The Fool (design collective)

The Fool (design collective)

The Fool were a Dutch design collective and band who were influential in the psychedelic style of art in British popular music in the late 1960s. The colourful art draws on many fantastical and mystical themes. The name is a reference to The Fool tarot card.

The original members were Dutch artists Simon Posthuma and Marijke Koger, who were discovered by photographer Karl Ferris among the hippie community on the Spanish island of Ibiza in 1966. He took photographs of clothes designed by them, and sent them to London where they were published in "The Times" of London and immediately caused a sensation. Ferris took The Fool back to London, and together they opened a studio, with the Dutch artists producing clothes and art, and Ferris pursuing photography. Barry Finch and artist Joskje Leeger, joined later. All had been involved with Beatles manager Brian Epstein's Saville Theatre.


Their work includes:
*the colourful clothes worn by The Hollies on the cover of their 1967 album "Evolution";
*stage costumes and the front cover design for the self-titled 1967 debut LP by The Move;
*stage costumes for Procol Harum;
*the striking cover of the Incredible String Band's classic 1967 LP "The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion";
*stage costumes and decoration to instruments used by Cream. including Eric Clapton's famed Gibson SG guitar [According to Clapton: The autobiography, Broadway, 2007] , Jack Bruce's Fender VI (six-string) bass and Ginger Baker's drum kit, created for the group's 1967 tour of the US.

The Fool's best known artworks are undoubtedly those they created for The Beatles in 1966-67. They include:

* the original (rejected) cover and the inner sleeve for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band";
* the clothes worn in the 1967 television broadcast of "All You Need Is Love";
* the huge 3-story mural painted in psychedelic colours on the facade of the Beatles' Apple Boutique in London's Baker Street (which also stocked their creations; months later, the mural was painted over by civic order, due to protests from other local businesses, before the shop failed);
* decoration to John Lennon's piano and one of his Gibson [ guitars]
* decoration to George Harrison's Mini car and his bungalow Kinfauns in Surrey (including a lavish fireplace mural), as well as several of Harrison's guitars;
* the set design for Joe Massot's 1968 movie "Wonderwall", with a score by George Harrison (The Fool also appeared in the film's party scene).

It would appear that, contrary to popular belief, The Fool did not create the psychedelic paintwork on John Lennon's Rolls-Royce. [ [ Simon Posthuma's personal website] ] . Sources vary as to who actually painted the designs on the car, although they appear to be unlike The Fool's other graphic designs.

According to an article in the [ Canadian Conservation Newsletter] , the designs were painted by a friend of Lennon's known as "Gypsy Dave". Cynthia Lennon's memoir claims that the work was carried out by "a firm of barge and caravan designers" [Cynthia Lennon: "A Twist of Lennon", p. 142] . An article about the car on the Ottowa Beatles site [ [ John Lennon's Rolls Royce ] ] states that the work was carried out by J.P. Fallon Limited, a coachworks company located in Chertsey, Surrey, although this article also claims that J.P. Fallon commissioned The Fool to paint the designs.

That said, [ the car's paintwork] so outraged one elderly woman in central London that she attacked it with her umbrella, shouting: 'You swine, you swine! How dare you do this to a Rolls-Royce!'; Lennon answered by obtaining another Rolls, and painting it flat-black).


As a band

The Fool also released an eponymous album in 1968, in the Psych-Folk style, produced by Graham Nash of The Hollies. It was re-released in 2005.

External links

* [ History of Simon Posthuma and Marijke Koger's collaboration]
* [ Simon Posthuma - The Fool]

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