Plainview artist displays nationally-acclaimed work at exhibit

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Updated: 7/14/2013 10:12 pm
"I was always doing painting on the side. n+Not for money, but mostly for my own pleasure."

Joe Garnett painted his first sign at just 13 years of age. Now, his name is on some of the most memorable works fo art from the 1970's and 80's. 

"Probably the most notorious piece is The Doors album, after Jim Morrison died," Garnett said. "Then I got to do Aretha Franklin, and I did the first Cheech and Chong album."

A Plainview native, Garnett lived in Los Angeles for about 21 years. He created his first album cover for A&M Records, and said he was just in the right place at the right time. 

"They'd send me around to other record companies," Garnett said. "I did a Beach Boy poster, I did Deep Purple, Seals and Croft, and Loggins and Messina."

Other notable pieces include covers for Alice Cooper's Alice at the Palace, and Monte Python's Life of Brian. With West Texas in his veins, some pieces hit closer to home, including portraits of Jesse Taylor, Terry Allen, and Joe Ely and the Flatlanders. 

"I think the Buddy Holly portrait's my favorite because of the size of it, and it's a close-up of his face," Garnett said. "And I grew up with his music, back when I was a teenager you know."

Calling himself an experimenter and a colorist, Garnett said he prefers the freedom he gets with from modern art. 

"I think the modern stuff, I think you do it from inside of yourself," Garnett said. "It's really having a dialogue with yourself and other artists that like that kind of thing, and really not so much for the public. It's kind of a selfish thing to do, but I think it's where the experimentation and creativity comes from."

Although he's now retired, Garnett said painting has always been his passion, and he won't be giving it up anytime soon. You can see his work at the Lubbock Musician's Exhibit currently going on at the Tornado Gallery, located next to the Cactus Theater. The exhibit ends August 29. 
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