There’s a back story to the image I created for KMFDM’s latest album, Hell Yeah!
Back in 1994, I’d just moved into a new house in West London, renting a studio nearby as a workshop. No sooner had I acquired the keys, I got a call from KMFDM supremo, Sascha, who informed me that he had to have the artwork for the band’s new album, asap. I barely had time to assemble my desk and plug in a desk lamp before starting the process of creating the image.
Unleashing the hack within me, I copied my face and hand reflected in a shaving mirror, adding the buildings behind almost as an afterthought. Despite the amount of fine detailing, I finished the picture well within my deadline.
Rather than mail it ahead of time, I decided to dwell awhile on what I’d created, subsequently realising how powerful yet negative the image was. So, using another layer, I drew a cable within reach of the falling man’s hand, offering him a way out (if he chose to take it).
Over the years, it has become one of the images I’ve become known for. I’ve been approached by people and told that the illustration made them stop and contemplate their lives before attempting suicide. Somehow, I’d accidentally created a piece of art that spoke to people in a way I’d never consciously considered during its creation.
Fast forward to 2016 and the news that KMFDM, once again, required a new BRUTE! cover. As I’d just launched the Tweak app, my time had been spent spent absorbing related articles and videos and discussion of how our lives are being shaped by smart phone technology was a constant topic. During a phone call to Sascha, the idea of updating the Glory cover to address the concept occurred to me and, over the next few days, I embellished the initial idea into a story of sorts.
I think it’s one of my best.