Pilar Zeta (born June 15, 1986) is an Argentinean artist, graphic designer, and fashion designer best known for her surrealist album covers. She made the collage and Flower of Life image which Coldplay used to promote their album A Head Full of Dreams. Based in Los Angeles, California, she has designed album covers for labels such as Island Records, Big Beat Records, Ultramajic, Get Physical, Visionquest, and Fool's Gold Records, many of which are associated with electronic dance music. Todd Burns of Resident Advisor wrote in October 2012 that "Zeta has created some of the most distinctive electronic music design of the past few years." In 2013 she founded the record label Ultramajic with DJ and producer Jimmy Edgar, designing many of the company's album covers.
June 15, 1986
|Known for||Artist, Graphic Designer, Fashion Designer, Creative Director|
Pilar Zeta was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Drawing and painting since the age of six, early on she saw art as a medium of expression. Her father would take her to art museums, where she recollects that "I was so overwhelmed with the colors and techniques that as soon as I was home I was trying to recreate what I saw." When she was young her mother also exposed her to Indigo children philosophies, and Zeta became interested in cosmology, metaphysics, and later on meditation.
Her brother also introduced her to 1960s rock bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and the Alan Parsons Project, with Zeta paying mind to the bands' psychedelic album covers. In her early teens she became a user of software such as Corel Draw and Photoshop, explaining that "once I started going to school, my favourite subject was computers... And besides that I’ve been always an avid lover of books, especially the covers, I would stare at them for hours. I always knew I was going to be a graphic designer."
2000s: Early yearsEdit
Leaving Argentina at the age of nineteen, Zeta moved to the United States as a foreign exchange student. Within a year she was hired as a graphic designer, despite having no formal secondary training. In Miami she soon began designing artwork for musicians and promoters in the local EDM scene. In 2009 she moved from Miami to Berlin, exhibiting her art in Berlin, London, and Moscow. Her work has since been reviewed in publications such as the German Groove Magazine.
2010–13: Album covers and RADEdit
|"If you've noticed the record sleeve designs of a certain type of house music are getting a bit more surreal, that's no coincidence. Labels like Visionquest, Mobilee and Supernature have all enlisted Pilar Zeta to craft their visual identity... Zeta has created some of the most distinctive electronic music design of the past few years."|
|— Todd Burns of Resident Advisor (Oct 2012)|
In 2010 she founded the creative agency RAD, through which she worked for clients such as Island Records, Big Beat Records, Crosstown Rebels, Hotflush, and Get Physical. In 2011 she became a part of the art collective called OUTLAND, along with Daniela Huerta, Leandro Quintero, Camille Blake, Sandrine Nicoletta and Clemence de la Tourdupin. The group had a number of exhibitions, including a show at the Art Show & Gathering in Berlin that year in June, in venues such as the L’atelier Kunst in Berlin. They also held a November 2011 exhibition in Moscow, titled Shift, and a second show titled Shift II held in Berlin in December. The group separated shortly after.
As of 2012 she continued to work with RAD, and had also designed album covers for independent labels such as Visionquest, Mobilee and Supernature, all associated with house music. Todd Burns of Resident Advisor wrote in October 2012 that "Zeta has created some of the most distinctive electronic music design of the past few years." As of November 2013 she had designed album covers for artists such as Jimmy Edgar, Tiga, Roosevelt, and Disclosure, and had also exhibited "mixed media installations" at a number of international galleries. Among those were the Berghain nightclub in Germany, where she contributed art in 2013. RAD closed in the spring of 2014, after she left Berlin for Los Angeles.
2013–14: Holographic UniverseEdit
After a lifetime of working on her own clothes, Zeta began designing her own fashion lines in November 2013. In August 2014, debuted her collaborative fashion line Holographic Universe. According to Zeta's website, "the fashion and lifestyle brand was influenced by their fascination with the cosmos, neo-classical sculpture, and time travel." Zeta created the artwork while both designing the fashion pieces. By late summer of 2014 the line had been exhibited in Paris, New York  though Zeta left the company around that time.
Zeta met and befriended DJ and producer Jimmy Edgar around 2011, when both were living in Berlin. Upon meeting Edgar, Zeta explained that "We have similar influences and backgrounds, so we just started working on different projects together: covers, tarot cards, collages, rituals etc." While traveling in Machu Picchu in 2013, she and Edgar founded the label Ultramajic. DJ Broadcast dubbed her the "primary design outlet" for the label, still based in Berlin as of September 2013. The company works on multi-media projects in music, art, photography, video, and installations. Among other projects for Ultramajic, together she and Edgar launched the release series Metaphysix, with artists given themes and ideas such as "mentalism" to interpret artistically. Her collaboration with Edgar titled "Danny Daze - Silicon," released on Ultramajic, was featured in the magazine Viewpoint Surface in 2014. She continues to design much of the label's and Edgar's cover art.
2015: Collaboration with ColdplayEdit
In 2015, Zeta did art direction for Coldplay's album A Head Full of Dreams (2015). Before designing the album art she collaborated with them to make an art studio in London, for it she made a 3 meters handmade collage including the childhood images of the artist. A kaleidoscope version of this collage was used as the cover art of the album including a colorful version of the flower of life designed by her. A Head Full of Dreams.
Artistic style and influencesEdit
|"Ancient Egypt is definitely my biggest inspiration. I’m constantly learning about their philosophies and incorporating their teachings into my art and my daily life."|
|— Pilar Zeta in 2014|
According to Resident Advisor in 2012, Zeta's often surrealist artwork is characterized by "big, striking shapes, punctuated with a dash of the unexpected," and often incorporates themes related to Ancient Egypt and the metaphysical. Zeta stated in 2013 that her style could be described as "retro-futuristic-mystical-art," clarifying that "I’ve always been fascinated and highly influenced by UFOs and paranormal activity. Later in my teenage years, I became interested in geometry, metaphysics, psychedelia, magick, Egypt, lasers and Star Wars. I think my artwork reflects these random influences and somehow they blend well together."
She has referenced album cover artist Storm Thorgerson as a significant influence on her style, stating that "he was the pioneer on merging the surreal art into music." She employs multiple mediums, sometimes drawing and scanning her own work or using photographs from flea markets and old books for collages. In late 2014 she stated that she had lately been "creating all my own resources, from shapes to textures. I draw them in Illustrator or create them in Cinema 4D and then migrate them to Photoshop."
|2009||Sweeter Than||Audiofly||Supernature (SPNX010)||Design/artwork|
|2010||Sweeter Than (The Remixes)||Audiofly||Supernature (SPN0106)||Design/artwork|
|Betta Days||Zev||Supernature (SPN014)||Design/artwork|
|Captain My Captain||Pan-Pot||Mobilee (MOBILEE 071)||Design/artwork|
|Heartbeats||Various||Supplement Facts (SFR026)||Design/artwork|
|2011||Time To Lose It EP||Dinky||Visionquest||Design|
|Where The Freaks Have No Name||Benoit & Sergio||Visionquest (VQ001)||Design/artwork|
|Visionquest Beach Collection||Various||Visionquest (VQ005)||Design/artwork|
|"Mr. Duke"||Sebo K||Mobilee (MOBILEE 080)||Design/artwork|
|Step Aside||Life & Death||Visionquest (VQ009)||Design/artwork|
|Visionquest Fall Winter Collection||Various||Visionquest (VQ007)||Design/artwork|
|2012||Iron Triangle||Hobo||M nus||Design|
|Get Lost V||Acid Pauli||Crosstown Rebels||Design|
|This One's For The Children||Jimmy Edgar||Hotflush Recordings (HF033)||Design/artwork Design (w/Jimmy Edgar)|
|The Picture||Tiga||Crosstown Rebels (CRM100)||Design/artwork|
|"Sea"||Roosevelt (Marius Lauber)||Greco-Roman (GREC025D)||Design/artwork|
|From The Vaults EP||Jay Haze||Supernature (SPN021)||Design/artwork|
|Good Times (Part 1)||Ray Okpara||Mobilee (MOBILEE 101)||Design/artwork|
|2013||Times||David August||Diynamic Music||Artwork|
|Singal Flow||Dirty Hands||Touch of Class||Artwork|
|Hot Inside||Jimmy Edgar||Ultramajic (LVX001)||Design/artwork|
|Metaphysix I: Mentalism||Aden/Creepy Autograph||Ultramajic (LVX002)||Design/artwork|
|2014||Twenty Scope||Alix Alvarez||Endless Records||Artwork|
|Names||Treasure Fingers & Bosco||Fool's Gold Records (FGR107)||Design/artwork|
|Mercurio||Jimmy Edgar||Ultramajic (LVX003)||Design/artwork (with Jimmy Edgar)|
|Whip EP||Aden||Ultramajic (LVX004)||Design/artwork|
|Silicon EP||Danny Daze||Ultramajic (LVX005)||Design (w/Jimmy Edgar)|
|Four||Aden||Ultramajic (LVX006)||Design/artwork (with Jimmy Edgar)|
|Metaphysix II: Rhythm||Various||Ultramajic (LVX007)||Design/artwork (with Jimmy Edgar)|
|Rub||Chambray||Ultramajic (LVX009)||Artwork (w/Jimmy Edgar)|
|Circlon EP||Spatial||Ultramajic (LVX010)||Design/artwork|
|Saline||Jimmy Edgar||Ultramajic (LVX012)||Design/artwork|
|2015||A Head Full of Dreams||Coldplay||Parlophone||Design/artwork|
|2021||"Don't Go Yet"||Camila Cabello||Epic||Design/artwork/music video (w/Philippa Price)|
|Music of the Spheres||Coldplay||Parlophone||Design/artwork|
- "The designer behind Visonquest talks about her creative process". Resident Advisor. October 11, 2012.
- "Pilar Zeta Interview: Retro Futurism". DJ Broadcast. September 17, 2013.
- "Pilar Zeta on her Holographic Universe". Inverted Audio. November 9, 2014.
- "Interview with Pilar Zeta". Women in Dance. Winter 2014.
- "Interview: Pilar Zeta (AHFOD artwork creator)". Coldplay. December 20, 2015.
- "Pilar Zeta: A Cosmology of Design". PilarZeta.com. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- Burns, Todd L. (October 11, 2012). "The designer behind Visonquest talks about her creative process". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- "Looks: Pilar Zeta & Aedan Macdonald debut Holographic Universe". Nest HQ. August 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- "Interview with Pilar Zeta". Women in Dance. 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- Cole, Dan (September 17, 2013). "Pilar Zeta Interview: Retro Futurism". DJ Broadcast. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- Durston, Tom (November 9, 2014). "Pilar Zeta on her Holographic Universe". Inverted Audio. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- "Pilar Zeta". Groove Magazine. 2013. Retrieved 2014-12-05. (German)
- "Outland Collection". Facebook. 2011. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- "Outland Exhibition". Facebook. November 2011. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- "Shift II in Berlin". Facebook. December 2011. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- Berghain / Panorama Bar in Berlin: Pilar Zeta Event
- Maymind, Leo (July 23, 2013). "Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic Label Readies New Release Series". XLR8R. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- "Viewpoint Surface (Graphic Design Forecast)". Trans disciplinary Design. Retrieved 2014-12-05. (Winter 2014)
- "Pilar Zeta (AHFOD artwork creator)". Coldplay.com.
- "Pilar Zeta, The Artist Behind The 'A Head Full Of Dreams' Artwork". Coldplaying.com.
- Pilar Zeta at Allmusic
- Pilar Zeta at Discogs