Album-cover made by artists: when art “flirts” with music

From the cover of Lady Gaga’s album, made by Jeff Koons, to the one created by Andy Warhol for The Velvet Underground. Here are some of the most beautiful music album-covers ever!

Art has always flirted with music, In fact, the relationship between music and the visual arts is indissoluble. This magical union, made of collaborations between painters, artists, photographers and musicians, rock bands, pop singers, has generated unique masterpieces, both in the history of art and music.

From the cover of Lady Gaga’s album, created by Jeff Koons, to those created by Andy Warhol for The Velvet Underground, up to Banksy for Blur. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most beautiful and unforgettable art covers!

Andy Warhol and the “Banana Album”

One of the most famous covers, despite its disarming banality, is that born by the hand of the artist Andy Warhol, absolute pioneer of this amazing mix between the world of art and music. A yellow banana on a white background is what we see in the cover of the album The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967), by the historic American band closely linked to the creative genius of the eclectic Andy.

The early LP edition had a label “Peel slowly and see”, which if removed showed a pink banana (a clear reference to the male member). No one had ever used such an explicit erotic symbol for the cover of an album.

The famous Pop Art artist was able to combine the musical sensibility of The Velvet Underground and his visual sensibility, the transgression of their lyrics to the transgression of his image, creating a perfect “dress” for an album that today is considered a precious milestone of rock music!

“The Velvet Underground & Nico”, album-cover created by Andy Warhol for The Velvet Underground, 1967.

“ARTPOP”: Jeff Koons for Lady Gaga

An eccentric artist like Lady Gaga could only be fascinated by Jeff Koons, one of the greatest protagonists of Contemporary Art, an icon of the Neo-pop movement and worthy Andy Warhol’s heir. The famous American sculptor and painter was chosen by the most controversial pop artist of the moment to create the concept of her album ARTPOP, released in 2013.

In the image of ARTPOP cover, you can see Lady Gaga in the foreground, or rather, a sculpture with her appearance, while covers the breasts with her hands while in the background you can see the Birth of Venus by Botticelli.

With this artwork, Jeff Koons perfectly interpreted the mood of the album and the soul of the queen of contemporary pop, Lady Gaga. The harmony between them was such that Lady Gaga decided to pay homage to Koons dedicating him a verse of a song on the record, “Applause”, which states: “One second I’m a Koons, then suddenly the Koons is me”.

“ARTPOP”, album-cover created by Jeff Koons for Lady Gaga, 2013.

Keith Haring  and David Bowie: the single “Without You”

Also the street artist Keith Haring has often designed record covers, nowadays sought after by many collectors. One of the most famous covers is the one created for the single Without You by David Bowie, from the album Let’s Dance, 1983.

On a yellow – orange background, two stylized figures, drawn with a rapid black line, typical of his trait, embrace each other. A few years later, we will find these same figures on the cover of Someone Like You by the singer and songwriter Sylvester and, on the Rap kit compilations with the best of the electro hip hop of the early 80s.

Through the marks left on album covers, but also in other places of music, in clubs – where he lived the nights even decorating some mixtapes of DJ friends – this extraordinary artist, deeply linked to the world of music, communicated his great love not only for art but also for sound.

 “Without you”, cover created by Keith Haring for David Bowie, 1983.

Banksy for “Think Tank” by Blur

The nonconformist artist Banksy made three album-covers for Blur: Think Tank (2003) and the singles Out of Time and Good Song.

For the seventh LP of the British band, the street artist has chosen to represent a man and a woman close in a hug and with the face covered by helmets. The whole scene is in black and white, except for the title of the album, which shines bright red.

The image of the cover is very strong and represents an explicit message against the war in Iraq, which began that year. Also this time Banksy uses his typical spray and stencil artworks, to focus attention on current issues, using his means of expression as a policy instrumen and social denunciation.

 “Think Tank”, album-cover created by Banksy for Blur, 2003.