The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Currents

December 11, 2012

Flat chance: Le Sueur artist doesn't like making flat art -- but it sure looks good on album covers

(Continued)

The “Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 4” hit store shelves on Tuesday. The album includes 13 tracks sung by Minnesota musicians such as DeVotchKa, Trampled by Turtles and Bloomington Jefferson High School concert band. In Mankato, the album is available at Target and Tune Town, 630 N. Riverfront Drive.

As for Euclide, he said he was given few parameters for designing the cover art. The directions, he said, were simple: “Make something cool. And make it relate to Minnesota.”

And true to Euclide’s style, his finished product was imbued with deeper meanings.

In addition to typical materials, Euclide employs a wide variety of found objects in his art, from weathered foam to moss and dirt.

When he created the cover art for Bon Iver’s album, he linked the music’s thematic narrative of transformation to his landscape by using only melted snow during his production. For the installation Euclide recently had on exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, he used paper molds of boulders he found in Central Park.

In fashioning the Minnesota Beatle Project art, Euclide used sumi ink, which is made from pine trees and recalls Minnesota’s coniferous nostalgia. And he created the piece on a whiteboard, allowing him to re-work and redo portions of his creation -- which is a subtle nod to the fact that the Beatle Project albums are comprised of songs that have themselves been re-worked and redone.

“For me to work on a cover, I need some type of significance,” Euclide said. “These subtle little tie-ins mean a lot to me.”

For music and art fans, grab a copy of the CD while you can. At less than $20, it’s one of the most affordable pieces of Euclide artwork available.

The artist’s cogent artistic commentary on the natural landscape has made him an in-demand artist on a national level. At the moment, Euclide has pieces exhibiting Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Denver and the Twin Cities. His artwork appeared recently in Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, in the highly competitive juried book series “New American Paintings” and in the new book “High Touch: Tactile Designs and Visual Explorations.”

But, you can always wait for another album cover.

“I had no interest in doing another one,” said Euclide, explaining how he has now been persuaded to create a third album cover for the highly original Berlin- and London-based music label Erased Tapes. “Now, I’ve agreed to do another one.”

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