Violet, Gold + Rose Album Art by Jaeyeol Han

The abstract portrait for the cover of David Ward’s new album of cinematic soul, Violet, Gold + Rose, comes courtesy of South Korean painter, Jaeyeol Han. Ward discovered Han through American jazz trumpeter/composer and Blue Note artist, Ambrose Akinmusire. A painted portrait of Akinmusire appeared on his 2017 album, A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard and early sketches for the painting posted to Akinmusire’s instagram account led Ward to Han.

“I was transfixed by an ongoing series Jaeyeol is working on called Passersby. His paintings are sculptural, beautiful, haunting and vivid. I was equally drawn to the way he spoke about people and his work in relation to people,” says Ward.  

In an interview posted to Han’s site, Han described bringing to life “faces that are all too easily passed over” and his desire to create, “a new meaning in our modern era, where meeting someone is often done indirectly” (New Look).  

Han told Ward that he usually didn’t paint upon request but because he connected with the music, as he did with Akinmusire’s, he wanted to be involved.

“The existential energy he captures in the people he observes is a testament to his sensitivity and his talent,” says Ward.   

Check out the latest single, Banging on my Drum, from Violet, Gold + Rose.

Jeanette Wilkinson