Andy Earl’s portraits are always about the ‘Picture.’ His work is diverse and often incorporates dramatic natural backdrops and architectural elements to create a surrealistic effect.
A hugely successful career within the international music business with over 120 creative memorable covers and album sleeves, working with artists such as, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Robbie Williams, Madonna and Prince and also a portrait session with HRH Prince Charles. He has worked on twenty videos for musicians such as the Rolling Stones.
He has three published monographs, two stamps and has exhibited worldwide including the Venice Biennale. At 16 he was James Hunts mechanic, he races classic cars and tinkers with them in his spare time.
He continues to work with record companies and other clients include Apple, Canon and the BBC. He is currently visiting Professor of Photography at Norwich University of the Arts, conducts Guardian masterclasses and has two Honorary fellowships from Arts University Bournemouth and Falmouth University.
Extract from ‘Icons of pop’ National Portrait Gallery
Born and brought up in Sussex, at sixteen Earl worked as James Hunt’s mechanic. He studied art at Trent Polytechnic where he was encouraged to use photography as an artistic expression. During his second year he studied in Baltimore, where he was strongly influenced by American colour photography.
Earl was offered a show at the photographer’s gallery London and the following year represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. On the strength of the London show Malcolm McLaren offered him a commission for the controversial Bow Wow Wow album cover.
A hugely successful career within the international music business followed with over 120 sleeves including 20 videos for musicians such as the Rolling Stones.
His work is diverse often incorporating dramatic natural backdrops and architectural elements to create a surrealistic effect
© Susan Bright curator of photography
Edited extract ‘Vista’ monograph
“Earls pictures are non judgmental. The subjects say everything themselves and the viewer is free to arrive at their own conclusions.
The meditative frame of mind that generally gives birth to the investigative, artistic pursuits of art photography intrigued Earl but failed to excite him. He wanted to engage the world full frontally. The heady, challenging, daily demands of fashion and music made him hungry for change, and within a very short time span he had taken his enthusiasms for art photography into the world of commerce, at first for small provincial magazines and clients and later to the zenith of popular culture and entertainment.
Few of the principal figures of British and American popular music have eluded Earls lens in the last 20 years.
His videos and stills have drawn from such a great variety of influences that a chronicle of his oeuvre is, in itself a useful document in the cataloguing of physical change that the built environment has witnessed in the same period of time.
It is his limitless enthusiasm and remarkable willingness to enter new territory that makes Andy Earl a photographer of interest, and it is his eagerness to share his discoveries, without judgment and cynicism, that makes him remarkable.”
© Brian Clarke Artist