The legendary original artwork for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, considered to be the single most valuable artwork in rock history, will be exhibited and available for acquisition at the San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAE) Gallery beginning September 15 through October 20, 2018. San Francisco Art Exchange Gallery has long been considered the pioneer of the original art and photographs of pop culture. Focused on popular iconography from the worlds of film, art, music and history, they are guided by the thesis that popular iconography is the language a culture uses to speak to itself in real time and later memorializes those communications as important parts of historical record.
Valued at a multi-million-dollar figure, the original artwork from Dark Side of the Moon – released 45 years ago – was designed by the creative team of Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson, creators of some of rock’s most memorable album covers including Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy. When Dark Side of the Moon was released, there was no mention of the band’s name or album title on the cover, adding to the mystery and intrigue behind what was being called one of the most incredible albums ever made. It went on to sell 50 million copies, remaining on the Billboard charts for 741 weeks while the cover art became a visual icon, symbolizing the band itself and helping turn Pink Floyd into one of the biggest bands in the world.
Dark Side of the Moon will be accompanied in the exhibition by nearly 100 epic original works utilized for the covers of iconic albums such as Wish You Were Here, Abbey Road, Rubber Soul, Meet The Beatles, The Wall, Beggars Banquet, Candy-O (Alberto Vargas), Ummagumma, Hair, The Doors (The Best of the Doors), Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, Johnny Cash’s At Folsom Prison, and Yes album originals including Relayer and Yesshows, along with scores of other of the most memorable and revered popular images of the 20th century.
Bands represented by the art in this collection include Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, Yes, The Doors, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Blind Faith, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, Lou Reed, Queen, Crosby Stills and Nash, Jethro Tull, and many more.
The unlikelihood of mounting an exhibition of this kind and scope again may make this a once in a lifetime collection to view in person. These original works come from many private, corporate, and artists’ collections from around the world, all gathered together in one place by SFAE co-founders Theron Kabrich and Jim Hartley, whose 20-years of experience with pop culture artists and photographers has allowed for this exhibit’s existence.
“We have assembled a collection of many of the rarest and most important original paintings, drawings, and photographs that appeared on the covers of some of the most famous albums of all time,” said Hartley. “This is a museum-quality collection which will only be open to the public for six weeks. Collectors are already making plans to fly to San Francisco to experience this historic exhibition. At the close of the exhibition the artwork and photos will return to the collections from which they came or be delivered to those who purchase them from the show. Some of these works have never been seen in public before, except at SFAE over the years, and none have ever been exhibited together anywhere.”
Kabrich added, “This exhibition is like a snow flake: Beautiful, amazing, fascinating to see until it melts. It was only possible because we started this market and sold many of these works directly from the collections of the artists and photographers that they are offered to us now to exhibit. Others come directly from the artists and photographers themselves. It all comes together based on years of trust. Who else could do this? No one, at least not right now. Not even a museum. By virtue of the fact that we all but invented this market and were ‘there’ before anyone else, we are the only ones who could pull all these amazing art pieces together and in a relatively short period of time. With one degree of separation a straight line is pretty short.”
Named this month by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing small businesses in America, SFAE’s downtown San Francisco Gallery is always a buzz with activity and important exhibitions. The gallery’s most recent project was the sale of a rare portfolio of photographs of President John F. Kennedy, celebrating the centennial of his birth in cooperation with the Kennedy Foundation, with a percentage of the proceeds benefiting the foundation.
For more information:
Michael Jensen and Erin Cook, Jensen Communications, 626-585-9575, firstname.lastname@example.org