Local Artist Collaborates with Bon Iver on Album Artwork
(Originally posted on The Black Book)
There is a story behind every artist and an artist behind every album’s artistic design. Bon Iver, a musical sensation out of Eau Claire, Wis., is set to release a new album this coming June and the artist behind Bon Iver’s new album artwork is Gregory Euclide, a local who has worked on projects with other musicians such as Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas.
Euclide said he was approached by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver to work with him on something for the new album. He said they became aware of one another’s work through mutual friends and that Vernon had purchased a piece of Euclide’s art about a year earlier.
“Justin and I have some wonderful mutual friends,” Euclide said. “…and of course I knew of his work, so there was a mutual respect and appreciation.”
Just like Vernon, Euclide’s artistic journey began right here in Wisconsin. Euclide grew up in Cedarburg, Wisconsin and went on to attend UW – Oshkosh. He earned his Masters at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and said although he had showed his work at coffeehouses, theatres and galleries while he was attending college, it was when he moved to Minneapolis that he began to take advantage of the opportunities the city had to offer.
Now, Euclide’s work is featured in galleries all across the country.
Euclide said his work is usually inspired by his relationship to the land and the tradition of landscape painting. He said both the cover and back cover of Bon Iver’s newest album contain relief elements and that much of the album artwork is inspired by three-dimensional pieces Euclide has created.
“I wanted viewers to be able to experience the works in a way that they could not from a flat work or a reproduction,” Euclide said. “I want the work to be of this world, right in front of the viewer. I hope for the viewer’s experience to be similar to that of an exploration or walk in the woods.”
To get a feel for what one another were creating, Euclide said he and Vernon spent time in the beginning stages emailing each other about ideas.
“At first, we were just exploring what was possible,” Euclide said, “to see if I could create something that he would respond to.”
Now in its final stages, Euclide said he and Vernon have created something they are both happy with. He said their collaboration with one another seemed to work out well.
“It fits for me personally because when I listen to Bon Iver I can’t help but feel home,” Euclide said. “Its pace, its texture, its poetry, it’s where I’m from. It’s my childhood in rural Wisconsin.”
Euclide said so far the feedback he has received has been very supportive and he is anxious for the album to be released and for it to reach a different audience than his artwork traditionally reaches, hopefully exposing it to more people.
Euclide said the greatest part about creating the album artwork for Bon Iver’s upcoming album was being able to work with Vernon.
“The greatest thing for me about doing this artwork is that I was able to create something for someone who I have an enormous respect for,” Euclide said. “Music is so central to my daily routine; it is so central to my contentment as a being … and to create a work that can be associated with that is really meaningful to me.”