Music has always held a special allure for artists, who have been tapped to do album covers, direct videos, and design merchandise for singers and bands. Signs that that history is still rich and varied will be on display this month at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is set to unveil 50 artworks inspired by music for an exhibition put on in collaboration with the label Interscope Records.
Under the title “Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reimagined,” the show, which is set to run from January 30 to February 12, will feature works that draw on albums by Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, No Doubt, Tupac, and much more, according to LACMA. (Those artists, it’s worth noting, produced some of their most famous albums under the auspices of Interscope.) Snapchat, with whom LACMA has collaborated previously for a show by Christian Marclay, will provide AR experiences that allow visitors to hear the music as they view the artworks.
Jimmy Iovine, a cofounder of Interscope who ranks on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list, said in a statement that the goal of the show was to celebrate the label’s 30th anniversary, and to bring together the “most admired visual artists and empower them with that same creative license to honor the musical artists we have worked with over three decades.” (This isn’t Iovine’s first time working with LACMA; in 2018, he donated a painting by Mark Bradford to the museum.)
The artists—and their inspirations—are vary greatly. Jennifer Guidi will present a work responding to an album by BLACKPINK, the K-Pop band whose stans have become a force on social media. Derrick Adams is set to respond to Mary J. Blige’s acclaimed 2005 album The Breakthrough. Matthew Wong and Hilary Pecis will have work on view that the museum says draw influence from the music of Lana Del Rey. And of course, there will also be NFTs—two, to be exact, by Burnt Toast that refer to the sounds of Timbaland and N.E.R.D.
In a statement, LACMA director Michael Govan said, “As an institution that has long explored the intersection of art and other sectors, including design and music, LACMA has been collecting record album designs over the past several years, and it’s inspiring to see these artists reinterpret three decades of iconic contemporary music.”