[Jandek] New Cover

Ivan Shiel ivan at barkingstars.com
Wed Jun 30 02:36:17 PDT 2004

One of the attractive things about Jandek's records are the
covers.  I love lo-fi photography and Jandek often comes up with great
photos.  They also, as Seth's site illustrates, show Janky's
development and also indicate thematic threads in his work.

Another interesting element are the portrait covers and seeing the
differences between them.  Some seem to be posed almost as if they
were specifically taken for an album cover and look a bit stiff.
Others appear quite informal almost as if they're messing about.  I
start to feel that the portraits change according to who's taking the
photo.  The posed ones are probably taken by his fellow musicians.
Maybe the one in front of the barn of a more middle aged Jandek was
taken by his wife.  When ever I see White Box Requiem I think it's
been cropped from a group photo at a wedding, maybe he was best man.
When you start to look at them and wonder who's taking the picture
it gives you a different impression of the guy.

For a long time Jandek didn't seem to get older in his portraits and
they were either taken from the same roll of film or from the same
period.  Later on we see an older Jandek and then suddenly Jandek is
off on his European tour - no more portraits.  Now we have another
Jandek portrait.

So here's the speculation:  I reckon that suitable portraits - those
without other people or that are obvious locations - had started to
dry up.  We got a few pictures of middle aged Jandek but I guess these
don't appeal as much to him as the younger version.  This prompted the
European Tour (I love these photos - although trust Jandek's holiday
snaps to be of a shop window).  Next thing Jandek comes across someone
who knows Photoshop, maybe someone at the print shop that puts his
covers together.  Now he realises he can get a bit more mileage out
of his old photos and that by chopping out that street sign here, or
that ex-girlfriend there the portraits can continue.  Maybe we can
expect more photoshopped portraits to come.

Another funny thing is that when you look at Jandek's portraits you
start to wonder if this guy is ever indoors.  He sure likes his fresh

30 Jun 2004, 4:27, you wrote:

>>>>> "BuckPinne" == BuckPinne  <BuckPinne at aol.com> writes:

 BuckPinne> Hey, Just a thought, but does anybody think there's a chance
 BuckPinne> that this photo wasn't necessarily edited on Photoshop, but
 BuckPinne> rather was an older, more traditional trick photo with the
 BuckPinne> man standing in front of a giant screen picture backdrop?
 BuckPinne> Like at a photography studio, or somewhere he could simply
 BuckPinne> stand in front of different backdrops, and have a bunch of
 BuckPinne> different photos taken.

I don't believe that.  It's not a very picturesque forest scene -- not
nearly picturesque enough to be a backdrop at a photo studio, I think.
The real ones are much tackier.  I suppose such an ordinary-looking
backdrop might exist elsewhere (like, I don't know, in a hallway of a
nature museum or something), but even then, I find it very implausible
that such a large backdrop would have been so obviously manipulated in
Photoshop.  If that's a backdrop, the Photoshop file would have to be
absolutely huge in order for it not too look (to people actually seeing
the backdrop, not in photos) like a bunch of pixels, and it would be
just about impossible to duplicate the trees in the background without

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