Olympia – Artwork Tab

“One of the inspirations for the cover was the 19th century painting ‘Olympia’ by Édouard Manet (link: Wikipedia) – a kind of early pin-up picture. The picture shows a young courtesan lying on a bed wearing little more than a provocative expression, and the painting created quite an uproar when it was first exhibited in Paris.

“I wanted a cover-girl for this record who could convey the glamorous notoriety of the original ‘Olympia’ painting, and the obvious choice was Kate Moss. Kate has long been the ‘femme fatale’ of our age, as controversial as she is beautiful, and the most glamorous female icon since Marilyn Monroe.

“I was still finishing my album at the time of the photo shoot, so everything happened at the last minute (which is often the way in ‘rock ‘n roll). The shoot took place at Sunbeam Studios in West London, and the designer Gideon Ponte built a fantastic set – with the finest linen… the perfect bed… Shoes and dresses were flown-in from Paris, jewellery escorted by security guards, flowers everywhere, a supporting cast of thousands… and everyone involved worked really hard to get the right shot, especially our photographer Adam Whitehead”

Whitehead, who honed his craft under Mario Testino, said, “when Bryan approached me to shoot his new album cover I jumped at the chance, envisaging all his famous covers of the past.  On the day Kate was amazing. She had in her mind exactly the character she wanted to portray. ‘Give me red lips, I want to be a Roxy girl’ she screamed!’ ”