Pure Beauty Vinyl (2018)

Vinyl LP and packaging, 12 x 12 inches
Image courtesy Third Man Records

Releasing Pure Beauty, 2018 with Third Man Records included the opportunity to press his album on vinyl records at one of the most premier vinyl plants in the world, Jack White’s Third Man facility in Cass Corridor, Detroit, Michigan. Following the January release of the album digitally, on February 23rd the physical vinyl was made available to purchase as both a standard and deluxe edition bundle. A standard copy shipped with a double-sided 180 gram black vinyl with Nike and adidas logos scratched into it, a lyrics and production credits booklet, an 8.5 x 11 inch 1971 letter that John Baldessari sent to museum director Charlotte Townsend regarding the making of his work I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art, and an 11 x 9 inch poster of the lyrics to the track "Climate Change", written in Swiss German. The record sleeve is a rendition of Shirt's I Will Not Make Any More Boring Rap (2016) and the back cover features a modified Baldessari work Everything is Purged From This Painting But Art, 1966. The cover image depicts an unmodified Pure Beauty, 1968, released 50 years later to the date from when John debuted the canvas work. As it turns out, months before talks had begun with Third Man, Shirt had reached out to John Baldessari's studio with a cold email requesting a meeting with the artist. The request was accepted and some days later in September of 2017, the rapper spent about an hour with the 95-year-old at his Venice Beach compound. The two mostly talked art, with Shirt explaining that he’d been recording an album at school in Switzerland with ideas based on John’s 1968 work “Pure Beauty.” A year later when designing the vinyl’s packaging, Shirt had the idea to reach back out and ask for permission to license the famous images of the work, to which Baldessari obliged. A deluxe version of the record shipped with a Champion t-shirt depicting a bengal tiger designed by Shirt both to reference his own work Bengal Tiger (2014) and the Baldessari work Frames and Ribbons,1988, as well as a silver USB that hung off the cover attached by a neon zip tie. The thumbdrive contained audio files of the album, a PDF of production credits and lyrics, and a new work titled 1,000 Photos (2018) explained to be a collection of images taken by Shirt between September 2015 and October 2017 when he moved to Europe and began making the album.

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