In her ARTPOP single “Applause,” Lady Gaga sings: “One second I’m a Koons fan, then suddenly the Koons is me” — a statement that came true when she revealed her album art Monday (October 7).
The Jeff Koons-designed cover features a statue of Gaga created by the artist, immortalizing Mother Monster in his art. This team-up proves Gaga isn’t just a “flash in the pan,” curator and Koons scholar Lynne Warren told MTV News.
“Jeff is very — he just has this sort of laser sense about popular culture,” Warren told MTV News. Unlike Andy Warhol, who was prone to depicting those who enjoyed the proverbial “15 minutes of fame” in his art, Warren said that Koons is more discerning about his subjects. Example? Koons also created a statue of King of Pop Michael Jackson in the late ’80s.
“Jeff seems to have really good senses to choose people who are not only at the height of their careers, but are going to be iconic,” Warren said. “They won’t be remembered just because he made art out of them, they will be remembered on for their own contributions. He must feel like Lady Gaga is not going to be a flash in the pan.”
Gaga revealed the art — which features a nude statue of the singer surrounded by a deconstructed image of Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” a shiny lawn ornament between her legs — on her website and billboards around the world. The statue will make its debut on November 10 at an ARTPOP album release party.
The imagery in the album cover was familiar to Warren, who curated a major Koons exhibition in Chicago — at the Museum of Contemporary Art. “The pose that she’s in is a piece we know very well here in Chicago — the woman in the bathtub, which we displayed a number of times and on the cover of the catalog that Jeff designed for us,” Warren said, referring to Koons’ 1988 piece. Warren said the cover also draws from Koons’ 1988 sculpture, “Pink Panther.”
“The convergence of those images and sculptures that he did a long time ago with the ethos of Lady Gaga and what she sort of represents and how she portrays herself with these costumes and different visual means to convey her songs is very interesting,” Warren said. “I would think that it will become iconic. Lady Gaga is pretty iconic on her own and so is Jeff, so bringing those two together… I would think so.”