Rocket Man in the Morning

Private collector Curt Brannon contacted me for a collection of three pieces of Elton John;

one 20"x24" black and white portrait of Elton playing the piano,

one 24"x24" glam boot call out pulling inspiration from Peter Max,

and one 24"x48" portrait of Elton surrounded by images from the Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album cover art.


visual aids:




  • Captain Fantastic album cover

  • example of work by Peter Max

  • glam boot examples Brannon sent







Brennan, Jessica. Elton No. 1. July 2021, Curt Brannon Private Collection, Omaha.


Black and white portrait of Elton John playing the piano.




Brennan, Jessica. Rocket Man in the Morning. July, 2021, Curt Brannon Private Collection, Omaha.


Rocket Man in the Morning is a mix of influence from Alan Aldridge and Peter Max. With Max's colors leaning graphicly vibrant and Aldridge's use of hue in mind, the emphasized brown/blue tones of gray aim to bring Elton No.1 in the party.

The style aims to remain consist with Captain Fantastic but the storyline does as well, which is about his life as well as The Garden of Earthly Delights. The title is as it describes, is Rocket Man in the morning. *imagine*it's the end of a show, and they're throwing roses at his feet (wearing moon boots). Elton John is a man who is, still today, bringing dark topics to light. https://www.eltonjohnaidsfoundation.org/



Brennan, Jessica. Captain Fantastic. July, 2021, Curt Brannon Private Collection, Omaha.


It was only after beginning the piece did I learned the original cover artist Alan Aldridge used The Garden Of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus fricken Bosch as influence. It wolloped me, but it was a pleasure to fit some of Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy merged with a portrait of him playing the piano in my version of his outfit.


145 videos were taken over this process. The tryptic took four months and was a mental mountain I underestimated at the beginning. With 34 characters, and two Eltons there's an estimated 250-300 hours between them.


The Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album cover was made in 2012 by Alan Aldridge for Hypergallery. I could only fit some of what he was able to fit on a 12x12. It was a pleasure to study his work so closely. Rocket Man is inspired by Peter Max. His use of side profiles inspired making the glam boot into a moon. Along with his affinity for a strong middle horizon line and repeating geometric shapes. Rocket Man was the final painting completed and merging these two heavy influences with influence from Elton No. 1, while also completing the set compositionally, felt like composing. Brannon allowed me a beautiful range of simplicity and complexity, as well as direction and challenge in this project.




thanks for reading


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