TrickGo boutique exhibited revamped vinyl covers from more than 50 local artists.
By 1991, vinyl records seemed to have met their maker with the rise of digital media. While they are still manufactured, records are usually only purchased by audiophiles and disc jockeys. However, vinyl records bring their users a nostalgic feeling, even for those born after their popularity.
Still, one of the best parts about buying a record is the cover, which often features feather-haired musicians or soft-focus pictures of something completely dated. Imagine what these covers would look like if artists and illustrators revamped these covers into something completely new.
That’s exactly what TrickGo’s “Re-cover: An Exhibition of Remixed Album Covers” was all about. TrickGo founder Matt Trigaux invested everything into the boutique, which was sparked by a T-shirt company he operated out of his dorm room at University of the Arts with no business background whatsoever.
“It just started with a T-shirt,” Trigaux said. “People told me I was crazy for trying to start a company at the time.”
But Trigaux didn’t listen to those comments.
“It’s surreal,” said Trigaux of TrickGo’s presence in the Philly art scene. “We do a lot of open calls, and it’s great to see the response. We’ve built a foundation and allow people to get involved.”
“Re-cover” began as the brainchild of Gab Bonghi, TrickGo’s public relations coordinator. She came up with the idea of having friends and artists re-work some of the leftover vinyl covers a friend had given them and to display the results in the boutique.
“We did an open call, and within a day, everything had been claimed,” Trigaux said.
The space held 50 images comfortably, and each record cover was created with various mediums being represented, ranging from oil and ink to linoleum and prints.
Angel Ramos, a graphic designer and illustrator, said he decided to participate because the idea of working on the same thing as 49 other artists appealed to him.
“Everyone has the same goal, but the outcome is as unique and incredible as everyone involved,” Ramos said. “It’s like a college-art critique without the pressure of a grade but
the same amount of beer.”
His re-worked cover featured a couple in their apartment overlooking the city and consisted of oil, ink and graphite.
“I just got married in October, so I was drawn to a cover that had a couple watching an
orchestra perform from a balcony seat,” Ramos said. “I figured I would
show the ‘after’ of the cover where the couple had gone home and woke
up in their Center City apartment overlooking the city.”
The city on the cover is a loose representation of Philly.For Ramos, he said it reminds him of
memories of him and his wife exploring every corner of Philadelphia.
Crystal Shephard, another featured artist in the exhibition, used a foam square, glitter paper, glitter glue and lights to construct her album.
“Since I picked the album cover with a ferris wheel at dusk, I knew wanted to have the ferris wheel spin, but that ended up being a last minute idea and worked the night before,” Shephard said. “But the day of when I had to drop it off, it wasn’t working well and was just twitching slowly.”
Still, the final product caught a lot of attention from guests, as did a number of other covers.
“I think my favorite has to be the glass one, and the cover that got
turned into a book,” said Scott McCullough, a 21-year-old viewer. “The book is interesting because not only did the artist redo the cover, but [the artist] went the extra mile and [made] more illustrations to create a book.”
“Nothing is priced over $100,” Trigaux said. “Some work is even priced at $10.”
“I’d love to buy one,” McCullough said. “I’ve been standing here for a while thinking about it, but I have no idea where I’d put it in my apartment.”
“When we do open calls, we get a lot of responses from artists we’ve worked with and some new ones,” Trigaux said. “For this, at the time, a lot of kids were taking exams or midterms and between work and school. There’s a lot to do, so for them, this wasn’t school work – it was something fun to do.”
Sydney Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.