Frank Kozik, Legendary Visual Artist, Dead at 61
Notable visual artist Frank Kozik, responsible for album covers like Melvins‘ Houdini, the Offspring‘s Americana and Queens of the Stone Age‘s self-titled record, has died at 61. A statement issued by his wife Sharon reads:
“Frank was a man larger than himself, an icon in each genre he worked in. He dramatically changed the industry he was a part of. He was a creative force of nature. We are so beyond lucky and honored to have been part of his journey, and he will be missed beyond what words could ever express. He loved his wife, his cats, classic muscle cars, mentoring others, and Disneyland. His forceful presence will be missed by all who knew him. His legacy, like all great masters, will live on through his art and our memories of him.”
In addition to his album covers, Kozik worked on tour posters for Nirvana, The Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth and many other names you no doubt recognize. Kozik got into doing art for bands in the ’80s and eventually did a variety of different work. He ran the label Man’s Ruin Records, who released music from The Hellacopters, Nebula, Kyuss, High on Fire, Entombed, Turbonegro, 13eaver, Queens of the Stone Age, and The Sex Pistols.
In 2018, Kozik told Riot Fest about his philosophy behind art:
“I have a dark sense of humor. My stuff has gotten nicer as time has gone by, because I’ve grown to have a great, enjoyable life. But I was a frustrated, fucked-up nerd/punk rock loser person, and got really entranced by the empowerment that this kind of industrial RE/Search vibe gave you, that whole thing of sort of hating on everybody. That worked itself into my work. I’m also a big fan of ambiguity, so I think where my stuff resonated was in that I was able to step outside that box a little, and instead of being persistently negative, I was able to turn it on its head a little bit, to make fun of itself. I hit on a formula early where, if it was a massively evil band, I’ll do something that’s insanely cute, and that’d make it weird. Conversely, if it’s something more normal, I’d insert some secret dark element. That was always for personal amusement, but it turned out that if I thought it was interesting, so did X amount of other people.”
Kozik’s loss is felt by the entire musical community.