When the Drakevideo dropped on Monday – you know the one with him dancing like your dad, the one you’ve made GIFs out of, the one that has been overdubbed so many times you’ve forgotten what "Hotline Bling" actually sounds like – many noticed a striking comparison between the video’s aesthetic and the work of American visual artist James Turrell. Had Drake and Director X ripped off his style? Was he involved? After all, Drake did tell Rolling Stone last year, "I fuck with James Turrell" and visited an exhibition of his too. Much art, very installations.
In the wake of people talking about nothing else, Turrell has released a statement through his lawyer denying having lent his hand to the creative process. "While I am truly flattered to learn that Drake fucks with me, I nevertheless wish to make clear that neither I nor any of my woes was involved in any way in the making of the Hotline Bling video.”
Irrespective of whether he was physically present during the making of the video, it’s obvious that inspiration has been drawn from the artist’s canon of work. Hyperallergic did a fine job of pulling out some neat comparisons:
Is this homage or larceny? Director X, while paying tribute to James Turrell, told the Fader "I do understand why people would say that’s Turrell's thing but this is my style best of all. I’m definitely familiar with the man’s work, he's a genius. But if you look back at what I do, this is my style."