|Howard Finster's God Bless You All, oil on masonite, 1985. Gift of Dianne Vanderlip.|
R.E.M. and Talking Heads album cover artist Howard Finster turned to art at age three when he had his first religious vision. This vision was of his recently deceased sister (Finster was one of 13 children) who told him, "Howard, you're gonna be a man of many visions." Thirteen years later, he became a preacher unti his death in 2001 at age 85.
Most of Finster's art can be found in the south, most notably his design of Georgia's Paradise Gardens Park & Museum, one of the state's most famous attractions. He also painted an eight-foot tall Coca-Cola bottle for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He has also exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum and the Library of Congress. Although he was never trained professionally, a holy vision commanded him to make spiritual art.
Below is a video of Finster talking about R.E.M. Finster designed the cover for the band's 1984 album, Reckoning.