Publications, Interviews, Articles, Essays and Tributes
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Really Fantastic: Glenn O'Brien on Mati Klarwein

By Glenn O'Brien

Source: Art Forum (2002)

I first encountered Mati Klarwein in 1970. Miles Davis had just released his revolutionary Bitches Brew, which featured Mati's painting on the sleeve. It was a perfect visual synthesis of Miles's magical amalgam of funk, rock, jazz, and psychedelia. Mati soon became a famous artist, quite outside the art-world path, for the lavishly detailed, cosmically erotic paintings that fronted albums by Santana, the Chambers Brothers, Earth, Wind Fire, and others.

I believe that at the time Mati was going by the name Abdul Mati Klarwein. He once said, "If all Jews would add an Arab name to theirs and all Arabs added a Jewish name then the hatred they have for each other could be attenuated considerably."

These days I think a lot about Mati, the Jewish Muslim Sufi ... Read More.

Lush Life: Mati Klarwein

By Rob Young

Source: The Wire (1998)

The great visionary painter Mati Klarwein died in March 2002, aged 70. Several of his paintings adorn Jon Hassell's record sleeves: Earthquake Island, Dream Theory in Malaya, Aka-Darbari-Java and Maarifa Street. From Salvador Dali to Miles Davis, from Jimi Hendrix to Jon Hassell and beyond, artist Mati Klarwein makes the connections between surrealism, African-Americanism, hippydom and the Fourth World. 

IN 1960, AN artist called Abdul Mati sent a copy of a portrait he had made of jazz saxophonist Yusef Lateef to the musician himself. Lateef, a Muslim, liked the painting—Lateef's bald pate almost swamped by a sea of encroaching flora—and sensed a kinship: he wrote back with a salutation to his "Dear Bro", and offers of record sleeves in the ... Read More.