Best Art Vinyl 2020: Winners announced03 January 2021 - Press release
Punk Band IDLES wins Art Prize with a Sleeve Representing Positivity in Adversity
Today, Art Vinyl reveals the winners of the Best Art Vinyl 2020 Award, which is the search for the best record cover design of the year. The public vote awarded first place to the cover art for Bristol punk band IDLES' Ultra Mono, on Partisan records - an image that embodies the bracing energy of the group with a large pink ball representing their 'unstoppable and unavoidable' ideal of love and acceptance, colliding forcefully with any opposition. A poignant and positive message and fitting winner in this testing year of challenges for all.
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets Live At The Roundhouse took second place for the psychedelic graphic artwork by Chris Peyton for VVVOID, inspired by vintage San Francisco Fillmore rock posters.
In third was British rock band Doves, and 'Stranger Things' inspired, 80s petrol station cover photography by Finnish photographer Maria Lax for their fifth studio album The Universal Want.
The winning album cover design for IDLES third studio album was created by regular collaborating artist, Russell Oliver, who painted the work in oils with a creative brief from the band's vocalist Joe Talbot that included "in the style of Italian master Caravaggio!"
In an interview with ourculturemag.com Russell Oliver explains, "Painting the album cover for Ultra Mono was a great experience. It's a joy to be tasked with bringing another talented artist's vision to life, and an honour to be given that responsibility. What's fantastic about producing an album cover for a hugely popular band, as an artist, is that my painting is going to be seen infinitely more widely than any of my previous work and in print form at least, be owned and hopefully enjoyed by thousands and thousands of people around the world – that's a real buzz."
This is the 16th winner of the Best Art Vinyl Award, the unique contemporary art prize that celebrates record cover design by compiling the best in art, photography and graphic design in modern music culture each year. In a year that presented unprecedented challenges for everyone, this year's winning designs can be viewed alongside all 50 nominated record covers in the first-ever Virtual Vinyl Exhibition uniquely created during Lockdown2 in the south coast's cultural hub of Folkestone for visitors to wander through online for a highly immersive 360-experience.
Best Art Vinyl 2020 winners join an impressive Art Vinyl archive of celebrated visual artists. Notably including the Hipgnosis design studio, and even legendary classical Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel, as well as the many unknown, unsung heroes of the music industry, who use design to create modern-day visual icons.
Best Art Vinyl founder, Andrew Heeps comments, "Art and Music have proven once more to be inseparable. A striking image to match IDLES music will forever be the accompanying graphic for the 12 album tracks on Ultra Mono - Momentary Acceptance of the Self. This award winning original painting sits alongside the more recognisable 60s psychedelia inspired work for Nick Mason and a hark back to the 80s inspired ambient photography for Doves. Over the complete 50 nominations, we can finally see the inspiring graphics that have accompanied our musical soundtrack of 2020".
In 2021, the winners of the Best Art Vinyl 2020 award will (Covid permitting) feature in numerous exhibitions in the UK and Europe, and can be viewed on artvinyl.com. All of the designs will be displayed in the unique Art Vinyl Flip Frame which allows instant access to the music and additional inner sleeve designs.
The 50 nominated Best Art Vinyl 2020 records with designer credits can be viewed at Artvinyl.com
A full list of winners from each year is also available on Artvinyl.com