Over the past few months, the realms of music and high art have collided in far-out, headline-grabbing ways. On Sunday night (Nov. 10), Lady Gaga hosted her artRave record-release party in New York and unveiled a lifelike sculpture by renowned modern artist Jeff Koons, a piece similar to the Koons-created work that adorns the cover of her “Artpop” album. But the art-meets-music pairing is nothing new, as talented visual artists have been tapped to work with chart-topping musicians for decades. Check out our list of 13 amazing moments in true art-pop.
Jeff Koons Makes a Sculpture for Lady Gaga's "ARTPOP" Album
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) October 7, 2013
Lady Gaga got Jeff Koons to handle artwork for her “Artpop” album. The sculptor made a sculpture of a naked Mother Monster, possibly giving birth to a new world. She took to Twitter in October to express her excitement.
Jean-Michel Basquiat Draws Album Art for Rammellzee and K-Rob
Acclaimed painter and graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat handled the single art for Rammellzee and K-Rob’s 1983 battle rap cut “Beat Bop.” The drawing is classic basquiat, with a sketch of a man and labeling the most important body parts of a rhymer on the vinyl itself: ears, mouth, lungs, and guts. On the cover there’s his trademark crown
Marina Abramović Inspires JAY Z's “Picasso Baby” Six-Hour Performance Art, Then Lady Gaga Joins Her to Practice Ways
In July at New York City’s Pace Gallery JAY Z taped quite an unconventional music video for his “Magna Carta… Holy Grail” single “Picasso Baby.” Based on Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović’s 2010 installation "The Artist Is Present,” Hov, performed the song (which shouts out elite artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Condo and more) for six hours to a full audience as Mark Romanek-directed cameras rolled. Abramović herself attended the affair, leading to an intense face-to-face encounter where she and JAY’s forehead met for a bit of a dance.
In August Lady Gaga teamed with Abramovic for a tutorial/testimonial video where the singer chants, stands in a river, sits in a field and cups a giant crystal—naked.
The tasks Gaga exemplifies are based on Abramović’s "Abramovic Method" of exercise, which her website says will "heighten the participants’ awareness of their physical and mental experience in the present moment."
The clip also doubled as an advertisement for Abramovic’s Kickstarter campaign, whose cause was to draw awareness for a fundraiser for her Marina Abramovic Institute. The forthcoming school hopes to function as an “Interdisciplinary performance and education center, home to long durational work and the Abramovic Method.”
Radiohead Works With Stanley Donwood on Iconic Album Covers
Wondering how Radiohead came up with that white landscape for "Kid A," the CPR mannequin for "The Bends" or the crying Minotaur for "Amnesiac"? Look no further than British artist Stanley Donwood, who met frontman Thom Yorke at university and has been creating all of the band's artwork since 1995. In 2006, Donwood exhibited the original artworks at a gallery in Barcelona.
Bjork, Scott Snibbe Bring 'Biophilia' App To Life
Before the "ARTPOP" app and even before Jay Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" Samsung device, Bjork collaborated with acclaimed interactive media artist Scott Snibbe to release her eighth studio album, 2011's "Biophilia," as a multimedia app. Snibbe, best known for creating iOS apps like "Bubble Harp" and "Gravilux," helped the avant-garde siren turn "Biophilia" into a series of games, music instruments and awe-inspiring works of art.
Nine Inch Nails Teams With Bill Viola For Tour
Renowned video artist Bill Viola gave Trent Reznor's industrial outfit an assist on its 2000 tour, which featured a triptych of panels that constantly changed in pattern. Viola's work was captivating whether the band was tearing through "Head Like a Hole" or calming down for "Hurt."