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©Boz Scaggs by Guy Bourdin

Total Records. Vinyl & photography

We present a photographic tour through the most iconic vinyl covers of the 20th century.

Robert Frank and the Rolling Stones, Annie Leibovitz and Cindy Lauper, Helmut Newton and INXS, Herb Ritts and Madonna, Weegee and George Michael, among others, lead the new exhibition that will be seen from November 22nd to March 11th 2018.

"Total Records. Vinyl & photography", with the collaboration of the Banco Sabadell Foundation, shows a selection of covers of the most emblematic vinyl records of all times, the result of a collaboration between prominent photographers and artists. After being shown in Arles, Zurich and Berlin, we welcome the exhibition for the first time in Spain. The exhibition is produced by the festival Les Rencontres de la Photographie d'Arles, and it is curated by Antoine de Beaupré, Serge Vincendet and Sam Stourdzé, with the complicity of Jacques Denis.

The musical and photographic history of the twentieth century is reflected in these surprising collaborations between artists such as Robert Frank and the Rolling Stones, Bernd & Hilla Becher and Kraftwerk, Nobuyoshi Araki and Björk, Jeff Wall and Iggy Pop, Anton Corbijn and U2, William Klein and Serge Gainsbourg, Jean-Paul Goude and Grace Jones, Irving Penn and Miles Davis, Ryan McGinley and Sigur Ros. Visual artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Dieter Roth have also made their mark on the vinyl, using the album's cover as a space for experimentation with various photographic techniques and artistic practices.

The exhibition is divided into different thematic sections that explore several aspects of this unique art form and also shows how many album covers were not ordered, but the result of a search by the musicians themselves in order to find the most suitable to illustrate their work. At times, the images chosen by the artists caused scandals and later headlines after being censured. On the other hand, the covers of the albums have also served as a platform for political demands, being used as propaganda instruments. Finally, in musical genres such as jazz, vinyl covers have often been designed, not so much to highlight individual artists as to enhance the appeal of a record label or released series.

What would an album be without its cover? Nothing more than an interchangeable and unnamed black vinyl record. It is no wonder that internationally renowned photographers and artists are behind many of the iconic covers of pop music history, images that remain deeply inscribed in our collective memory.