You probably won't believe me if I said that I was not very familiar with the art of Alan Aldridge. Yes, I did see his crazy Elton John's 'Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy' album cover once, years ago I made a note in my sketchbook to look for his famous book The Butterfly Ball and also, my work has been compared to his a couple of times. All plausible reasons to make me search the web for info or dash to the store to get my hands on a publication of his work. But... I didn't. I wasn't avoiding it, I wasn't being lazy, it just didn't happened, for no reason whatsoever.
Until last week, when I was pleasantly surprised by the gift of a special edition Butterfly Ball, given by dear friends of mine who, by coincidence, found themselves at the Aldridge exhibition in the London Design Museum. The art of Butterfly Ball smothered me in it's imaginative sugar bomb cloud and I enjoyed every sparkle of it. I know -even better- now where the comparison with my work comes from and I must say it was a bit scary to discover that Mr. Aldridge and me sometimes share the exact same details and ideas. All in all I'm glad Mr. Aldridge's work found it's way to my book shelves.
The exhibition of Aldridge's work unfortunately ended a few days ago, but as I type the info on the show 'The Man With The Kaleidoscope Eyes' is still online; click here. And for your listening pleasure, here's a link from the DM website to a nice podcast of Alan Aldridge's talk at the opening of his show. In a very charming and witty way he tells wonderful stories about his creative career and at the same time sketches a great character of an era. (Slightly shaky audio material here and there).
Hmm, I feel like listening to The Beatles...
(Pic: the Alan Aldridge website - The Butterfly Ball and more examples of his work can be seen here).