* Signed Limited Edition of 75 (for each size)
* Framed Giclée Print
* Printed on Hahnemühle acid-free paper, using UV tolerant museum-grade inks.
* Hand Signed by the artist, Hugh Syme
Neil Peart remembers getting chills when Hugh Syme described the visual concept for Power Windows over the phone. “There’s a crazy guy sitting in a room thinking he can control the world with a remote. And he’s doing it. That’s the part I love,” says Neil.
To evoke the atmosphere of a psychological horror tale, Hugh borrowed a character from another story. The boy on the album cover was inspired by Billy Bibbit, the stammering mental patient in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In the movie version, Brad Dourif portrayed Bibbit with mushroom hair, manic eyes, and stammering tongue. (“N-n-n-n-nurse R-r-ratched.”)
Hugh recruited a junior stockbroker in Toronto who bore a passing resemblance to Dourif to model for the cover. Photographer Dimo Safari helped Hugh create a room and a window, properly lit, for the photograph.
Photograph in hand, Hugh set up his easel and created a grid on a canvas to replicate, and properly scale, the minute details of the photo. At one point, though, he went off the grid. Notice that the boy’s right hand, extended toward his knee, is out of proportion to the rest of the body. Rembrandt used a similar compositional device in The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, making the hand of the corpse in his painting disproportionately large. It’s a subtle detail in each painting, but the effect is the same: It is subliminally unsettling to the viewer.
The striking artwork for Power Windows even inspired a song on the following record, Hold Your Fire.
“When I had the idea of the ‘Prime Mover,’ I was still so taken with the idea of this guy sitting at the window and working the world,” says Neil. “That’s exactly what I was thinking of during the middle eight of ‘Prime Mover.’ That’s me, taking that art and putting the words to it.”