Talking Heads: Little Creatures

image for Talking Heads: Little Creatures
Catalogue Status
Research in Progress
Recto: The folk art drawing in a naive style comprises human, animal and alien or ghost-like figures; houses and tall "wedding cake" structures; trees and plants; and quotations from David Byrne's song lyrics, as well as from other unidentified narrative sources. Talking Heads is imprinted in red, centered, across the top, against a background of blue sky and small cloud-like puffs (the "heads") wearing varying facial expressions, interspersed with spaceships and other flying figures and objects. A row of four joined ghost-like creatures in black might also be seen as a mountain range; in its center, Talking Heads is printed, as if handwritten, in block capitals. In the lower half, centered, is a globe in blue, upheld by the outstretched arms of a crouching figure, a man wearing only a pair of white underpants, displaying David [Byrne] in small capitals, and a pair of black sneakers. Worlds Talking Heads, World on my shoulders and Who knows this world's weight are written on the globe. To the right of the David Byrne figure is a figure identified as Chris [Frantz], one of the musicians, and above the globe, behind three additional black ghost-like creatures, are two additional busts of musicians, one of a woman labelled Tina [Weymouth] and the other of a man labelled Jerry [Harrison]. Quotations, always in the same handwritten block lettered style, are interspersed throughout, and frequently include references to "worlds." In the lower right corner is a seven-line message from the artist, Howard Finster, identifying the design as his "4000.411th piece of art."
Verso: On a dark blue background, a photograph of the four featured musicians, wearing colorful, richly patterned clothing and standing stiffly with their arms at their sides, occupies almost the entire space. The man second from the right and the woman are wearing hats; the other two men are bareheaded. The only reference to the album title, Little Creatures, is imprinted in small capitals at the top on the left, followed by a vertcal listing of the song titles. Additional production information is imprinted in three columns situated in three columns in the lower half.
Credit Line
Gift of Tibor Kalman/ M & Co.
See more items in
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Accession Number
Design Director
Tibor Kalman, American, b. Hungary, 1949–1999
Design Team member
David Byrne
Stephen Doyle, American, b. 1956
Tom Kluepfel, b. 1955
Howard Finster
Neil Selkirk
M&Co, New York, New York, USA, 1979–1992
Offset lithograph on paper
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Object Name
Record cover
Record cover