Abe Gurvin (Attleboro, Massachusetts, December 31, 1937 - Santa Maria, [Santa Barbara County], California, July 9, 2012) was one of the most prolific and interesting American artists, among the greatest representatives of 'psychedelic art' (which, in San Francisco, it was an evolution of 'groovy' art, and which drew inspiration from the systematic use of LSD). The news about his educational and professional training are totally absent from the websites, while his works are very well known, loved and awarded: he has designed album covers for artists such as Janis Joplin, The Zodiac, Federal Duck and Bread, but the historic series of Nuggets album covers for Elektra, represents an authentic masterpiece that sanctioned, and somehow closed, an extraordinary artistic era
Abe Gurvin's portfolio included advertising work for companies such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Disney, Suzuki, IBM, Marantz, Scholastic, Kenwood, Time-Life Books, Sony Music, and many more. He has received awards from One Show, Communication Arts, New York Art Directors, Best of Show, LA Society of Illustrators, New York Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles Art Directors Club, Society of Publication Designers and The Belding Award.
We remember some graphic works by Abe Gurvin such as the unforgettable cover of Car & Driver of May 1968, where a psychedelic drawing had been transferred to the hood of a Porches; the collection of drawings for the Casserole Cookbook kitchen, for the Sci-Tech science fiction series and the numerous hand-drawn illustrations for an editorial project of fairy tales (still unpublished today) called I Am Being Me by Ann di Hope.
Abe Gurvin served on the board of directors of SILA (Los Angeles Society of Illustrators); in 1988 Gurvin moved to a mansion in Laguna Beach, California and later to Santa Maria where he died at the age of 74.
the only flat thing to believe is the LP record
My precious collection is clear evidence that anything can be a treasure. The most important aspect for me is not represented by the value of the articles, but by the joy that these have given me over the years.
Who is Zecky
vinyl collector for passion
Among the things I remember with more pleasure than when I was a child, there are many toys, some illustrated books, some Rai Italian television programs (The boys of Father Tobia, Non è mai troppo tardi and - of course - Carosello) and the vinyl records. They weren't mine, they were from my father - brilliant electrical engineer and intuitive turntable repairman - who bought them to test the quality of Hi-Fi systems.
The 1960s: I remember summers spent on the beaches of Chioggia Lido (Venice), with a parasol next to groups of young people in their twenties and their transistor record players with songs by the Italian pop singers Rita Pavone or Gianni Morandi.
But how much amazement and fascination did the sonorous, orange, red and white boxes raise in a child between 6 and 10? Huge!
On the beach in the afternoon the kiosks of drinks scattered on those same beaches spread the sounds of their juke-boxes, and I glued to see the ritual of the magical change of the various discs thanks to that ‘good’ robot that had the hands of steel and delicately took, he played and then resumed his turn and put it back in his place in the rack ...
But memory is even more in my mind: my automatic Garrard – that I still have – with the disk that goes down on the turntable and allows you to automatically listen to three facades below without getting up from the armchair.
The black object, the disc, the only flat thing to believe in, is now in my DNA. I'm fine with my records: I have consumed someone to the point of having to shoot them again, others have not listened to them for 30 years. With the discs coming in the 'Fahrenheit 451 Syndrome', the one that procured books and films (the first by Ray Bradbury, the second by François Truffaut with a bewildered Oskar Werner and an impenetrable Julie Christie, extraordinary interpreters of a film that entered me in the skin: the scene of the 'woman-book' that burns with her entire library makes me shudder at the mere memory).
"There is no disc to throw", I always said to myself: the "Fahrenheit 451 Syndrome" is hard to eradicate, even if - with age - I can say that there are bad records and many.
Are they also useless?
Are they to be thrown away?
No. The ‘Falstaff Law’ (Verdi-Boito) applies:
«Even without me, with so much arrogance,
they wouldn't have a little bit of salt.
It is I who makes you cunning.
My wit creates the wit of others ».
The ugly disc makes another one better...
The vinyl collecting market is strange, often not coinciding with the objective beauty of the musical content.
A vinyl (anyone) by Herbert von Karajan has low-accessible prices, apart from his last live recording with the Wiener Philharmoniker (DG 429 2261, Bruckner, Symphony No. 7) which has always had exorbitant and unjustified prices, if not the small number of printed copies. On the other hand, many Johanna Martzy or Gioconda De Vito vinyl reach inaccessible prices for medium-pockets. Martzy vs Karajan: there is no musical discourse that takes, only collector or, worse, fetishistic.
Although sometimes I too am compulsive in buying vinyl (see the new entries on the home page), I have never found myself in that small number of crazy collectors from 500 euros in a row for rare vinyls in the first print, more for mental form that for my 'normal' economic possibilities: they are immoral prices. If here you will see Lp that today cost hundreds (and perhaps some thousands) of euros it is because I have them for over 30 years, bought when I was younger and their price was normal, the "catalogue" price.
Enemy number one in the collection? Space.
At some point it ends. Difficult to create new ones, if not to move everything.
Then they sacrifice the double copies (here I will propose some in exchange / sale) and maybe some record that with age and listening experience, appears less interesting to us.
This is my experience as a collector.