'Very late one night Thom and I were alone in the vast wastes of Oxfordshire, surrounded by darkness and trying to finish the artwork. It was impossible – we had made too much, too many pictures, and it was like being in a storm of ideas and drawings, paintings and texts. We were exhausted and could no longer think clearly. We had lots of versions of the front cover, all with different pictures and different titles in different typefaces. We couldn’t work out which was the right one so we took them all downstairs and used tape to stick them to the cupboards and the fridge in the kitchen, hoping that in the morning the right cover and the right title would be obvious. And it was, and it was called Kid A.' Stanley Donwood
Famous for his creative collaboration with Radiohead, with whom he has been affiliated since 1994, TIN MAN ART artist Stanley Donwood is celebrating the 21st anniversary of Kid A (2000) with the release of six paintings born from the time the album was written. We have teamed up with Christie’s to showcase these powerful dystopian landscapes in a new exhibition at the auction house’s headquarters in London from 9th to 15th October. Coinciding with Frieze Week, the exhibition ‘How to Disappear Completely: Stanley Donwood x Thom Yorke’ also features accompanying sketches by both Donwood and Yorke, lyrics and digital artworks and the paintings will then be offered in the Christie’s First Open: Post-War and Contemporary Art Online sale. Bidding, open until 19th October, has already begun and each painting is estimated at £10,000–£15,000.
‘How we work? From the music, mostly, but concepts fly around,’ says Thom Yorke. ‘Often things just move down river just finding their way.’
‘Kid A is among a very small number of seminal musical masterpieces that are about so much more than ground-breaking music,’ explains TIN MAN ART founder James Elwes. ‘Like Sgt. Pepper with Peter Blake and Sticky Fingers with Andy Warhol, it’s a disc encased in art. It presents a rare audio-visual experience, a broody and forbidding world of mountains and blood; the CD case had to be broken apart to reveal hidden artwork. It's hugely exciting that now, for the first time, the collaborative story of this multidisciplinary masterpiece is being told. Stanley always viewed the record shop as an art gallery for the masses and he and Thom undertook an Odyssian feat in developing Kid A’s art, utilising drawing, collage and ground-breaking new media to doctor their source material. At the centre of this process is Stanley's extraordinary series of paintings - pieces that speak of enlightenment and discord in an uncertain new millennium under a government falling apart. While the paintings' tone recalls YBA sensibilities, their skill ensures a certain timelessness. These are works whose meaning continues to quietly ripple - pieces of history with an evocative soundtrack.’