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The artful apparel of Lady Gaga

1 June 2019

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Intriguing news from Las Vegas, where an exhibition devoted to Lady Gaga has just opened its doors. ‘Haus of Gaga’ coincides with the singer’s residency at the Park MGM casino and displays an array of the outlandish outfits she has sported over the course of her career. According to Vogue, highlights include a pair of sunglasses fashioned from cigarettes that she wore in the video for ‘Telephone’, the blood-stained outfit in which she promoted ‘Paparazzi’ and the crystal-embroidered bodysuit she wore for her performance at the Super Bowl in 2017.

Gaga has form when it comes to the world of art and exhibitions. She has previously worked with Jeff Koons (who designed the cover for her 2013 LP Artpop), learnt from Marina Abramović (for her ‘Yoü and I’ video) and, while studying at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, wrote a ‘crazy’ thesis on Damien Hirst and Spencer Tunick. What’s more, the notorious ‘meat dress’ – a garment made of thinly sliced raw beef, which Gaga wore to the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010 – might be said to owe something to the late Carolee Schneemann’s Meat Joy (1964), in which performers writhed around in raw fish, chickens and meat.

These days, the meat dress is apparently a rather bloodless proposition. Nine years after it made its debut, says curator Nicola Formichetti, the ensemble has dried out: it’s now effectively ‘a piece of jerky’.

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