The Art Behind the Music: Yorke & Donwood’s London Exhibit

thom yorke and stanley donwood

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and famed artist Stanley Donwood are painting a fresh melody in London’s art scene. Dive into their latest collaborative masterpieces at ‘The Crow Flies’ exhibition.

When Music Meets Canvas

Long-time collaborators Thom Yorke, Radiohead‘s iconic voice, and Stanley Donwood, the genius behind their album art, are unveiling an exciting new exhibition in the heart of London.

These two aren’t just random partners; they share an artistic history spanning nearly 30 years! Donwood, ever since laying brush to canvas for Radiohead’s ‘The Bends’ in 1995, has turned Yorke’s melodies into visual delights. And guess what? The guy’s even bagged two Grammys for his mind-blowing art!

Lockdown Creativity Unleashed

What’s uber-cool about ‘The Crow Flies Part One’? The dynamic duo co-created a series of expansive paintings during the lockdown. Imagine them, brushes in hand, painting in unison. It’s like watching a live concert, but with colors instead of chords. And all this is happening at the Tin Man Art gallery in South Kensington from 6-10 September. So, save those dates!

'Unchecked' from 'The Crow Flies' by Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood. Credit Tin Man Art  Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood
‘Unchecked’ from ‘The Crow Flies’ by Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood. Credit Tin Man Art Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood

Now, the spotlight on their recent masterpiece – the art sessions felt a lot like jamming sessions for Yorke. He even said, “It’s so much like making music. Both processes feel almost identical”. The seed for ‘The Crow Flies’ sprouted as the cover for The Smile’s album ‘A Light for Attracting Attention’. Speaking of The Smile, it’s Yorke’s side gig with Jonny Greenwood, another Radiohead legend, and Tom Skinner, the jazz pro.

Art That Tells a Story

‘The Crow Flies’ isn’t just random strokes of paint. It’s a narrative of the artists’ obsession with maps and geography. The pieces echo the vibes of Radiohead’s ‘Hail to the Thief’. Picture Persian pirate maps, vintage U.S. military charts, and ancient renditions of the British Isles. That’s the vibe! And the mediums? An intriguing mix of gouache, tempera, and even powdered mushroom!

James Elwes, the big guy at the Tin Man Art gallery, says this exhibit is a game changer. It’s “a rare co-creation”. And, there’s a surprise element too. An exclusive Flemish woven tapestry, inspired by a key painting, celebrates the album’s first birthday.

If you thought this was it, hold onto your hats. The exhibition is a two-parter. So, if you miss part one, there’s another chance by year’s end!

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