Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Art Songs

Art about art is often a bit too self-referential, like the Escher drawing of a hand drawing a hand that is drawing the hand that is…you get the picture.

But art that references other art forms can be amazing. This Is Spinal Tap is such a great music movie that many bands swore it was about them. Bluebeard, starring the fictitious painter Rabo Karabekian, ranks among my favorite Vonnegut novels. Painter Julian Schnabel’s film about Jean-Michel Basquait, co-starring musician David Bowie, is as beautiful as movies come.

There’s a lot of art in mixing up the arts, so it’s no surprise that songs about art–and in this playlist’s case, artists–find their way into my regular rotation. Here are a few good ones:

“Andy Warhol,” David Bowie.

“Pablo Picasso,” Modern Lovers.

“Hopper,” Paul Weller.

“Dali’s Car,” Captain Beefheart.

“Vincent,” Don McLean.

“Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War,” Paul Simon.

“Da Vinci,” Weezer.

“Michael Angelo,” The 23rd Turnoff.

There you have it: Eight songs about artists (well, kind of). What did I miss? I’m listening.


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