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‘Taken by Storm’ depicts the story of one of vinyl’s most relevant artists

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The first time Roddy Bogawa met Storm Thorgerson, he was sent off to drive around London along with Thorgerson’s assistant, collecting all the cabbage they could find. Thorgerson later handed out a head of cabbage to every audience member attending a lecture he was giving, and took a photo of the scene.

“Being around Storm was an adventure.” Bogawa said.

Bogawa’s film, “Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis” tells the story of Thorgerson and the adventures behind the several, iconic album covers he created.

David Filipi, director of film and video at the Wexner Center for the Arts, gave some insight as to why he booked the film to show last Thursday at the Wexner.

“It’s a really interesting topic, this legendary artist,” Filipi said. “He designed album covers for all these well-known artists like Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd.”

After starting Hipgnosis in 1968 with Aubrey Powell, the pair began creating album covers for all the biggest names in music. Hipgnosis was the company behind some of the most iconic record covers, including Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” and Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy.”

Although records are no longer the primary source of music in the digital age, there are still those who appreciate them and the art that comes with them. Columbus native Jack Ryden was in attendance at the “Taken by Storm” showing, and credits Thorgerson’s art with his love of records.

“I didn’t grow up listening to vinyl,” Ryden said. “But I started buying them a few years ago and never stopped. There’s something so enticing about it, the cover and the music complement each other and create this perfectly packaged work of art.”

Bogawa’s film captured Thorgerson’s desire to always do things “for real” — even when technology made it easy to make and edit images on the computer, he insisted on actually creating his unusual scenes using real objects and people, then manipulating the image by hand, up until his death in 2013.

One of his more ambitious projects depicted in the film was the cover he created for Pink Floyd’s “A Momentary Lapse of Reason,” for which he and 30 helpers arranged 700 hospital beds on a beach.

In the film, Thorgerson joked that this process may have been a momentary lapse of reason on his part.

During a Q&A following the screening of the film at the Wexner Center, Bogawa discussed the vibrant energy that surrounded Thorgerson, and their close bond that developed during the making of “Taken by Storm.”

“[Thorgerson] had this power around him,” Bogawa said. “The film now is like a time capsule of our friendship.”

The DVD release of “Taken by Storm” is available now for presale on takenbystormfilm.com.

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