We recently looked at how music videos have frequently taken inspiration from visual artists – proving how one artistic genre can fuel, or feed off of, one another. We had so much fun putting that last piece together that we decided to present a few key additions to the list:


1) Katy Perry – “This Is How We Do”
Inspired by Piet Mondrian and Tim Contron




One may not be shocked that Katy Perry was inspired by a painting… of herself. This video opens with an homage to Tim Contron’s painting of the singer and expands into many scenes, one which heavily channels Piet Mondrian’s paintings. The background wall and the singer’s dress (which is also likely influenced by Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dresses) unabashedly mimic the bold colors and precise lines of the famous work.


2) Imagine Dragons – “Shots”
Inspired by: Tim Cantor




This is a case of the music inspiring the artwork, and the artwork inspiring the video. Surrealist painter Tim Cantor created the artwork for the band’s Smoke + Mirrors album when he heard its music. The music video for “Shots” then begins with an acknowledgement: “inspired by the paintings of Tim Cantor,” and proceeds to bring the artist’s dream-like scenarios to life.


3) REM – “Losing My Religion”
Inspired by: Caravaggio and Pierre et Gilles




This 1990s music video reads like the theatrical set of a Caravaggio painting, with deep shadows and dramatic lighting. The bleakness is offset by visuals that were inspired by, according to director Tarsem Singh, the photography of Pierre et Gilles, which frames ­­­­­modern figures in the same way Indian cultures frame gods and goddesses, with flowers and adornments.


4) Rihanna – “Rude Boy”
Inspired by: Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring




Though this video’s controversy revolved around accusations of copying rapper M.I.A.’s “Boyz” video, the pop-art-inspired “Rude Boy” gives clear nods to Jean-Michel Basquiat, with his recurring signature drawn crown, and to Keith Haring, signified by a room covered in the artist’s specific style of graffiti drawings.