Sunday, April 22, 2012

Overton Loyd Makes The P-Funk Universe Just A Little Bit Funkier With His Cool Artwork

Overton Loyd's imaginative and unique artwork has been a big part of the P-Funk universe for more than three decades now. The Detroit-born visual artist is currently the creative director for George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic. In this capacity, Loyd designs multi-media stage shows, costumes, album covers, websites and animated videos.  He has toured throughout the U.S. and abroad with the funk/rock collective. The multifaceted artist creates in various styles, including loose pen and ink drawings, cartoon illustrations, and mixed media paintings. Loyd's signature style is known as "Funk Aesthetic" or "Bop Art."

Loyd is most recognized for his cover art for Parliament's 1978 album Motor Booty Affair. The iconic album cover contains a cartoon image of Starchild's arch nemesis Sir Nose D'voidoffunk holding his ears while what looks like a prehistoric bird of prey swoops down on him with its mouth wide open. Parliament fully utilized Loyd's talents for Motor Booty Affair. The album was released in several different incarnations, and Loyd provided artwork for each one. The main release consisted of a gatefold album cover, with Loyd's artwork on the front and back covers.  His illustrations included cartoon portraits of some of the characters mentioned on the album's tracks, including "Mr. Wiggles the Worm." There was also a picture disk, with Loyd's illustration printed directly on the vinyl LP.

Additionally, there was a special edition that included cardboard cutout figures that featured Loyd's cartoon illustrations of most of the characters mentioned in the songs. And if that wasn't enough, Loyd did the animated TV commercial for Motor Motor Affair. The commercial featured Sir Nose D'voidoffunk, Rumpofsteelskin and assorted cartoon characters that inhabit Parliament's funky underwater city. The commercial only ran for a short time, and a lot of people didn't get to see it when it originally aired.

Motor Booty Affair was not the first time that Loyd had provided artwork for a Parliament album. He also illustrated a comic book that was included in Parliament's classic album Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome (1977). The narrative in the comic echoes the lyrics to songs on the album. The comic depicts  the epic battle between extraterrestrial funk savior Starchild and Sir Nose D'voidoffunk, who represents all that is unfunky and the suppression of free thought. Sir Nose believes he's immune to the Funk and defiantly states, "I will never dance!" Armed with his trusty bop gun, Starchild ultimately defeats Sir Nose and gets him to dance by shining the "Flash Light" on  him.  "Ol' Smell-o-vision" succumbs to the Funk, and all is well again in the P-Funk universe.

Other P-Funk-related work Loyd has done include the cover art for Parliament's album Gloryhallastoopid and This Boot Is Made for Fonk-N by Bootsy's Rubber Band. Both albums were released in 1979.  Also, Loyd won Billboard magazine's "Best Use Of Computer Graphics" award for his work on the 1982 "Atomic Dog" video, which was for George Clinton's influential funk anthem. And in 2006, the prolific artist was guest art director for two episodes of animated series Class of 3000 that aired on Cartoon Network. Loyd was also the featured caricaturist on the popular television game show Win, Lose or Draw (1987-1990).

Loyd and his good friend George Clinton recently paid a visit to Sly Stone. During the visit, Loyd and renowned graffiti artist Man One decorated Sly's RV with their artwork. Loyd painted caricatures of music legends Jimi Hendrix, Prince, James Brown and Sly himself on the RV, and Man One spray-painted the letters. Even George added a few brushstrokes. They pimped out Sly's ride in style.

Loyd's art has been exhibited at several galleries, and his fine-art works can be found in private collections worldwide. Loyd is known as the "Art Philanthropist," and, according to his website, his intention is to use the medium of art to transcend boundaries of social/cultural barriers. "I believe art can act as a clearing for whole new realities," said Loyd in an interview. "I’m standing for the possibility that we can use art to generate a breakthrough in communication." To learn more about Overton Loyd and his artwork, check out his website.

Overton Loyd's Motor Booty Affair commercial

Overton Loyd and Man One Pimpin' Out Sly's Ride

Related blog entry: Pedro Bell: Picasso of P-Funk

1 comment:

kgmckool said...

I remember that commercial,the movie was never made!