We asked once if arts go well with music. Maybe it does, sometimes, maybe it doesn’t, and maybe music is art. And maybe, sometimes you can make music about art and artists.
David Bowie‘s fascination with Andy Warhol made him write a song about the American pop artist known for his contributions to pop art, his appropriations of common objects, and the expression “15 minutes of fame”. The English musician, known as one of the best rock artists of all time released the homage in the Hunky Dory album released in 1971. Bowie played the song to Warhol, but the artist disliked it, since he thought the lyrics made fun of him. So when the song ended, both just stared at each other until Warhol complimented Bowie’s shoes.
Some other musicians never get a chance to show their homage song to the artist. John Cale, the Welsh rock singer-song writer, made a song about the Belgian Surrealist painter René Magritte. The though-proving artist, most know for his painting “This is not a pipe” is mentioned in the song quite a lot, as something Cale would always see and sometimes forget about, but then remember.
We all know the song American Pie – Don McLean became famous for it – but Vincent (Starry Starry Night) is also a hit. The american singer-songwriter started hitting the charts in 1971 and won more than 40 platinum and gold records world-wide. His homage to Vincent Van Gogh mentions the Dutch post-impressionist artist mental illness, but also his beautiful works that possess strong strokes and strong colors (that ranged from earthly and somber in his early paintings to vivid in his latest works). McLean’s song is sad, and certainly portrays the dutch sunflower painter very well.