Van Halen’s biggest selling album of all time MCMLXXXIV better known as “1984” was released on January 9, 1984. Besides having the hit songs “Panama“, “Jump” and “Hot For Teacher“, it also featured one of the best album covers of all-time. The now classic painting of a little blue-eyed angel/devil/cherub boy with wings and a pack of smokes.
The classic art piece was done by artist Margo Nahas and was not originally intended or commissioned by Van Halen for the “1984” album cover. The band had asked Nahas to paint four dancing chrome women for the cover but because of the “reflective intricacies” involved in the painting, Nahas declined the job. Her husband, Jay Vigon, a designer/art director took her portfolio to the band anyway and as Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth looked over her work they came across the angel painting below and fell in love.
Her inspiration for the painting came from her love of angels and devils and wanting to combine the two. She wanted to make something that looked photographically real, yet could not actually be real, so Nahas asked her friend if she could take some photos of her her two-year-old son, Carter Helm. She styled his hair, gave him some candy cigarettes and snapped away.
Here for the first time ever is a photo of the young model featured in the painting, two-year-old Carter Helm posing for the photos that would become the painting and eventually, the iconic Van Halen “1984” album cover.
Nahas added the angel wings, a marble table and the beautiful blue sky to complete her vision. Here is what Carter Helm looks like now…
After years of flying under the radar about her “1984” album cover painting, Nahas is now offering original prints of the portrait on her website. Click the photo below for the link…
Huge thank you to Margo Nahas for allowing us to use the image.