Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mo Ichi Do (One more time)

Again. Hip-hop and Takashi Murakami (Previously: Kanye West's Graduation album cover & Pharrell's The Simple Things) @1:54 in Jay-Z's video for "Blue Magic."

I wonder, what's the mutual attraction between Murakami and hip-hop artists?

additional Notes...

  • Like Pharrell, Jay-Z owns some original Murakamis.
  • Comparing Damien Hirst on money and death to Jay-Z on money and death=AWESOME: "As in Jay-Z’s music, [Damien] Hirst’s meditations on wealth frequently accompany meditations on mortality. The Hirst pieces Jay-Z gravitates toward are those in which this theme is especially prominent: the diamond skull, which references memento mori, and which Hirst has described as a laugh 'in the face of' death; the spin-art skull paintings...dominate Jay-Z’s 'Blue Magic' video."
  • Speaking in a sweeping generalization, does this mean that hip-hop(read:black) artists enjoy contemporary and/or pop art, and folksy/rock(read:white) artists like Fleet Foxes or Deep Purple dig early Netherlandish art?
  • This brings us ALMOST back full circle (kinda): Jay-Z references Hirst references memento mori, a motif in Vanitas paintings (oft-associated with Flanders/Netherlands, countries which churned these out about a century or two after Bruegel and Bosch), which "are meant as a reminder of the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death."


  1. RE the sweeping generalizations, I think if you're talking contemporary and/or pop art, Lady Gaga would be sad if you didn't mention her. She's doing her darndest to channel Warhol, among others.

  2. I'm not up to date enough to know anything about Lady Gaga? I think something has to be like 5+ years old for it to penetrate my consciousness of it. Is she that old yet?

  3. both Murakami & hip hop artists realize C.R.E.A.M.