St. Vincent Debuts Alex Da Corte–Directed Music Video Inspired by Goya - The World News

St. Vincent Debuts Alex Da Corte–Directed Music Video Inspired by Goya

St. Vincent is the sole source of illumination in the newly released music video for “Broken Man,” directed by artist Alex Da Corte. Flames flicker along the edges of her figure, shattering the dark, as her body jerks in a dance that steadily gathers in grace. 

This is the first single from her seventh full-length album, All Burn Screaming, which arrives in April and will be accompanied by visuals from Da Corte. The two have worked together before—most memorably on her “New York” music video—and for this album, they mined art history for inspiration. In an interview with NME, St. Vincent (born Annie Clark) recounted how she and Da Corte stopped, transfixed, at Francisco Goya’s “Black Paintings” at the Museo del Prado in Madrid. 

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A stately building—dark red in color—with a mansard roof stands on the corner of a street. Nearby trees are bare, save for pink flowers on a few. It is a clear day.

“You see Saturn eating his sons, the witch’s mask. We walked into this claustrophobic room and saw the paintings that Goya made at the end of his life,” she said. “He didn’t necessarily want them seen, but these were paintings that he had in his house. This is what he had surrounded himself with.”

Clark added: “Alex and I looked at each other and it was electric.”

The “Black Paintings” are a group of 14 works made between 1819 and 1823, and as the title suggests, they are dramatically lit and fiercely emotive, oscillating between horror, grief, and humiliation. Saturn Devouring His Son, which Goya worked on between 1820–1823, is among his best-known paintings, and one of the best-recognized paintings in Western art history. In it, the Titan feasts on the body in a mad attempt to prevent his own prophetic demise at his children’s hands. 

The other painting Clark references is Witches’ Sabbath (The Great He-Goat, completed between 1821 and 1823, when Goya was 75 years old and suffering from degenerative mental and physical conditions. (He died in 1828.) Applied in oil on the plaster walls of his home, it depicts a coven cowering before the goat-headed devil. The scene radiates confusion and dread. 

And it makes you curious to what else Da Corte has planned for the album. The conceptual artist is known for vibrantly hued films, sculptures and installations that reimagine pop culture, design, and art history. In January, he relased a 90-second video created for Tierra Whack’s song “Shower Song”, and the aesthetic is exuberant and theatrical, with references that swing from the original Pierrot, to fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and Donna Summer—a sharp departure from the austerity of “Broken Man”.

“For me, the record is black, white and all the colors in the fire, because it’s about life and death. Life and death is pretty binary – you’re alive or you’re dead,” said Clark.

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