by Catherine Watts
As early as 1546, people understood that, sometimes, two heads are better than one.
And while that proverb applies to the workaday world, it holds some truth for every aspect of living. That includes the creation of art.
Artistic collaboration has been going on for centuries.
In fact, it was recently discovered among the dusty manuscripts of a 13th century book-producing workshop. Where artisans from several workshops collaborated on imagery and lettering.
Today’s collaboration, while different in the end product, is no different in what it brings to the artists and the consumers of art. A brilliant new way of looking at something.
How Today’s Artistic Collaboration Adds Depth to Art
Let’s look at one of today’s most striking examples of music collaboration.
Walk this Way by Aerosmith and Run DMC is a hit song that proves classic rock and rap can not only coexist. But also able to improve the musicality — and popularity — of both genres.
Aerosmith’s lagging popularity was boosted by Run DMC’s rap-fueled vocals. Run’s album, Raising Hell, shot to the top of the charts to become the first rap album to hold the No. 1 spot on the R&B charts.
In a similar way, Andy Warhol and Yves Saint Laurent came together to prove that fashion and art share a common lineage.
Saint Laurent used pop culture to create ready-to-wear fashion for the modern woman. And no artist represented the vibe of the 1970s like Warhol.
Warhol’s four-square portraits of the designer himself were printed in colorful abandon on scarves and other clothing pieces. They are so iconic they currently appear in the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.
Art Collab for All Artists — How to Find the Right Collaborator
Fashion and pop art, rap and rock music aren’t the only ways to collaborate.
A street artist can collaborate with a famous fashion designer (BÄST x Marc Jacobs). A fashion house and a pop icon can dream up an incredible perfume (Comme des Garçons Parfums and Pharrell Williams). Or a hip-hop artist can pair up with a conceptual and performance artist to wide acclaim (Jay-Z and Marina Abramovic).
An even more recent example of a great and beneficial artistic collaboration is Camila Cabello’s “Havanna” featuring Young Thug. In early 2018, this particular music collaboration topped Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart for seven weeks. Marking the longest reign for a song by a solo female in a lead role in nearly five years. It’s the first song by a woman to top Pop, Rhythmic, and Adult Pop Songs Charts since 1996. As of two months ago, the song is back up to #20 on the charts.
According to Bryan Cantor of Headline Planet. “In addition to ongoing resonance with music fans, “Havana” is benefiting from several high-profile sources of exposure. The song currently appears alongside “Hold On, I’m Comin’” in Lincoln’s national “Perfect Drive” commercial campaign. Cabello just released a Havana-themed makeup collection with L’Oréal Paris. “Havana,” moreover, received several major nominations for the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.
One of the last songs for another lead female to rule Pop Songs for more than seven weeks, was yet another harmonious collaboration. Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” featuring Calvin Harris. It topped the charts for eight weeks in 2011-12.
Sometimes, We All Just Need a Little Partnership
In all of these pairings, each artist derives the benefits of association for more exposure. Plus, the boost of creativity that collaborating with someone “outside your box” entails.
Using their diverse backgrounds, creatives from different genres can use an artists’ collaboration to springboard new ideas into the public domain. And potentially come up with The Next Big Thing to delight audiences, consumers, and art lovers everywhere.