Music videos are key in promoting musicians, songs, and albums. So, they must be extremely creative to captivate the audience. Here are 6 music videos inspired by important works of art.
"If there be nothing new, but that which is," now, before we get a migraine trying to figure out what Shakespeare was trying to tell us in his "Sonnet 59" let us think about our fascination with storytelling. We always want to figure out what it means to be human, and basically we write the story of Life in countless ways. At the end of the day, pure originality is impossible because with every tale we create a new one. Like building blocks, we stack our favorite stories, experiences, and beliefs to give shape to a new vision. It is with the old that we can create the new and of the greatest examples of this is cinema.
It is a discipline that embraces the visual arts and photography. It is unafraid to adopt their technical principles such as framing, composition, perspective, illumination, among others. Just as we see endless books being adapted into movies or works of art based on the writings of Sigmund Freud, we can find music videos inspired by art.
Music videos are key in promoting musicians, songs, and albums. So, they must be extremely creative to captivate the audience. Just as it happens with cinema and other artistic disciplines, video creators have been looked at incredible works of art when shaping their vision. That's why, if you hadn't noticed the references, here are 6 music videos inspired by important works of art.
Coldplay – “Viva La Vida”
This video was inspired by the famous work of Eugene Delacroix, one of the most representative painters of nineteenth century French Romanticism. His painting Liberty Leading the People(La Liberté guidant le peuple) represents the French people when they fought against the repressions of King Charles X. In the painting, we can appreciate a mixture of social classes, where working classes and bourgeoisie get together to fight for freedom.
The idea was to express that being united is the only way to achieve something. It proposes two options: either fighting together with the people or being smashed by them. Freedom here is represented by a woman with France's flag.
Thirty Seconds to Mars – “Up in the Air”
The video takes inspiration in the works of Damien Hirst, one of the richest British artists. The video itself is filled with extremely eccentric and mysterious characters. Both, the video and the cover of the album (Up in the Air) make reference to the famous "spot paintings" by Hirst, who has created about 1,400 since the eighties.
Hirst puts colorful dots on white canvases to create the illusion of immensity. It's worth noting that it's not the first time the band finds inspiration in works of art, since in their video "Kings and Queens" make references to Banksy's street art.
Nicki Minaj – “The Boys”
For this video, Nikki Minaj was inspired by Yayoi Kusama's famous Dots Obsession. This is an installation based on some of the hallucinations the artist suffered when she was a child. As she has mentioned, she would see spaces filled with patterns
Her famous dots have become a personal signature of this Japanese artist. At some point in her life, she committed herself into a psychiatric hospital in Tokyo to treat her neurosis and continue creating her art. In her own way, Minaj decided to pay homage to this contemporary artist.
Hold Your Horses – “70 Million”
This video became viral due to the many references to important works of art. "Hold Your Horses" recreates some of the most relevant works of art in history to accompany their song.
They include paintings by Da Vinci, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Michelangelo, Mondrian, Kahlo, Picasso, Klimt, and other artistic geniuses.
Rihanna – “Rude Boy”
For this video, Rihana was inspired by the iconic work of Keith Haring. His art is characterized by the creation of cartoonish figures that reflect the soul of pop and New York's street culture during the sixties. The iconography of his different drawings show babies, dogs, and dancing figures.
His art is characterized by the use of vibrant and contrasting colors that give a sense of movement and evoke fun effects on the spectators. In this video, we can see the Haring's collaboration with model Grace Jones at a live performance in New York.
R.E.M. – “Losing my Religion”
Besides the amazing use of lighting and cinematographic techniques, R.E.M. recreates Caravaggio's style, which works as an inspiration for their emblematic song.
Besides recreating some of the scenes in Caravaggio's paintings, they also reproduced his iconic chiaroscuro technique. Moreover, taking into account the theme and lyrics of the song, it was a great idea to pay homage to this artist who used to depict Biblical scenes with common people.
Everything in this world is related to something else. If art generates more art, it's logical to see that it uses new trends and disciplines to drag an audience into the same aesthetic ideals. Check how this tattoo artist uses art inspired in one of the most important painters in the world, Pablo Picasso.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards