In analysing images, it is always necessary to have an understanding of what the image aims to represent. This paper shall try to present an objective view on the image of the compact disk or album cover Blind Faith, a self-tiled album from the late 1960s. The album or artwork title is called “Blind Faith” representing the band or group of artist Blind Faith. The title and photograph was conjured up by photographer Bob Seidemann and the cover was designed by Stanley Millers. The image is available to public viewing through the record company that released the album which is Atlantic Recording Corporation.
The album was released in 1969. This photographic image depicts a pubescent girl, a stage between childhood and adolescence. She is holding an aeroplane and her cropped photo was superimposed on a tilted farm horizon that may mean to be the slope of a hill, with the clear sky above her and the green horizon. This paper shall try to present that the image is obscene and unfit for public viewing. Discussion: The girl is a redhead, with long curly hair, a depiction of a current trend of hippies: long big hair. She is naked showing her growing breasts, her lips painted with magenta colour.
Her face with an open mouth showing her teeth shows half innocence, her eyes semi-downcast betraying abuse and reluctance. Her muscled arm betrays any form of a luxurious life and her small sagging breasts depicts some form of physical contact. The chrome-plated aeroplane the girl was holding was supposed to be a decorative element for a car hood, used and old. It is the only thing that shines like a sparkling new bronze cast with a remade trunk shaped to represent a phallus instead of the regular plane trunk. Starting with the colour, the artwork certainly shows an aged photo, if not an old manual or analogue quality photograph.
It is pigmented and lacks the clearer quality of the black and white images. The background provides a collage where hilly greenery meets the clear blue sky in a diagonal way indicating a slope. There is a symmetry and balance in the overall arrangement of the album cover or the artwork. The images used are a collage of two to three photos. The photos are manual quality shots definitely taken from the 1960s era. The quality if pixelised and although carefully cropped, it was not obviously a collage where the nude girl’s photo was superimposed on a chosen background. Interpretation
The image compared to other popular photos taken by Seidemann is lousy, as against the robust and proud images of Janis Joplin. If I am to compare it as a whole against pop art, it is a disgrace. Pop art is something everyday, ordinary, and very acceptable. It is like graphic arts, advertising graphic arts which is something for the masses. Its use of pop art genre (the collage) is fine. If I were to replace it to my healthy innocent 18-year old female, it would very appealing and wholesome. Something that is entirely physical, but definitely appealing piece of pop art. The Image Photographer Bob Seidemann
Bob Seidemann is an American graphic artist and photographer known for the creation of several album covers and portraits of musicians in the 1960s and 1970s. He gained notoriety in 1967 for a photographic interpretation of the Pieta (Krockow, 2004). In 1969, after the band Cream separated, Eric Clapton formed a new band and Seidemann was commissioned to create the cover for their album. According to Seidemann (2007): “…Robert Stigwood’s office, Clapton’s manager […] asked if I would make a cover for the new unnamed group. […] It was a Mayfair address […] class in the English sense of the word.
The girl on the tube train would not be the one, she was shy […] Her younger sister had been saying the whole time, “Oh Mommy, Mommy, I want to do it, I want to do it”. […] We asked her what her fee should be for modeling, she said a young horse,” (Seidemann, 2007). The Image as Pop Art This image is considered is Pop Art. Pop art is a visual art movement in the mid 1950s (Alloway, 1958). Pop Art is characterized by themes and techniques of popular mass culture, such as advertising and comic books. Pop art employs images of popular as opposed to elitist culture in art targeting a broad audience.
Pop art is considered very academic as advertisements and everything promotional uses unconventional organizational practices that is either difficult for some to comprehend or symbolical at most (Sylvia, 2001). Contemporaries Blind Faith is considered a Pop Art as same pop artists used themes that convey blatant or subliminal messages, such as those of Andy Warhol. Warhol’s cover for the album “The Velvet Underground and Nico” of the Velvet Underground’s 1967 debut as well as credit of conceptualising Rolling Stones’ cover for the album “Sticky Fingers”.
The first featured a single banana illustration in stark yellow while the latter is a double-zipped close-up shot of the front of a male jeans (Sleevage, 2007). These are considered cheeky and vulgar. Conclusion Personally, I find the image as thrash. It has earned what it actually deserves in history: banned from the public. It makes me feel sad if not anguished. The message it tried to convey, i. e. freshness is betrayed by the sagging breast of the young girl and her very sad, abused eyes. The style, arrangement, and overall design is fine and definitely easy on the eyes.
But it could have achieved what it wants to deliver and been quite appealing if a fresh bodied sexy and 18-year old or above aged female was shown. Fresh in a sense that the body and the face would exude true and not faked or forced innocence. I guess the screening committee have done the right thing to ban the image. The associations that come to my mind when I look at this image are childhood gone haywire, pornography, paedophilia, among other despicable acts of supposedly responsible individuals. I see abuse of children and the innocents.
I believe that the image conveys a universal message no matter who is viewing it. Child abuse, pornography and paedophilia are universal crimes done to all children of all cultures. In fact, elsewhere in discussion forums, it has been suggested the girl is a “groupie” or a kind of plaything by the band. Reference: Bob Seidemann. com (2007) “Bob Seidemann Photography. ” Accessed November from http://www. bobseidemann. com/ Harrison, Sylvia (2001-08-27). Pop Art and the Origins of Post-Modernism. Cambridge University Press