
Top: Ian Anderson's cover for Aphex Twin, B+ cover for DJ Shadow.
How did you pick the artists?
We worked back the way and chose our favourite album covers of the past 30 years, and contacted the artists responsible. Artwork like that William Onyeabor cover for Luaka Bop, all of Fela's stuff, the Madvillainy cover by Coleman, Brian Cross for DJ Shadow's Endtroducing. Even that Vlad Sepetov cover for Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, that's one of the most important pieces of record artwork of the past 10 years.
Top: Vlad Sepetov for Kendrick Lamar, Bottom: Paul Diddy's cover for William Onyeabor
Where will the show take place, why did you chose this space
The exhibition runs from October 13th - 16th in The Copperhouse Gallery on Synge Lane. We wanted that kind of neighbourhood vibe that you'll get having the show there. It was pretty much the space we all wanted from the get go, so we were pretty delighted that they were in to the idea.
Top: Nick Gazin for Run The Jewels, Bottom: Lemi Ghariokwu's work for Fela Kuti.
What challenges did you face bringing the show together?
Just the sheer length of time that a show like this needs to pull together. It is, by quite some way, the biggest show we've attempted, and it's needed all of the 9 months that it has taken to bring it all together.
We thought the biggest hurdle would be convincing very accomplished and busy designers that this show was worth their time, but thankfully that didn't turn out to be the case. They pretty much all jumped at it straight away.
What is each of your two favourite covers by the artists taking part?
Hmmm, if I was forced into an answer I'd say Coleman's Madvillainy cover and Donal Thornton's Onra covers. Russell pipped for Stephen Serrato's Flylo cover, and Jonny Costello's Everything Everything piece.
From Top: Greg's selection of Coleman's Madvillain and Donal Thorntons Onra cover, Russell's selection of Stephen Serrato's Flylo cover, and Jonny Costello's Everything Everything cover.
This Greedy Pig’s Fantasy 12 show runs between October 13th & 16th 2016 at The Copperhouse Gallery, Dublin 8.
All prints exhibited will be available at the show and online via Hen's Teeth Prints from October 13th.
Find out more at fantasy-12.com