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Artist Mati Klarwein Dies at 70

Mati Klarwein, the Spanish painter whose surreal artwork graced the covers of many rock and jazz albums, died in his home in Deia, an artists’ colony on the Spanish island of Mallorca, on Wed., Mar. 20. He was 70.

Though Klarwein’s name may not be immediately familiar to jazz fans, his exotic cover art for the Miles Davis albums Bitches Brew (pictured left) and Live Evil should be. The German-born painter grew up in Israel and became interested in jazz while studying art in Paris in the late 1940s. Inspired by the surreal stylings of Salvador Dali, Klarwein painted fantastic images that incorporated erotic, African and countercultural symbols. In addition to the Davis albums, Klarwein’s work was used for the covers of Jackie McLean’s Demon’s Dance, Buddy Miles’ A Message to the People, Santana’s Abraxas and many others.

As if his art wasn’t mysterious enough, the cause of Klarwein’s death remains undisclosed and no information is available on his survivors. His body was cremated Sat., Mar. 22.

Originally Published