MORE

Top Ten Music Videos That Could Be Considered Works of Art

Every Art Basel, we spend so much time gawking at completely indecipherable mounds of garbage and analyzing people acting like diseased mimes that it's hard to turn off the ol' art goggles, even after we've been kicked out of the gallery for lining the pockets of our pantaloons with cubes of cheese.

Figure in the deluge of flash murals and pop-up public art and it becomes increasingly difficult to separate the transcendental objects from the regular ones. 

Here are ten music videos that deserve to be projected in the fucking Guggenheim. 

10. The Buggles - "Video Killed the Radio Star" (1979)

What better place to begin then at the beginning. This was the first video ever broadcast on Music TeleVision. And its self-manifesting lyrical content set an early precedent for the medium's embrace of pomo/meta concepts.

9. Björk - "All Is Full of Love" (1999)

Uh, everything Björk produces, touches, or is even remotely aware of can be considered a fucking masterpiece. This includes the mucus she expels from her hairy nostrils and the doo doo brown that leaks from her booty. The various ass-kickings she has doled out to paparazzi over the years is some of the finest performance art we've seen since that one guy mic'd himself beating off under the gallery.

 

8. Talking Heads - "Once in a Lifetime" (1980)

While the '80s were mostly a gaudy, flashy aesthetic holocaust, David Byrne was shrewd enough to know that a little pop art goes a long way.

7. Notorious B.I.G. featuring Ma$e and Puff Daddy - "Mo Money, Mo Problems" (1998) Gotta love that fish-eye lens!

 

6. Cake - "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" (2001)

Ah, an early example of crowdsourcing. Cake beat Web 2.0 to the open-source punch almost a decade before Instagram hash-tagged its first artisanal cupcake.

5. Beyoncé - "Single Ladies" (2008)

The video for Queen B's mammoth lead single from I Am... Sasha Fierce qualifies as art if only because it blatantly rips off the work of somebody else, namely choreographer Bob Fosse.

 

4. Madonna - "Like a Prayer" (1989)

Yo, if MDNA pissing off the pope and Pepsi by sleeping with black Jesus doesn't qualify as art, we don't know what does.

3. Paul Simon - "Call Me Al" (1987)

Something about this classic Lorne Michaels-directed clip screams Waiting for Godot. Maybe it's Simon's existential mugging.

 

2. R. Kelly - "Trapped in the Closet" (2005 - Ongoing)

Kels revolutionized the medium with his seemingly never-ending (and completely absurd) hip-hopera. We can't wait to see the Broadway adaptation!

1. KoЯn - "Freak on a Leash" (1999)

Behold: the Mona fuckin' Lisa of imagery set to music. Or, in this case, nü-metal.




Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >