Visual artist Pedro Bell, who was the creative mind behind several Funkadelic and George Clinton album covers, has passed away, although his age at the time has not been verified. The artist illustrated the covers for 1974’s Standing on the Verge of Getting It On, 1975’s Let’s Take It to the Stage, and 1978’s One Nation Under a Groove, along with Clinton’s Computer Games released in 1982.
“He doodled these intricate, wild worlds, filled with crazy hypersexual characters and strange slogans,” Funkadelic frontman George Clinton explained in his 2014 memoir. He continued with: “When he sent us his interpretation, I was blown away. It included pimps and hos, some of which were drawn as aliens with little worms coming out of them. It was nightmarish and funny and beautiful, a perfect fit for the music we were making.”
News of the artist’s passing was publicized on funk legend Bootsy Collins and Clinton’s social media pages last night. “Mr. Pedro Bell is an American artist and illustrator best known for his elaborate cover designs and other artwork for numerous Funkadelic and George Clinton solo albums. Thxs for yr service our brother,” Collins wrote on his social media page.
We lost the Master Mind behind the Graphic’s & Artwork of Funkadelic. Mr. Pedro Bell is an American artist and illustrator best known for his elaborate cover designs and other artwork for numerous Funkadelic and George Clinton solo albums. Thxs for yr service our brother.😲🙏 pic.twitter.com/PsD8TRxlRU
— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) August 28, 2019
Bell did not have an easy life after the release of these albums. Despite depicting some of the most iconic covers from the legendary funk group and Clinton’s solo work, a profile published by the Chicago Sun Times showed that the artist was shown to be afflicted by poor health and poverty as recently as a decade ago.
Photo Credit: Owen Ela