American Rust

Two years ago I started work on some ideas for album artwork for the UK band Ten Million Aliens. The original working title for the album was “American Rust” and having always been fascinated by American cars and hot rods, my early ideas involved cutting out images of old junkyard cars and placing them in different deserted landscapes.

While searching for different backgrounds I came across the astonishing painting “Fall of the Rebel Angels” by the Flemish artist Pieter Breugel the Elder and knew that I wanted to use the imagery in my design.

Breugel’s painting from 1574 depicts his idea of a “War in Heaven” from the Book of Revelations 12: 7-10 where Satan and a group of rebel angels are cast down from Heaven to earth. The classic good versus evil story… (Think Star Wars but with no technology and CGI) The metaphor was too good to lose and so the album was re-titled “Road Trip (Fall of the Rebel Angels)”

The idea set me working up a series of wrecked and abandoned cars set into famous medieval and later classical landscapes which I exhibited as American Rust in the Great North Art show in Ripon Cathedral in 2019. It’s painstaking work in Photoshop masking out and re-colourising different images off the internet and in fact it’s surprisingly difficult to get a good match in perspective between a 1950’s junkyard car and a 16th century landscape (Who knew?)

The cars were chosen for a variety of reasons but the 1952 Buick that made the album cover was the closest I could find to looking like the classic 1950’s B Movie Alien. Bug eyes and BIG teeth!

The prints are now available for sale and make a stunning impact/statement for anyone into old American cars. A giclée super hi definition archive quality print, they are available in 3 sizes. A2 (approx 16 x 23 inches), A1 (approx 23 x 33 inches) and A0 (approx 33 x 46 inches). These are the best quality art prints available. They are gallery standard guaranteed not to fade and printed on Innova smooth cotton high white 315gsm paper with fully archival Epson HDR pigment inks.

Postage is free to anywhere in Europe and the USA and the print will be shipped to you in a thick card tube. Obviously you will have to frame them yourself in your choice of frame. When I exhibited the show I had them framed in ornate gilt frames to complete the conceit that they were old masters but a local law firm have three in their office in sleek black frames and they look great.

If you want to know more, have me make a print featuring your own car or hot rod or just to say Hi! then please email me johnreelsound[at] or use the contact form below.