George Underwood is a British artist and musician. He is probably best known for designing album covers for numerous bands in the 1970s including famously his work for his friend and collaborator David Bowie. He attended Bromley Technical School where he met Bowie, developing an interest in music as well as art, recording an album with him and their band The King Bees.
Deciding that a music career was not for him George returned to art studies and worked for many years as an artist and illustrator, specialising in fantasy, horror and sci-fi book covers. However as many of his friends and colleagues were in the music business, he began making work for them, which lead to his becoming a freelance artist.
In the early 1970s he started painting in oils. Influenced at first by the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism. Imagination is a key word in George’s paintings. He rarely uses live models nowadays, preferring to invent people who inhabit their own personal world.
George Underwood’s paintings are held in many private art collections - friend and collector David Bowie says of him,” George has, over the years, refined his work to the point where I would put him among the top figurative painters coming out the UK right now. There is a sublime isolation surrounding his subjects that really touches the viewer, the figures being both heroic and vulnerable simultaneously. There’s a timeless element in the choice of subject matter that overlaps with the mythical world of Odd Nerdum, say. Now that a huge shift to painting is taking place, I would expect to see George’s name pushed further and further to the front”