Gregg Allman’s posthumous final album, Southern Blood, will be released Friday, September 7th, and those who purchase the album’s deluxe package and first run of the vinyl will receive a very significant portrait print of Gregg. Before his death earlier this year, Allman and his daughter, Layla Brooklyn, commissioned an odd painting from lauded surrealist painter Vincent Castiglia.
According to Yahoo Music, in a deal conceived by Brooklyn and sealed on December 24th, 2015, Gregg Allman, recruited Castiglia to paint a portrait of him–using his blood, and the blood of his children, as the paint–as album art for his latest album, Southern Blood. Castiglia quickly agreed, unaware that Allman would pass away before the painting was completed. Notes Castiglia, “This is the single most important work I’ve ever painted, for two of the loveliest people I’ve had the opportunity to connect with in this life.”
Brooklyn described the process behind Southern Blood (both the album a the painting) after hearing that Castiglia had painted a portrait with his own blood: “A few years ago, I invited him to the studio when my metal band was tracking sessions for a record that I didn’t end up releasing. Upon listening to the early stages of my father’s Muscle Shoals sessions, I knew [the blood portrait concept] was a perfect visual representation for what would be my father’s last body of work on many levels.
“I suggested to my father he send Vincent vials of his own blood to save for his yet-to-be titled record. He did it, and nearly a year later, the title Southern Blood popped into my head to tie it all together. The story, the music, the painting and my dad’s fight to keep playing music when he became ill represent his dedication, passion and contribution, not only in metaphorically giving his blood to the fans for decades, but literally.”
You can watch a time-lapse video of the creation of the painting here.
[h/t – Yahoo Music]