"I secretly appreciated the architecture of these gas stations. I like that concept of a little building that has a great overhang, a respite from the sun where you could pull your car up underneath and then go inside your place. I dreamed of living in a gas station at one time."
Tate Liverpool have collected together Mark Rothko's Seagram Murals again, 21 years after they helped open the gallery. I spent years wanting to like Rothko more than I actually did and it took seeing some of these colossal works at Tate Modern to truly understand his appeal. When a large Rothko fills your field of vision, all sense of perspective is lost. Appreciating his work requires you to let go momentarily, to loosen your grip. Most of my photographs focus on life's little details and I love that there is something so overwhelming out there to counterbalance that.
And with Anish Kapoor's retrospective and Miroslaw Balka's How It Is both opening recently and featuring similar attempts to immerse the viewer in three-dimensional colour fields (Kapoor with an indented canary-yellow cone; Balka with a room filled with darkness), you can't help but think that the notoriously depressive artist might just have cracked a smile from his great studio in the sky.
This next cover isn't even one of Coleman's greatest records but both sides of the sleeve combine to sublime effect and the whole style marked a tipping point in jazz album design.
This sleeve was put together by Forlenza Venosa Associates - an ads, promo and music publishing company formed in 1966, when the former Columbia Records editor and art director Bob Venosa joined the fledgling Forlenza Associates.
For the past decade, the style of the Blue Note label had been dictated by designer Reid Miles, who had interpreted a string of landmark titles literally with smart modernist designs and Francis Wolff's noir-ish, two-tone photography.
With Venosa on board, however, they began to introduce increasingly wild, Afro-psychedelic art to the label's album sleeves, no doubt encouraged by his time spent hanging out with Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix.
However, for a year or two in the late 1960s, they turned out a string of covers that bridged the gap between the monochrome mod classicism of the early Reid Miles sleeves and the crazier excesses of the post-1970 designs.
Venosa worked on a number of classics, including Donald Byrd's Slow Drag, Lonnie Smith's Think!, Hank Mobley's Reach Out and Bobby Hutcherson's Total Eclipse, but for sheer atmosphere and timeless style, this wins it for me.