Leading video artist Marco Brambilla taps tribalism and neo-classical influences to paint an extraordinary visual tableau for Kanye West’s new release, Power.

Taken from Kanye’s forthcoming release Good Ass Job , Power is a contemporary musical morality play reflecting on the problems and paradoxes of modern life – where excess, egotism and celebrity coexist alongside poverty, dubious politics and power.

Responding to the drive of Kanye’s track, Marco Brambilla has visualised a moment of cataclysmic collapse with a moving video collage inspired by neo-classical art and his previous installation piece, Civilisation.

“Kanye got in touch via my gallery having seen my moving video collage Civilisation installed in the elevators of the Standard Hotel in New York. That piece drew on the themes of Dante’s Inferno and uses scenes for mainstream Hollywood films to chart the rise to heaven, or fall to hell, depending on whether you’re travelling up or down in the elevator.”

Using Civilisation as a conceptual starting point, Brambilla began to consider how to evolve the technique to create an original video artwork for the track Power.

“Emotionally, the song struck me as being a combination of this epic and imposing sound with a very urgent message while at the same time there’s a sense of contradiction that comes from the human voice behind the music. There’s a tension between the decadence and excess but at the same time you can feel an undertone of doubt and fragility.”

Brambilla’s response is a stunning Sistine Chapel style video collage that depicts Kanye as musical icon, evoking Napoleonic portraiture and superimposing a moment of transition on top. The video also pays homage to Salvador Dali’s famous collaboration with photographer Philippe Halsman to inject the piece with an impending tone of inevitable cataclysm and slow burning catastrophe.

Power is the first video to be released as part of Brambilla’s wider commission to create an album-length film for Good Ass Job. The film will use Kanye’s music as the narrative driving force behind a highly stylized operatic odyssey.

Artist: Kanye West Title: POWER Record Label: UMusic Production Company: Stink Director: Marco Brambilla Executive Producer: Daniel Bergmann Producers: Anna Smith, Jonathan Lia DoP: Martin Ahlgren VFX Supervisor: Steve Mottershead CG Artist: Christian Moreton Art Director: Babak Radboy Set Decorator: Tina Ninotchka Stylist: Mel Ottenburg Editorial / Post: Art Jail Post/Effects: Nice Shoes CD/Flame Artist: Aron Baxter Colorist: Ron Sudul EP: Maribeth Phillips

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (7)

  • HowieSPM's picture

    I have a very poor view of Kanye and his music. So I will decline commenting only because of the respect I have for this website and the management. I will find another location to do my thing. LOL

    Aug 06, 2010
  • HowieSPM's picture

    LOL I love how you push me to excel, grow and stretch my abilities! Must go running first. Those Belgians make some mean Waffles. I ate one. Oofta.

    Aug 06, 2010
  • HowieSPM's picture

    Video is great minus that he is in it wearing the stupidest looking chain thing. Makes Flava Flav's clock look cool. I just don't like pop music or people so into themselves they need a mirror everywhere they go.

    I do like the animation is that or stop action? not sure what of the video is real and what isn't. Though the last few seconds man oh man if those two swords just hit the right place ;-)

    I agree Marco kicks ass. I could see airbrushing him out changing the song and its a winner with the stoner crowd! I will have to see what else Marco has done. Very impressed.

    Aug 07, 2010
  • Kissmekatey's picture


    Somebody had to do it.

    Aug 07, 2010
  • Reznut's picture

    Nobody beats Chuck.

    Aug 12, 2010