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10 Great Songs About Famous Visual Artists

Even reigning glam aliens have idols. Even top hip hop impresarios obsess over that one particular painting. There is no shortage of guitar strumming, rapping, and singing about art at large, but we’re keen on odes and tributes to specific heroes of art history. From David Bowie’s serenade to “Andy Warhol” to the Modern Lovers’ investigations into “Pablo Picasso” and why he “never got called an asshole,” here are a few notable tracks inspired by famous visual artists. Did we miss your favorite? Drop us a comment.

David Bowie — “Andy Warhol”

Twenty five years before finally playing Warhol in Basquiat in 1996, David Bowie strummed out this flamenco-tinged, spacey acoustic tribute to Andy on Hunky Dory. Listen to the sweet longing way Bowie croo-oo-oons his name, the double entendre signifiers — “I’d like to be a gallery/Put you all inside my show.” Feel the love. The story goes that after Bowie played the song for Warhol, they said nothing for a while. Then Warhol said, “I like your shoes.” And that was that.

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