Topic 5: A Designer’s Work

450 Words2 Pages
Born as Chris O’Doherty artist, designer, musician, is one of the most successful commercial artists in Australia. He is recognised as a Mambo designer, a landscape artist and founding member of award winning band, Mental as Anything. I will be analysing three pieces of Reg Mombassa art work, a songbook called “The Great Australian Songbook”, the Mental as Anything “Garàge” CD cover and an iGoogle banner designed by Reg Mombassa. The Great Australian Songbook is a collaboration book of 300 Australian songs. The figure on the cover of the book is one of Reg Mombassa’s recurring characters known as ‘Amp Head’. The following statement is one Reg Mombassa used to explain his creation; “Recent advances in biotechnology have rendered obsolete external amplification for electric guitarists. This man has had a powerful amplifier inserted into his neck and has replaced his mouth with a heavy-duty twelve inch speaker. He no longer has to lug a cumbersome amplifier up endless flights of stairs or hide it under a blanket in his station wagon to deter thieves.” (Mombassa R, 1989, pg 239). This picture was painted in 1989 and it reflects Reg Mombassa’s life. His influence in music (Amp Head), his upbringing (the houses in the background of the picture) and the Mambo look he puts into each bit of his work. The focus is first on Amp Head’s face, with his two eyes placed vertically instead of horizontally, and his mouth that he’s turned into an amplifier. Your eyes move down to his stomach which is a cross between a guitar and his stomach. Then you focus in on his legs which lead you down to one of the houses in the background. You then take into account the whole picture. In this picture, you can definitely see his influence from artists such as El Greco and Bosch, with the clutterness and 2D nature of the pictures. Debuting in 1978, the band, Metal as Anything was formed on a whim by a group of bored art students who were looking for free drinks. The band consists of Reg Mombassa (Chris O’Doherty) on guitar and vocals, his brother Peter O’Doherty on bass guitar, Martin Plaza on lead guitar, Andrew “Greedy” Smith on keyboard and Wayne Delisle on drums.
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