ON A BRIGHT AFTERNOON last December, Xavier Veilhan found himself in a modernist mansion perched high above the Pacific Ocean, marveling at the long path that had led him to this moment. As ’60s psychedelia played on the sound system, music producer Rick Rubin—co-founder of Def Jam and former co-head of Columbia Records, as well as one of the artist’s heroes—lay motionless on a bed as a team of Veilhan’s assistants worked to capture his image, turning their boss’s creative vision into reality.
The 51-year-old Veilhan was at Rubin’s Malibu, California, compound to work on his portrait series “Producers,” a collection of sculptural pieces devoted to the music makers hidden behind the curtain. (“Producers” will be shown as part of a joint exhibition of Veilhan’s musically inspired artwork he...
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