Stanley Donwood

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Stanley Donwood is a notoriously reclusive English artist and writer. His work on Radiohead’s album and poster art since 1994 has gained him worldwide recognition. After graduating from the University of Exeter, Donwood worked as a freelance artist in Plymouth, England. In an interview he said the word artist was just the most convenient way to describe myself on application forms for unemployment benefit. Since 1994, Donwood’s evocative and haunting imagery has helped create one of music’s most distinctive brands. The powerful visual identity Stanley Donwood has created for the British band is considered so in tune with Thom Yorke’s music that the debate still rages as to whether he and Yorke, the lead vocalist, principal songwriter, guitarist and pianist of Radiohead, are one and the same. Donwood and Thom met at Exeter University and Radiohead’s infamous Oxfordshire HQ contains an art studio for Stanley and Thom to work in. Growing up in England in the 80’s, a time when advertising was being considered seriously as anything resembling an art form, he was very influenced by it whilst simultaneously resenting and hating commercialization. He has written and published a number of books. His first was called Slowly Down wood and was a collection of stories which he claims were all part of a self-administered therapy, as I had gone a little mad. His collection of short stories, Household Worms, he described as an idea stocking filler for the slightly deranged and reportedly it proved very popular with people who drink in pubs. He has said that he finds writing and making art mutually exclusive, claiming, it is possible even likely that I will never write again. Unless I stop making art. Donwood prefers creating things manually and enjoys the process of print making, I don’t really enjoy making artwork on a computer because it doesn’t seem like I’ve done anything. He has exhibited to an international fan base in galleries across the world, including London, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Rotterdam. He exhibited an 18 foot long linocut of Los Angeles being destroyed by fire and flood and meteor storm at Shepard Fairey’s gallery in Los Angeles.