Alan Aldridge was born in London and, apart from an eight week graphic workshop, had no formal art training. A meeting with Germano Facetti, then art director of Penguin books, led to a series of book cover commissions for the publisher. Aldridge went on to design album covers for The Who, Rolling Stones and The Beatles, as well as the poster for Andy Warhol’s film Chelsea Girls.
Yesterday’s Men proved a turning point. Commissioned by the Labour Party for the 1970 General Election to show Conservative Party members as tired out old men. A furore followed its publication, after which Aldridge turned to drawing and book illustration. Perhaps his best known work is The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast, illustrations for verses based on an 1806 book of poems by William Plomer entitled The Butterfly’s Ball.
In 2010 the Design Museum mounted an important exhibition of Aldridge’s work: The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes.