Lou Reed and Metallica have unveiled the album image for their upcoming collaboration, featuring a hauntingly vacant-eyed female torso, sans arms, with Lulu, the name of the album, seemingly finger-painted in blood.
It’s not the first time that Metallica has released controversial album art. Who among us can forget the twin album covers of Load and Reload, featuring original artwork by outsider photographer Andres Serrano?
Load, released in 1996, featured “Semen and Blood III,” one of three photographic art works by Serrano, which he created back in 1990 by mingling his own semen with bull blood between two sheets of Plexiglass, the same art so famously dissed by James Hetfield in Classic Rock Magazine in 2009: “Lars and Kirk were very into abstract art pretending they were gay. I think they knew it bugged me. It was a statement around all that. I love art, but not for the sake of shocking others. I think the cover of Load was just a piss-take around all that. I just went along with the make-up and all of this crazy, stupid shit that they felt they needed to do.”
But that didn’t stop them from doing it again. On Reload, Hetfield was overruled and the band used Serrano’s “Piss and Blood.”
But don’t think that Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett are the only art snobs. Reed just commissioned American-based graphic illustrator El Jefe Design to create a poster for his July 2011 UK and European tour. Exclusively numbered in a limited edition print run of 500 copies, the rare screen-printed posters are available for a limited time only from Lou’s official website.
“Reed's music was the inspiration,” says El Jefe Design’s founder, Jeffrey Everett. “It had to do more with the whole story, his legacy, and the vibe about him. He has a truly dangerous aura around him, but he crafts this absolutely stunning and beautiful music. That was the mixture I wanted - beauty, love, desire with the feeling it will all go wrong in an instant.”