Christopherson will be remembered for his work in several fields:
- As a graphic designer, he helped create seminal album art for Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel and others;
- As a musician, Christopherson was a founding member of Throbbing Gristle and went on to Psychic TV and Coil; and
- As a director, he created music videos for The Christal Method, Erasure, Hanson, Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails, Robert Plant, Rage Against The Machine and others.
Christopherson died in his sleep on November 24th at his home in Bangkok, Thailand.
His Throbbing Gristle bandmates released this statement about Christopherson:
The music and art world has lost a great talent whose unique approach ignored the conventions of the day and often challenged the status quo.
Sleazy’s playful and inspiring creativity saw him pushing boundaries as a musician, video director and designer throughout his life. He had recently returned to Thailand from Europe, where he had played a short but spectacular series of live shows as a member of Throbbing Gristle and in the newly formed trio X-TG with Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter.
Sleazy’s visual art career included work as a member of the influential British design agency Hipgnosis, creating iconic record sleeve artwork in the 1970s for Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and, later, Factory Records. He took the first promo photographs of the Sex Pistols, created a highly controversial window display for Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s clothing shop, SEX, and went on to design the logo of the hugely popular fashion company, BOY. In 1976 Sleazy met Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and Genesis P-Orridge and together they formed electronic music provocateurs Throbbing Gristle and Industrial Records, creating one of the first independent record labels of the era and laying the foundation for a new genre of music. The band was infamously described in the Daily Mail by Tory MP Nicholas Fairbairn as “the wreckers of civilisation”.
TG ceased operations in 1981, after which Sleazy formed Psychic TV with Genesis P-Orridge and they produced two albums. The second, Dreams Less Sweet included his future life partner Jhonn Balance as a member, with whom he went on to form Coil and to release an extensive body of work up until Jhonn’s passing in 2004. Subsequently, Sleazy left the UK to live in Bangkok, Thailand and to continue his artistic and musical vision in the guise of The Threshold HouseBoys Choir and Soisong.
Following their original break-up, Throbbing Gristle’s legacy steadily grew within the music and art world, leading to their reformation in 2004 and a series of sold-out performances, including in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.
At the time of his death, Sleazy was in the midst of assembling what was to be Throbbing Gristle’s next project: a cover version of Nico’s Desertshore album.
Sleazy was a kind and beautiful soul. No words can express how much he will be missed.
Throbbing Gristle / X-TG
Cosey Fanni Tutti
Christopherson left behind a massive output of work. See the Throbbing Gristle site for more information on his work with them and Wikipedia has a deep list of his work as a director, musician and graphic artist.