Although vinyl records have made a comeback, many creative types have been upcycling them into everything from jewelry to clocks. Rather than transforming the records into something new, Edlen builds upon them, using their audio content as inspiration for paintings. His realistic portraits portray the likes of of Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Oasis, the Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
Because each vinyl record bears grooves and paths that play your favorite songs when hit with a needle, Edlen can’t simply paint as if on a regular canvas. To compensate for the uneven surface, the artist has employed a system of carefully placed dots. Building up thickness in darker areas, the artist uses the vinyl’s natural black color as part of the coloring and paints with a subtractive process using white paint to fill in the gaps.
The process is so meticulous and exact that any false move could ruin the piece. Carefully planning the position of each dot, the painstaking process can take Edlen up to a month to complete just one of the hyper-realistic homages.