Tom Waits' 'Swordfishtrombones' - Cover Art by Michael A. Russ

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Tom Waits' groundbreaking album 'Swordfishtrombones', one of the most influential music albums of all time Michael A. Russ’ shows cover art from his legendary cover shoot with Tom Waits in 1983.
'Swordfishtrombones' Cover Art by Michael-A-Russ
'Swordfishtrombones' Cover Art by Michael-A-Russ
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Berlin - Berlin - Germany

Sept. 25, 2012 - PRLog -- Now, 30 years later, Michael A. Russ opened his archives and has selected important works for the 'Swordfishtrombones Cover Art Gallery' with the eye of an experienced artist. These fine art print editions give enthusiasts a wonderful chance to get authentic works that combine music, visual art and history.

All edition artworks are fine art prints in museum quality. Several TinTone artworks are also available in a small edition (7) of large scale (150 x 100cm) Alu-DiBonds-Silver/ThyssenKrupp/Industrial. Thus, the fine art editions by Michael Russ are not just interesting for Tom Waits fans and music lovers, but also for collectors of photography and contemporary art. Additional information on:

Currently, two original TinTone artworks from the cover shoot editions by Michael A. Russ are the highlights in the exhibition ‘ART based on PHOTOGRAPHY’ at ‘art place berlin’ (until October 31st). The exhibition shows the cover photo for Tom Waits’ ‘Swordfishtrombones’ next to a Tom Waits portrait by Michael Russ. He has created both works with his TinTone process.

Resulting from Michael A. Russ' typical black / white photos, the final work is created only through a variety of creative and technical intermediate stages of work. Michael Russ' TinTones contain just about the entire spectrum of photographic technology from the invention of photography in form of Photograms through masking and solarization of chemically toned - one of a kind - silver gelatin prints. At the Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz shows the exhibition of ‘art place berlin’ two copies of large-format TinTones (Alu-Dibond Silver- ThyssenKrupp/Industrial, about 150 x 100cm).

These artworks react to light and movement of the beholder in a very impressive manner. From each altered position also a new perception results and therefore leads to an interaction between artwork and observer. With his TinTones Michael A. Russ creates expressive, inspiring images, complex both in idea and in visualization.

The exhibition of the works refers to Tom Waits "Swordfishtrombones" recordings in Hollywood Sunset Sound, August 1982, exactly 30 years ago. Published in 1983 by Island Records, it has still influenced and inspired many musicians, like almost no other. More about artplace berlin on:   and

Tom Waits hired Michael A. Russ, after he had seen his exhibition, "Prussian Blue" in L.A. In the early 1980's Michael displayed in Los Angeles avant-guardistic positions in photography as an artist. With the cover Michael Russ should give Tom Waits' vzbhi new musical input a fresh look. Tom and Michael casted numerous actors for the cover shoot. Finally, he chose Lee Kolima, a Hollywood actor of gigantic stature and the diminutive Angelo Rossitto, who was one of the busiest actors in Hollywood and has appeared in over 80 films. With the two actors alongside Tom Waits, Michael A. Russ created the legendary photo shoot for the cover of the groundbreaking music album 'Swordfishtrombones' in 1983.

Michael was also the associate director and choreographer on the MTV music video for the song 'In the Neighbourhood' from that album. The video grew out of the album cover; it was centered on Lee Kolima and Angelo Rossitto. The cinematographer of the video was the famous Haskell Wexler. He is a multiple Oscar awardee and has worked on films like, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?', 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest', 'In the Heat of the Night', 'American Graffiti', 'Coming Home' and many more.
Source:art place berlin - forum for contemporary art
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