Aug 4, 2014

Posted by | 11 Comments

Kick Off the School Year with an Art-Inspired Music Video!

music videos

Visual arts and music go together just about as well as peanut butter and jelly. The Egyptians and the ancient Greeks created images of people playing harps and flutes, while Renaissance and Baroque artists painted lutes. Modern artists have been equally motivated by music. Consider Picasso and the guitar or Stuart Davis and jazz. These artists were all influenced by music, but what happens when musicians are inspired by art? 

The following is a list of my all time favorite art-inspired music videos.


1. 70 Million by Hold Your Horses!

This band is having too much fun, as they transform their own bodies into famous works of art. It’s a “must watch” for any art history class. If you’re interested in seeing all of the original works, check out the video Painting Names of “70 Million” – by Hold Your Horses. 


2. In Your Arms by Kina Grannis

It took 30 people, 22 months and 288,000 jelly beans to create this incredible stopmotion animation video. You gain even more appreciation for this work of art once you watch the “making of”.


3. Strawberry Swing by Coldplay

It’s easy to get lost in the story of this music video, directed by visual artists Shynola, but try not to lose sight of the time and effort that went into the making of this video. The entire video was shot from above while three artists created chalk drawing after chalk drawing on the street below. 


4. The Writing’s on the Wall by OK Go

This is not your momma’s perspective! OK Go takes the illusions created by localized perspective artists such as James Hopkins and Felice Varini to a whole new level. 

And yes, there is a “making of” video, also a must watch!


5. Until The Luck Runs Dry by Ruarri Joseph

This video spotlights the work of environmental artist Tony Plant as he transforms a beach into a work of art only to have the tide rise and wash it away. 

Have you seen these videos before or used them in your classroom? 

Do you have any others to add? We’d love to hear about them!

IanThis article was written by AOE Team member Ian Sands. Ian is the incredibly creative HS Art Teacher from Apex High in North Carolina. Ian is originally from NYC where he received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts.

About Ian | Ian’s Articles

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  • Susan

    Bill Carter’s paper stop motion video “Anything Made of Paper”.

    • margaprofe

      Keep drawing. Ha JUan

  • Amanda Heyn

    I cannot get over that first one. It is beyond hilarious.

  • ms v.

    here’s a sweet one. The end is lovely.

  • Ellen K
  • Ellen K

    Here’s another, which is a wonderful springboard into art history:

    And one which is an Israeli sand painting that has a sweet story:

    I use video quite a bit-it engages this students and gives them something to chew on. We have 90 minute classes and having students come in to take a breath from their day gets their minds in the right place. I don’t show videos every day, but I show them quite often.

    One of my all time favorites is a Ted Talk with David MacCaulay which is a wonderful introduction to the process of creating a book as well as Rome:

    And last on this list of must my top videos is a Nova Episode “Portrait of a Princess” which you can find on any PBS website. It’s a wonderful way to engage students in art history as well as the science behind it.

  • Shanna Piatt

    Here is one of my favorites!

  • ditzymudgirl

    You had me with the first one until the nipple pinching. I’d totally lose the middle schoolers at that point. The rest and following suggestions are great!

  • Wendy S Sweigart

    One of my favorites is “Can’t Stop” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was inspired by the work of Erwin Wurm.

  • Ms L

    Here’s one that may be inappropriate to really show kids, but it’s hilarious nonetheless.

  • Miriam W

    I will never forget Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”