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Storm Elvin Thorgerson (1944-2013)

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  • Storm Elvin Thorgerson, British 1944-2013- "Atom

  • Storm Thorgerson (B. 1944)

  • Storm Thorgerson (B. 1944)

  • STORM THORGERSON (English 1944-2013)

Storm Elvin Thorgerson Biography

Thorgerson, who was of Norwegian descent, was born in Potters Bar, Middlesex (now part of Hertfordshire), and he attended Summerhill School, Brunswick Primary School in Cambridge, and the Cambridgeshire High School for Boys with Pink Floyd founders Syd Barrett, who was in the year below him, and Roger Waters, who was in the year above him. Storm and Roger played rugby together at school, while Storm's mother Vanji and Roger's mother Mary were close friends. He studied English and Philosophy at the University of Leicester, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours, before studying Film and Television at the Royal College of Art, where he graduated with a Master of Arts degree.

He was a teenage friend of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and best man at Gilmour's wedding to Polly Samson in 1994.
In 1968 along with Aubrey Powell he founded the graphic art group Hipgnosis, and between them they designed many famous single and album covers, with Peter Christopherson joining them for their later commissions. In 1983, following the dissolution of Hipgnosis, Thorgerson and Powell formed Greenback Films, producing music videos.

In the early nineties Thorgerson inaugurated StormStudios along with Peter Curzon – a loose group of freelancers. The line up included Rupert Truman (photographer), Finlay Cowan (designer and illustrator), Daniel Abbott (designer and artist), Lee Baker (creative retoucher and designer) and Jerry Sweet (designer) along with Thorgerson's personal assistants, Laura Truman (prints) and Charlotte Barnes, and then later Silvia Ruga (designer).
Perhaps Thorgerson's most famous designs are those for Pink Floyd. His design for The Dark Side of the Moon has been called one of the greatest album covers of all time. Designed by Thorgerson and Hipgnosis, the artwork for the cover itself was drawn by George Hardie, a designer at NTA Studios. Many of Storm Thorgerson's designs are notable for their surreal elements. He often places objects out of their traditional contexts, especially with vast spaces around them, to give them an awkward appearance while highlighting their beauty. To quote Thorgerson, "I like photography because it is a reality medium, unlike drawing which is unreal. I like to mess with reality ... to bend reality. Some of my works beg the question of is it real or not?"
Over the years, Thorgerson and his team designed and released several books about their work. The Gathering Storm – A Quartet in Several Parts was the final book Storm worked on with his team and it was completed just before his death in April 2013. The book was released in September 2013 and includes album covers artwork, photographs, and anecdotes, spanning five decades from Storm's early work with Hipgnosis through to StormStudios. In accordance with Storm's wishes, the studio will continue to work.

In 2013, Prog Magazine renamed its Grand Design Award after Thorgerson. It is now known as the Storm Thorgerson Grand Design Award and will be given to the designer of the year's best-packaged product. Thorgerson had won the 2012 award for his continued work with Pink Floyd.
In 2003, Thorgerson suffered a stroke, from which he was partially paralysed. He was later diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer, which he battled for several years, but which eventually led to his death on 18 April 2013, at the age of 69. After Thorgerson's death, David Gilmour released a statement describing him as "a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on, and a great friend". A post on the official Pink Floyd website called him a "graphic genius". Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason said that he was a "tireless worker right up to the end"

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