Welcome to a collection of songs about art! Songs about art are an expression of imagination and emotion, an audible window into the human experience.
From the lush and ethereal sounds of Lorde’s “Green Light” to the intense and powerful rhythms of Jay-“Picasso Z’s Baby”, these songs explore the beauty, power, and meaning of art in all its many forms.
Whether it’s the raw emotion of a break-up ballad or the complex story telling of a rap song, there’s something for every listener in this collection.
So take a moment, relax, and enjoy the music!
20 Songs About Art
1. The Modern Lovers by Pablo Picasso
First on our list of songs about art is The Modern Lovers’ song “Pablo Picasso”. The song’s narrator is having a conversation with Pablo Picasso, and he is inquiring about the artist’s work from his perspective.
The first verse of the song describes the narrator’s reaction to Picasso’s paintings and how he interprets them. He also describes how he sees them.
The second verse discusses Picasso’s perspective on art as well as his thoughts regarding the subject.
In the third verse, the narrator talks about how he aspires to be an artist like Picasso, and how he wants to make art that is both beautiful and elicits an emotional response from viewers.
In the fourth verse, the speaker discusses how the art that Picasso creates has stood the test of time and how it will continue to be admired.
2. Status Quo’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men”
Next on our list of songs about art is Status Quo by “Pictures of Matchstick Men” is about art. The lyrics analyze the idea that art can be used to give meaning to our lives and the way we live them.
The narrator starts off the song by describing a painting he has seen and how it makes him feel. The painting is being described in the context of the song.
He continues by saying that art is more than just a pretty picture, that it can be used to express our feelings and experiences, and that this is one of its primary purposes.
The chorus of the song offers some thought on the ways in which we can use art to connect with one another and the ways in which we can use art to give our lives more meaning.
At the end of the song, the narrator states that art is worth more than just a thousand words; rather, it is worth a lifetime’s worth of experiences.
3. Manic Street Preachers – Interiors (Interiors)
Manic Street Preachers are responsible for the musical composition known as “Interiors.”
In 1996, it was issued as a single and ultimately peaked at position number two on the UK Singles Chart. The artwork of Van Gogh and Gauguin, in particular, serve as inspiration for the song’s lyrics.
Several of Van Gogh’s paintings, such as “Starry Night” and “The Night Café,” are mentioned in the song’s lyrics.
The painting “Interior of a Cafe in Arles” by Paul Gauguin inspired the song’s title, which is also the song’s name.
The band’s album Everything Must Go, for which they won the Brit Award in 1997 in the category of Best Album, featured the song as one of its tracks.
4. Max Ernst – Mission Of Burma
This song features a narrator who discusses the Surrealist paintings created by the German artist Max Ernst.
Several of Ernst’s most well-known works, such as “The Elephant Celebes” and “The Hat Makes the Man,” are mentioned in the song.
The narrator compliments Ernst on his ability to produce art that is both surreal and approachable, praising him for his ability to create paintings that are “strange and beautiful.”
5. Rene And Georgette Magritte – Paul Simon Paul Simon
The husband and wife artistic team of Rene and Georgette Magritte played a significant role in the Surrealist art movement.
Rene was a painter, and Georgette worked in textile design. They collaborated on the production of a great number of iconic works of art that investigated the relationship between things and the meanings they convey.
Paul Simon’s song “Rene and Georgette Magritte” is an homage to the artistic collaboration of the Magritte couple.
The couple’s unconventional artistic method, which frequently consisted of producing paradoxes or putting together things that didn’t appear to have any connection to one another, is detailed in the song.
6. Rufus Wainwright, The Art Teacher
Songwriter and singer-guitarist Rufus Wainwright has been active in the music industry since the 1990s. In 2007, he released a song under the title “The Art Teacher,” which is all about teaching children how to make art.
The first line of the song is “Miss Meyerhoff taught me how to paint. She said that it was very important”.
From there, the song goes on to describe how art can be used as a way to connect with others and how it can be used to express oneself.
7. Magritte – John Cale Magritte
The Welsh musician John Cale wrote the song “Magritte,” which was included on his album Slow Dazzle in the year 1974.
This song is an homage to the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte, and it discusses a number of the artist’s most well-known works, such as “The Son of Man” and “The Treachery of Images.”
The lyrics of this song by Cale are not entirely clear, but they seem to imply that the artist René Magritte is someone that Cale admires because they both blur the lines between reality and illusion.
The song has been referred to as “haunting” and “atmospheric,” and it features Cale’s distinctive vocals supported by an arrangement that is sparse and ethereal.
8. Vincent – Don McLean
Don McLean’s song “Vincent” is a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, who was one of the most well-known painters of the post-impressionist period.
The song touches on many different aspects of Van Gogh’s life, including his battles with mental illness as well as his relationships with his family, friends, and other people.
McLean creates a portrait of a troubled but extremely talented artist who, during his lifetime, was tragically misunderstood by the general public.
Even though Van Gogh only ever managed to sell one of his paintings during his lifetime, his body of work is now considered to be among the most valuable in the entire world.
The film Vincent is a stirring homage to an artist whose singular vision has been a source of motivation for countless individuals.
9. Andy Warhol’s “David Bowie”
The song “Andy Warhol” by David Bowie was written as a tribute to the artist, and it does an excellent job of capturing the mysterious quality of Warhol’s work.
In addition to capturing the essence of Andy Warhol’s public persona, the lyrics paint a picture of a man who is both mysterious and alluring.
A reference to one of Andy Warhol’s most well-known works, Campbell’s Soup Cans, can also be found within the song.
Bowie makes it abundantly clear that he considers Warhol to be a significant figure in the world of art by referring to this particular piece of his work.
10. Jay-“Picasso Z’s Baby”
This song choice is also among the selected songs about Art. “Picasso Baby” is a song by Jay-Z that discusses the transformative and inspirational potential of art.
Jay-Z makes allusions to a number of well-known artists throughout the course of the song, including Jackson Pollock, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Pablo Picasso.
Additionally, he acknowledges the significance of the street art community in New York City.
The lyrics of the song reflect Jay-belief Z’s that art is an essential component of the human experience and that it possesses the capacity to transcend class and race.
The song “Picasso Baby” is an ode to the power of art and a reminder that the beauty of art lies in its capacity to encourage thought and change the world around us.
11. Art 4 Art’s Sake
– 10 c c
Art for Art’s Sake was a commercial success for 10cc, as evidenced by the album’s placement in the top 10 in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, where it reached its highest position at number 7 in the chart.
This song is an encouragement to people to follow their dreams and do the things that they are passionate about, as well as an ode to creativity and artistic expression.
The lyrics are upbeat and inspirational, and the chorus is catchy and easy to remember.
Overall, Art for Art’s Sake is a timeless 10cc song that does an excellent job of encapsulating the band’s one-of-a-kind sound as well as their signature sense of humor.
12. Wings and Paul McCartney
“Picassos Last Words”
This song was written as a memorial to the great Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, who passed away in 1973. In 1964, McCartney had the opportunity to meet Picasso, who left a significant impression on the musician.
The song is sung from Picasso’s point of view, with McCartney speculating on what the artist might have said in his final moments of life.
In one of his songs, he sings, “Paint your own picture / any old way you want.”
“Make your own meaning because there is none,” the speaker said.
The song is an ode to creativity and self-expression, and it continues to be one of the most moving and personal compositions that McCartney has ever written.
13. Applause—Lady Gaga
The song “Applause” by Lady Gaga is about the artistic process. In the song, Gaga discusses the significance of art as well as the ways in which it can motivate people.
She inspires those who listen to her to open their minds to new ways of thinking and to express themselves through the arts.
Gaga also discusses the ways in which the power of art can be used to effect positive change in the world.
The song is a rousing anthem that celebrates the strength of art and creative expression.
14. The Red And Yellow Blues – Greg Percy
They are known as the Red and Yellow Blues.
Greg Percy’s “The Red and Yellow Blues” is a song that focuses on art.
The lyrics attempt to convey what it’s like to experience the range of feelings evoked when viewing a stunning painting.
The argument made in the song is that art should be valued because of the powerful emotions it can inspire in people.
It also gives the impression that the appreciation of art is something that is accessible to people of all walks of life and levels of education.
The tune of the song is catchy and infectious, making it simple to sing along with its upbeat and positive lyrics.
Because of this, it is an excellent option for anybody who is interested in expanding their knowledge of art and the significance of it.
15. Greg Percy’s “From Matisse To You”
This is one of the most poular songs about art, the song is Percy’s way of paying homage to the legendary French painter Henri Matisse.
He discusses the ways in which the work of Matisse has influenced him, as well as his aspiration to one day produce art that is equally as beautiful and enduring as Matisse’s.
Percy also discusses the influence that the works of other great artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, have had on his own body of work.
The song is a tribute to the power of art and its ability to inspire us in a straightforward manner, but it is written from the heart.
It serves as a reminder that even if we never reach the level of greatness attained by Matisse or Picasso, we can still strive to create something beautiful in our own lives.
16. You Cezanne – Greg Percy
Greg Percy’s song “You Cezanne” is a tribute to the work of the late French painter Paul Cezanne. Cezanne was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1839, and today he is regarded as one of the most important painters of the Post-Impressionist movement.
Some of his most well-known works, such as “The Card Players” and “The Bathers,” are referenced in the song’s lyrics.
The song also discusses the distinctive manner in which Cezanne painted, which was distinguished by the use of bold brushstrokes and a concentration on geometric forms.
The lyrics written by Percy capture the essence of Cezanne’s work, and they offer listeners a fresh perspective on the world around them.
In addition to being a stunning piece of music, “You Cezanne” serves as an excellent introduction to the life and work of one of the most influential artists in the annals of art history.
17. The Beatles’
“Lucy In d Sky With Diamonds”
It is widely believed that the song is about taking LSD; however, John Lennon has denied this, stating that the song was inspired by a drawing that his son Julian made of a classmate named Lucy O’Donnell. Lucy O’Donnell was a member of the Beatles.
The lyrics are written in a style that is surreal and reminiscent of a dream, and they make numerous allusions to Alice in Wonderland.
It is one of the most well-known and well-liked songs about art that the Beatles ever recorded.
18. Blue Period Picasso – Peter, Bjorn & John
This song is a lighthearted tribute to the world-famous painter Pablo Picasso.
The lyrics make a joke about Picasso’s “blue period” by referring to the artist’s well-known blue paintings, and they do so in a lighthearted manner.
The painting “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” which is considered to be one of Picasso’s most well-known works, is also referenced in the song.
The song “Blue Period Picasso” is not only enjoyable and easy to remember, but it also offers a concise yet intriguing introduction to the body of work produced by one of the most renowned artists in the history of the world.
19. Roxy Music’s Virginia Plain
The year 1970 saw the formation of the British art rock band known as Roxy Music. A revolving cast of musicians contributed to the sound of the band, which was fronted by singer-songwriter Bryan Ferry.
The song “Virginia Plain,” which was released in 1972, is considered to be one of the band’s most successful songs.
This song is an ode to the breathtaking natural scenery that can be found in the state of Virginia in the United States.
The song’s lyrics make mention of a number of significant locations and historical figures, including the Shenandoah Valley and Thomas Jefferson, amongst others.
The tune’s infectious melody and the lyrics’ ability to grab the listener’s attention both contributed to Roxy Music’s reputation as one of the most forward-thinking and exciting bands of the 1970s.
20. Kanye West – Famous
Last on our list of songs about art is “Famous” by Yeezy, In the song Kanye West explores the importance of art in each of our lives.
To begin, he poses the question, “What exactly is a black Beatle?” This is a reference to the famous quote that was said to have been said by John Lennon, “We’re more popular than Jesus Christ right now.”
West is implicitly recognizing his own status as one of the all-time great artists when he makes the comparison between himself and the Beatles.
He continues by stating that “artists are the new rock stars” and that they have the ability to change the world. He believes that artists have this power.
He contends that despite our different races and backgrounds, we should all be treated in the same manner.
In conclusion, West encourages us to honor one another’s unique qualities and to channel our creative energies toward the goal of making the world a better place.