There’s a rich lineage of blue-chip artists designing album artwork for musicians, from classics like the stark black-and-white drawing by Roberto Longo for Glenn Branca’s The Ascension and Andy Warhol’s iconic banana print for The Velvet Underground and Nico to modern greats like Matthew Stone’s dimension-blurring visuals for FKA Twigs’ Magdalene. Fine artists often cite music as inspiration, channeling sonic experiences into their creations through color, texture, and form.
To celebrate this ongoing dialogue, the L.A. label asked 57 visual artists to reimagine album artworks for some of its most well-known records on the occasion of its 30th birthday. The label invited some of today’s foremost contemporary artists—including Kehinde Wiley, Chloe Wise, and Jennifer Guidi—to select albums and songs from its catalogue and interpret them through visual art. The results are both playful and surreal, and most importantly stay faithful to the music. Rashid Johnson’s mixed-media work that incorporates etchings and mosaics, for example, echoes the complexity and vivid lyricism of Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 debut Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.
LACMA will showcase each artwork as part of “Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reimagined” (Jan.30–Feb. 13). Vinyls of every album will also be available for purchase in limited-edition sets of 100 on the livestream shopping app NTWRK starting Jan. 27. Priced at $2,500, each one comes swathed in custom Gucci packaging.