WHEN ART MEETS ART
London, 2023, featured on www.interlude.hk
It is quite a natural process for different artistic worlds to meet, and over the centuries this has happened so many times that we often ignore it; although it has taken very different shapes and forms. In fact, many artists find their inspiration in the works of their counterparts; a very clear first reference which comes to mind is the American composer Feldman’s Rothko Chapel, a double homage and inspiration to the American painter. Others are the countless pieces of art which have been created for the purpose of religion; and through it has reflected the art of literature and The Bible. Let’s have a look at some of the most important and successful collaborations of artists over the years, with a focus on the ones which meet the musical world. From most recent collaborations to historical ones…
Music and cinema are nowadays inseparable. Some duos are now well-known for their lifelong collaborations; Hermann and Hitchcock, Elfman and Burton, Zimmer and Nolan etc. Before cinema was invented, the main medium for the encounter of music and visual actions was of course opera; fusing theatre and music, and earlier forms of it; ballet, fusing dance and music. Both opera and ballet have been the support for fantastic works of art, from Mozart, to Rossini, Verdi and Wagner, as well as Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and many others. Music and painting have often inspired each other too; and perhaps the most obvious trace of inspiration in both artistic forms is the crossover of genres names; impressionism, minimalism, abstract etc. When the vinyl was created, a new form of collaboration emerged; the artworks, the illustrations of the records. The jazz label Blue Note, or Deutsche Grammophon are both quite well-known for their original covers, as well as the English art design group, Hipgnosis — responsible for the artworks of all major artists of the times, from Pink Floyd to AC/DC, Led Zeppelin or Paul McCartney. Artists tend to enjoy the processes of seeing their art evolving through different contexts and supports, and seeing how it ignites new ideas. If art is at times an act of solitude, creating a context to meet and exchange is also beneficial for creativity.
It is difficult to think of an artistic form that has called for inter-collaboration as much as music has. This is perhaps because music is so universal and ultimately needs very little codes to understand it. Actually, all that really matters in music — eventually — is what the listener feels, and for this there is no understanding of a language which matters. Which is why music adapts itself so well, and often enhances other arts’ own expression. Recently Max Richter and Dior have collaborated on a large-scale show in front of the pyramids in the Giza desert, and if that is a surprise for many, what a success it is!