Sights + sounds


Two of New York City's greatest graffiti artists, Lee Quiñones and Jean-Michel Basquiat were prolific during the late 1970s and 1980s. It's a now-legendary period when they befriended other up-and-comers from the city's downtown scene, including Debbie Harry, lead vocalist for the band Blondie. Harry charged Quiñones with creating some of the sets for the music video of her song "Rapture" with Basquiat joining to produce additional graffiti. Both artists made cameos in the finished project.


When most people think of Jackie Gleason, they think of his hit TV show The Honeymooners ( "You're going to the moon!"). What's less remembered is his music career and the albums that sold millions of copies. Perhaps even more unusual is his close friendship with leading Surrealist Salvador Dalí who created album cover art in his signature style for one of Gleason's "mood music" records, Lonesome Echo.


From his work with Louis Vuitton and Supreme to a range of other projects, Takashi Murakami is no stranger to collaborating with those outside of art's traditional boundaries. One of his most successful ventures in music is his work with Kanye West. Not only did Murakami create the album cover for West's Graduation, but he also directed the music video for one of its best tracks, "Good Morning". The video featured a full cast of Murakami's stylized characters and the same vibrant palette found in his own work.


Andy Warhol wore many hats: painter, filmmaker, publisher. Things didn't stop there, however. True, Warhol produced album art for The Velvet Underground, but, starting in the mid-1960s, he also functioned as the group's manager. The artist even orchestrated a groundbreaking series of events featuring the group entitled the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a string of multimedia performances that combined music with dance and projections of Warhol's films and other artworks.


"I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You)" may not be one of Grace Jones' most familiar tracks to the casual listener, but the music video she made to accompany the song is about as distinct as they get. Not only were parts of the set painted by Keith Haring himself, but Haring also made and painted a 60-foot skirt Jones wears during the song's finale.