Photographer Finds Grownup Nirvana Baby

Sometimes it takes just one shot to put a photographer’s name all over the web. Jason Lazarus, a photographic artist and teacher from Chicago, is getting all sorts of attention just now for a portrait he made earlier this year of a young man in Los Angeles. The guy in the portrait is Spencer Elden, and he’s in his last year of high school. Back in the day he was the baby on the cover of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album. I love the way still images let us see how time flies. The original image has to

Sometimes it takes just one shot to put a photographer's name all over the web. Jason Lazarus, a photographic artist and teacher from Chicago, is getting all sorts of attention just now for a portrait he made earlier this year of a young man in Los Angeles. The guy in the portrait is Spencer Elden, and he's in his last year of high school. Back in the day he was the baby on the cover of Nirvana's "Nevermind" album. I love the way still images let us see how time flies. The original image has to be in my top-three album cover list. It still amazes me they left the penis in. According to the Wikipedia entry about the album, they almost didn't.

According to Cobain, he conceived the idea while watching a television program on water births with Grohl. Cobain mentioned it to Geffen’s art director Robert Fisher. Fisher found some stock footage of underwater births but they were too graphic for the record company…. Instead, Fisher sent a photographer to a pool for babies to take pictures. Five shots were yielded and the band settled on the image of a three-month-old infant named Spenser Elden, the son of the photographer’s friend Rick Elden. However, there was some concern because Elden’s penis was visible in the image. Geffen prepared an alternate cover without the penis…but relented when Cobain made it clear that the only compromise he would accept was a sticker covering the penis that would say “If you’re offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile.”

The new image by Lazarus is very sweet. I love the way still images let us see how time flies.—David Schonauer