Behind the Video: Kanye West – ‘Power’

“How do you visually paint a portrait of power?” asked artist Marco Brambilla when approaching Kanye West’s video for “Power.”

Inspired by Michelangelo’s frescos in the Sistine Chapel, the piece combines motion and imagery to depict a faux historical moment—an empire on the brink of collapse from its own excess, decadence, and corruption.

“It’s a moment of transition for [Kanye],” Brambilla told The New York Times. “It’s like the end of an empire. It’s him becoming mortal again.”

The apocalyptic video for “Power” premieres Thursday at 11 p.m. on MTV following “Jersey Shore.”