News roundup: Music to your eyes

June 29, 2018
The Louvre, ParisMusic and visual arts are frequent bed fellows. Both worlds often inspire one another and many artists cross over into both disciplines. This month, we’ve gathered some stories and articles where art and music meet. 
One of the world’s most iconic museums has been invaded by the world’s most iconic musical couple. The Louvre in Paris played host to The Carters for their new music video Apesh-t and it has stirred up art critics, who have a plethora of theories about references made throughout to famous works. 
Alexandra Thomas, considering Beyoncè’s routine with dancers in front of Jacques-Louis David’s The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Joséphine on December 2, 1804 says, “It’s a black feminist intervention that’s about love and pleasure and joy.” Referencing scenes with Beyoncè and Jay-Z silhouetted in front of The Great Sphinx of Tanis, Thomas says, “Beyoncé is a part of a tradition of not only black artists and performers, but activists too who find power in [Egyptian] imagery … because it connects them to an African past where there is a narrative of innovation and power.”
Another legendary musical performer who has taken over a world famous gallery recently is Michael Jackson. The exhibition Michael Jackson: On the Wall at the National Portrait Gallery in London features artworks that have been inspired by the artist’s life and work. One of these is a huge equestrian portrait by Kehinde Wiley, based on Rubens’ Philip II on Horseback. Largely, the exhibition has had positive reviews, with the Guardian’s Adrian Searle saying: “I have never thought about him so much as in the last 24 hours, and shall never think of him again as I did before. That is a measure of this exhibition.”
Seymour Stein, the man who discovered Madonna, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, The Ramones and The Pretenders, is about to auction 27 works from his collection at Sotheby’s. The artist and repertoire man’s life was dominated not only by New Wave music, a term he coined, but by the new wave art of the pre-Raphaelites. During his career he collected works by masters of the movement such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John-William Waterhouse. 
If you are a creator of visual art looking for some musical inspiration, here’s a list of albums that are playing in the studios of popular artists. Compiled by, the list includes musical artists ranging from Louis Armstrong to Leonard Cohen and Cardi B.  
Contact an expert