Art Seen

This Artist Transformed A Famous Album Cover Into A Tribute To The Icons We've Lost This Year

"Let's hope this is the final version."

2016 has been a difficult year for many reasons, not least of which is the ever-increasing number of beloved celebrities who have passed away — from David Bowie in January to Carrie Fisher this week, with such icons as Prince, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, and many more in between.

Upcoming "In Memoriam" segments at the Grammys and the Oscars are certain to be emotional, but until then, the internet has been sharing a powerful visual tribute by British artist Chris Barker. The image, which features dozens of recently deceased stars edited together into a crowd, is based on the famous cover of the Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The graphic also includes references to major events, such as Brexit and Donald Trump's election.


Barker's most recent addition to the image is also one of the most creative. Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 in the Star Wars series and died this August, was already included when news broke of Carrie Fisher's death, at which point Barker added Princess Leia's hologram projecting from his droid costume.

Barker wrote on Tumblr that he was inspired to create "a montage that summed up how weird a year it's been" on the night of the American presidential election. He told the Huffington Post that he is not making money from the project, because "it would kind of be unethical to profit from something that makes use of so many peoples' intellectual property."

Instead, the artist is encouraging people to donate to charities such as the memorial fund for Jo Cox, the British Parliament member who was assassinated earlier this year. Cox is also included in the tribute, surrounded by bouquets of flowers.

As one follower pointed out on Twitter following Barker's latest update, "let's hope this is the final version."


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