Gaga Machine

Lady Gaga and motorcycles, a desire for organic and mechanical fusion. From Born This Way and Judas to the Gaga Machine. Art or Pop?

I never talk about religion. It’s no use.

But in the field of art, it’s sometimes difficult not to mention it: it’s a natural subject, a theme imposed over the years, cause of all transgressions and a common cultural base. I guess, only as a cultural reference, I can deal with it.

So, let’s start right away. We all know the four evangelists, John, Luke, Mark and Matthew. There might also be a fifth Gospel, an apocryphal text attributed to Thomas. Five remakes for the best-selling story in the world.

Today, my very dear Sisters, my dear Brothers, I prefer to evoke a sixth Gospel. This one is full of saturated colors, pop and sexy. Here’s the Gospel of Gaga:

Lady Gaga (Judas video, 2011)
Lady Gaga (Judas video, 2011)

Lady G. takes on the role of Magdalene, the Leader’s old lady. This MC President being no other than Jesus, riding his bike with a crown of thorns instead of a helmet. We imagine that the screaming horde roams with the prophet to spread the Word of God along the road. Nice venture and great biker spirit. But Gaga is not so comfortable on the back seat, wild hairs lashing her face, or perhaps something itchy down the neck. She shrugs, shakes and looks at the heart of the pack to meet the eyes of a simple follower, a little more bad-boy than her Christ man, a little more good-looking too. Yes, her ticker beats faster for the naughtiest villain among sidekicks, the dark, the scandalous Judas (Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead).

Lady Gaga and Norman Reedus (Judas video, 2011)
Lady Gaga and Norman Reedus (Judas video, 2011)

I love the opening sequence, Gagaloo in a purple leotard, wearing a cross and golden charms, with heart shaped sunglasses. I am thinking of Prince and Purple Rain.

Lady Gaga (Judas video, 2011)
Lady Gaga (Judas video, 2011)

The cover illustration for the album Born This Way? A genuine success: most of her fans were crying. Like a Priest’s machine (Painkiller, 1990) fused to the head of Medusa (Clash Of The Titans, Desmond Davis, 1981).

Born This Way (Lady Gaga, 2011)
Born This Way (Lady Gaga, 2011)

Gaga_Medusa_Painkiller

Born This Way Ball (2012)
Born This Way Ball (2012)

Now, the artist comes back to this concept of an integrated body, with the Gaga Machine exposed in her corner at Barneys in New York City. Clearly Art Deco inspired, her molded body becomes the support, the frame of the machine, in a very similar aesthetic to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

Gaga Machine (Gagas Workshop at Barneys, NYC, 2016)
Gaga Machine (Gagas Workshop at Barneys, NYC, 2016)

Whether we like it or not, wether we doubt the intentions, the fact remains: Lady Gaga’s creations are controversial, they oppose, divide, and have the merit of never appear too smooth or consensual. Pop Art undoubtedly, with the acidity and colors, the numerous references, the visual provocations and the melody of music. A recipe rather appealing. As I listen to some tracks at the same time I write, I replay Poker Face on the player. No bluff here, just a good tune.

Artpop (Lady Gaga, 2013)
Artpop (Lady Gaga, 2013)
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