05/10/2022

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Ken Kelly, Kiss Album Cover Artist, Reportedly Dead at 76

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Ken Kelly, Kiss Album Cover Artist, Reportedly Dead at 76

Ken Kelly, the artist at the rear of the classic Kiss album covers for Destroyer and Adore Gun, has reportedly died at the age of 76.

Many sources confirmed Kelly’s passing, together with his pal Danny Stanton, president and founder of Coallier Leisure.

Born in Connecticut in 1946, Kelly initially commenced his occupation in the early ‘70s, performing on comedian textbooks and horror magazines for Warren Publishing. It was Kiss drummer Peter Criss who set the artist on the band’s radar.

“I had generally imagined it was Gene Simmons, but Criss’s wife claimed it was he who was looking through Eerie and Creepy even though Gene and Paul Stanley were being studying Marvel comics,” Kelly mentioned to Print magazine in 2018. “So I would say Peter Criss was essentially accountable for me ending up currently being the deal with person.”

Kiss enlisted Kelly to develop the artwork for their 1976 album Destroyer. He was supplied a primary strategy and questioned to create an image in 30 days. Luckily, his working experience in the journal market experienced ready him for limited deadlines.

“Warren was publishing journals every few of months, so the turnaround [for covers] had to be extremely speedy,” he defined. “You had to occur up with a principle, paint it, supply it, and then you were on to the up coming just one. So when Kiss arrived along, I was completely ready.”

Irrespective of his readiness, Kelly’s preliminary painting was turned down by the band’s label. “They considered it was too violent,” he recalled. “It was 1975, and they didn���t want to launch these a large challenge with such a detrimental cover. I believed my vocation was around. That was a single of the heaviest blows I’ve ever received.”

Alternatively of ending his vocation, Kelly was offered the opportunity to rework his portray. The outcome would turn into Destroyer’s now-famous artwork.

The acceptance of that album deal with led a lot of much more rockers to enlist Kelly’s expert services. Rainbow had Kelly create the artwork for 1976’s Soaring Kiss brought the artist again to paint the cover for 1977’s Adore Gun Manowar employed Kelly for six albums involving 1987 and 2007 Coheed and Cambria showcased an original Kelly piece on their 2007 LP No Earth for Tomorrow and Kelly reteamed with previous Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley for his 2014 solo album House Invader.

Outside of rock, Kelly remained steadily employed for decades, crafting his distinctive, fantasy-motivated photos for almost everything from e-book covers to toy packaging.

“What I want to do is paint things that individuals like to look at,” the artist discussed to The Knoxville Mercury in 2017. “Any subject—fantasy, not-fantasy, toys, organization goods, whichever the hell it is, I’m heading to consider to make it glimpse true fantastic.”

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