Humphrey Ocean RA (born 1951) is a portrait painter best known for his portraits of Paul McCartney and Philip Larkin, both in the National Portrait Gallery. He has previously published books reproducing simple line drawings of everyday objects and this suite of 6 prints of chairs relate to those drawings, but interpret the motifs on a much larger scale. They are sugar lift aquatints, made with the printer Maurice Payne in New York, and are exemplary of the technique as well as showcasing Ocean’s distinctive graphic style.
One of the series (‘Black Love Chair’) was chosen by Paul McCartney for the cover of his new album, Memory Almost Full (released June 5, 2007). He is quoted on his website, talking about artwork: “After completing the album I then started thinking about the album artwork and how I'd want it to look. I really wanted to make the CD a desirable object. Something that I know I'd want to pick up from the shelf, something that would make people curious. I hope our final concept has done that. The album sleeve itself includes an etching by a friend of mine, Humphrey Ocean. As with the album lyrics, I'm looking forward to seeing how people might interpret the artwork.”