Obscure designs for The Cure

’This is a book of disappeared worlds… fleeting moments altered faces unexpected spaces by turns dreadfully funny terribly honest strangely melancholic….’, says Robert Smith in the foreword to a new book by designer Andy Vella, showing photographs form throughout the career of Smith’s band, The Cure.

Obscure cover by Andy Vella
Obscure cover by Andy Vella

His typically gauche, kohl-lined description belies the apparent joy that shines through the images: for all their gothic posturing, it’s clear that the relationship between Vella as a creative and the band as his subject and muse has been one of friendship and collaboration, as much as professionalism.

In Between Days

Source: c. Andy Vella

In Between Days

Designer and photographer Vella has worked with The Cure since 1981, photographing the band and designing album sleeves including Love Cats, Faith and Boys Don’t Cry.

In his illustrious career, he has also created designs for The Smiths and Pavement, for whom he helped create the cover for the Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain album alongside frontman Stephen Malkmus.

The Cure at the Royal College of Art

Source: c. Andy Vella

The Cure at the Royal College of Art

For his book on The Cure, edited by Karl French and punningly titled Osbscure, Vella chose to remain faithful to the band’s gothic, melodramatic modus operandi; displaying Smith’s foreword as white, painterly handwriting on a black backdrop.

Of his photographs, Vella says, ‘I have no fixed idea of the to age I’m after. I always like and trust spontaneity. I love light and dark and what sits in the middle. I certainly wasn’t feeling intellectual when I took these, I just happened to point the camera in the right direction.’

He adds, ‘With the cure I love putting images to poetry.’

Robert Smith

Source: c. Andy Vella

Robert Smith

Obscure is published on 18 September by Foruli Codex priced £30. For more information visit http://forulicodex.com/catalogue/obscure

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  • Vincent Gallo November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Sorry to say I Vincent Gallo have personally and independently created all of my design work for anything related to my film, music or other works. I do not know the work of Andy Vella nor has he ever worked on designs for me or worked for me in any way. This articles claims are untrue in regards to Andy Vella claiming he has created designs for Vincent Gallo. email me vincentgallo@vincentgallo.com if you would like to discuss this further. The writer Emily Gosling is clearly a lazy unprofessional and Design Week deserves better

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