Thom Yorke and artist Stanley Donwood open up about making Radiohead album art


Thom Yorke spoke about working with artist Stanley Donwood on the creation of the Radiohead album covers.

In a new short film for Christies (which was made to coincide with the exhibition of six of Donwood’s “Kid A” era paintings at the auction house), Donwood and Yorke recall their first meeting together at school in art and how Donwood went on to create the cover art for ‘The Bends’.

Yorke recalls: “He was the guy from art school who really knew how to paint. They kicked me out.

Yorke explained that when the band started they couldn’t do the graphic design of things, so they turned to Donwood for help.

Yorke said, “When we first signed a recording deal and had to deal with the graphic designers for the first time and so on, I was like, ‘I can’t handle this. ‘is kind of like a manufacturing company’.

Donwood added, “He called once and told me you wanted to try to make a record cover… It’s quite rare that a band is so interested in its visual representation, so interested in the art that accompanies it.

Elsewhere in the film, the duo discuss a series of paintings from Donwood’s “Kid A” era and also how Yorke returned to art after the “OK Computer” tour that left Yorke “in”. rags ”.

Yorke explained, “After the ‘OK Computer’ tour I was a big rag and really couldn’t do anything creatively and my partner Rachel said, ‘You should just go back to your art, stop doing music. music for a while because it’s too busy. “

Donwood goes on to describe how Radiohead bought a barn and he and Yorke continued to paint there for a while. “Suddenly we were in this big space and painting seemed like the right thing to do,” Yorke says.

Donwood added about his work with the band, “I have a hard time looking at them without hearing the music, it’s kind of in them: it’s coded.

The group is set to release a joint reissue of ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac’ which includes a third disc of unreleased material.

The band also developed an “upside down digital / analog universe” in line with the release that will also incorporate Donwood’s work.


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