Art inspires djs at the getty villa the getty iris

The Getty Villa is singular in its perfect marriage of art and environment. Visiting is an immersive experience. You are transported by a museum as beautiful as the works that inhabit it. There is no shortage of inspiration in these tranquil surroundings. I could have collected songs about the blue of the pool reflecting a crystal clear California sky; how the quietude was broken only by the occasional chirping of a bird; or the serenity I found in a private niche by a mosaic fountain. But instead I opted to create a playlist inspired by the antiquities.

Addendum: I had the most visceral response to Plato In L.A. Through sculptures, paintings, drawings, and large-scale installations some of my favorite contemporary artists respond to Plato’s philosophical contributions—from defining the ideal to understanding the human condition—while fostering the ultimate Platonic experience: contemplation.


This collaboration feels similar to what I was asked to do at the Getty Villa, and like the Art Brut track on my playlist says, “Modern art makes me want to rock out!” Enjoy! DJ Michelle Pesce @djmichellepesce

When you walk into the Villa, you are transported. Breathe in your surroundings and add a dash of imagination, and suddenly you are in ancient Rome. There were two spaces at the Getty Villa where I had to literally catch my breath, and my playlist was inspired by both. In these spaces I felt nature, I felt strength, I felt feminism, I wanted to dance—and there was a touch of hedonism about it all.

First, the Inner Peristyle. This garden would have been the first open-air space encountered by guests—just as it is for visitors to the Getty Villa. There are four female statues around a rectangular water fountain. They are posing in a way that all I could think was, “dance party”! In starting my playlist (with songs such as “Weight in Gold” by Gallant and “Stop Trying to Be God” by Travis Scott), I’m envisioning guests arriving as the sun starts to set. You enjoy a cup of calda or mulsum (aka wine) and the day’s stress starts melting away.

Second, the Basilica. Here there are seven imperfectly perfect female statues lined up. I felt their strength. I felt their wisdom. I felt their femininity. Here I brought in songs such as “Lost Souls” by H.E.R., “What I Am” by Edie Brickell, and “You’re so Gangsta” by Chromeo. I imagine philosophizing, networking, and feasting. After a while, guests make their way back downstairs to the Inner Peristyle for a dance party under the stars with the dancing statutes. I then end my playlist with “Glory Box” by Portishead and “Blackbird” by the Beatles as the sun comes up and the vibe chills out and guests leave to start a new day with fond memories from the Villa dei Papiri…I mean, the Getty Villa. DJ Eque @djeque

Visiting the Getty Villa was a special experience for me because I grew up so close to the museum but had never been inside. I remember driving by as a kid—on my way to go hiking or to the beach—and wondering what was up there. The place itself is unbelievably beautiful, and some of the art is so old it’s hard to comprehend. Along with the juxtaposition of the modern pieces, being there takes you to a different world and makes you feel as if you are in another time.

My playlist is a mix of wordplay about art-related things and an expression of the vibe I felt while roaming the grounds, talking to the curators, connecting with the other DJs, and taking in the art. It starts with a song by Mura Masa, which I feel connects to some of the oldest pieces of art at the Villa that represent musicians playing harps and similar instruments. This track is a good starting point for the rest of the playlist to follow. Each track represents something special and unique from that day, and the songs come together to paint a full picture of my experience. VICE @djvice