Paul Normansell painted the album art for The Killers No.1 album “Day and Age” which sold 2.4 million copies worldwide and Rolling Stone called “The Best Album Art of 2008.” MTV called Paul’s art the best album art of the decade. NME nominated it as Best Album Art of 2008.
ART-PIE eat ‘the Killers’ as a music band and also happen to actually quite like Paul Normansell’s work – at least the stuff he did for “The Killers” CDs covers. One thing must be said though and ART-PIE like this – he is one of these artists trying to use different materials to paint and this has to pointed out. Artists, try new materials or supports, experiment and you ought to get great and unique results!
Here is a recent interview by Fraser Kee Scott of Paul Normansell:
1. Why do you paint?
It’s very satisfying completing a painting, seeing what you have created exhibited in a gallery and seeing and hearing people’s reactions to your work. I have always loved painting and it gives you a great outlet to express yourself.
2. What do your paintings give in terms of quality of image that a photograph can’t?
The use of different materials enables my paintings to have different surfaces and textures. As I paint in gloss on aluminium, the reflective qualities enable the painting to be viewed differently depending on the angle it is viewed from.
3. When you start a painting what do you hope to achieve?
Depending on the style, I either what to create a true likeness; capturing personality, emotion, movement or create social statement. In terms of abstract paintings I like to experiment with colour and create optical effects or patterns sequences.
4. What was it like interacting personally on your collaboration with The Killers?
It was a fantastic opportunity and was very surreal. Talking to Brandon on the phone about his ideas and thoughts for their new album made me feel like I was part of the process to create an album. It was amazing working with the band and really great meeting them, attending their concerts and seeing my art work everywhere in shops and at their shows.
5. How does it feel now that your paintings have tripled in value, everything is sold and there is a 6 month waiting list to commission you?
Obviously it’s a great feeling knowing that there is such a demand for my work and people really appreciate what you do.
6. Who are the biggest names apart from The Killers who own your art?
Trevor Nelson bought a porttrait of Jimi Hendrix when presenting the Lick at a gallery where I had an exhibition and enabled my paintings to viewed on MTV. Pete Tong and Daniel Bedingfield bought some of my early abstract work. British Airways also purchased
some of my work.
7. What do you feel about artists who have made their name from controversy? Would you ever be controversial just to get your work seen?
I feel it is a way of getting yourself known as it gets people talking about your work, however I feel there are many talented artists who go unnoticed because people are more interested in talking about something that is shocking or sensational, that really has very little talent or skill involved. Personally I don’t feel it work for me with my style and philosophy. I also think to be more controversial than a lot of the art that is already produced would be a challenge in itself.
8. How did it feel getting Nominated for Best Album Art of 2008 by NME and winning Best Album Art of 2008 from Rolling Stone?
It’s great to be recognised for my art by the music industry especially because music is such a passion of mine. I also think it is great that ‘the Killers’ have used a painting for the album cover art in a world that now is so dominated by digital imagery that can be produced much quicker and easier so it is a real privilege to have been able to have this opportunity in this day and age (no pun intended.)
The Killers performed at the Royal Albert Hall (London) last month (ART-PIE wish he had gone) and Paul Normansell came up with that artwork for the DVD
Read what Greg Nasmyth (from Lusso magazine) has written about Paul Normansell