I just found out that famed Japanese visual artist Takashi Murakami has created animation for his first music video. Naturally it’s for a song (“Good Morning”) by Kanye West. Murakami has already designed album art for Kanye and the two are developing a clothing line together.
This isn’t the first time a visual artist and a musician have worked together.
Indie rock superstars Sonic Youth famously dedicated cover space on each of their album covers to a burgeoning artist, dating back to 1986’s Evol, which featured a still from a film by New York artist Richard Kern.
Later Sonic Youth albums featured recognizable work by Raymond Pettibon (Goo), Gerard Richter (Daydream Nation), Mike Kelly (Dirty) and Richard Prince (Sonic Nurse).
Other examples: Andy Warhol designed the cover for several albums including the Velvet Underground’s first album with Nico, the Rolling Stones’s Sticky Fingers and jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell’s Blue Lights.
Blur used work by British artist Banksy for its Think Tank album. Metallica used work by controversial artist Andres Serrano for cover art on Load and ReLoad. (Serrano is the man who earned infamy over a piece depicting a crucifix floating in urine called Piss Christ).
Fashion designer Gianni Versace created Elton John’s ornate cover for The One. Queen’s News of the World cover was painted by award-winning sci-fi artist Frank Kelly Freas.
Did you know famed photographer Helmut Newton shot the classic cover of The Scorpions’ Love at First Sting?
Newton also took the pic of Dale Bozzio that graces the cover of Missing Persons‘ Rhyme & Reason album. The band’s video for “Surrender Your Heart” used imagery by pop artist Peter Max. Max also designed album cover art for Alice Coltrane and Badfinger.
Robert Mapplethorpe took the iconic shot of Patti Smith for the cover of her debut album Horses.
How weird is this? Classic American painter Norman Rockwell was the artist behind the cover art for The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper.
Cartoonist Robert Crumb designed the album art for Big Brother and the Holding Company‘s Cheap Thrills.
Pin-up artist Alberto Vargas came out of semi-retirement to create the cover art for The Cars’ Candy-O album.
How’s this for cool? I actually own art by this artist: Kathie Olivas painted the cover for Girl In A Coma‘s Both Before I’m Gone.
Isn’t this fun? Help me think of more.