First the band:
This is them in 1985. I was a Junior in High School and going through what I imagine every boy my age goes through; a maelstrom of emotional turmoil, a combustible mxture of arrogance and self-doubt, drunk on possibility.
The Replacements had just made their masterpiece- a poignant album called Tim, that spoke volumes to me. It was a raucous affair, dirty and full of boozy bravado, but at it's center it was fragile and, at times, downright mournful. It was a band on the verge- they imploded after this record with a bid for commercial acceptance that didn't suit them and they collapsed under their own uncertainty.
These days I listen to "Tim" and I can still smell the moldy floormats and sun-baked naugahyde upholstery of my old VW. It's atill a perfect album.
The brilliant Aurelius Battaglia
As time's gone by I find I've developed an anachronistic streak a mile wide. This is especially true in matters of aestetics, and doubly so where design and illustration for the juvenile market is concerned.
I did a job last year- a rather massive job, in fact, over 30 full color illos - for a children's almanac. Somehow, I allowed myself to call to mind my Childcraft Encyclopedias from the late 1960's and I used these as a touchstone for all my work. I honestly don't know WHAT I was thinking here, but the designer didn't stop me...
When I received the finished product in the mail I was appalled. Not at the garish, saturated, drop-shadowed, hysterical mishmash that I held in my hand but at my foolishness. How could I have believed the end result would have been anything else, let alone the simple and understated beauty of my beloved Childcrafts?