Koons remodels Lady Gaga as Venus

The artist's cover for the singer's forthcoming album reflects his recent obsessions, as well as her star qualities
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Lady Gaga's Artpop cover by Jeff Koons
Lady Gaga's Artpop cover by Jeff Koons

Lady Gaga has well-established artistic ambitions. Though up until now, we had seen her more as a Marina Abramovic kind of girl, rather than a Renaissance woman. However, this newly released cover of her forthcoming album, Artpop, recasts her as Venus.

The cover is, as you may have spotted, the work of Jeff Koons, and includes a few of his recent obsessions. The sculpture of Gaga herself brings to mind Koons' poppier, smuttier sculptures, like Woman in a Tub. The blue, metallic gazing balls such as the one seen here featured in his most recent David Zwirner show in New York, where the artist paired copies of these popular garden ornaments with plaster versions of classical sculptures.

 

Gazing Ball (Antinous Dionysus) (2013) by Jeff Koons
Gazing Ball (Antinous Dionysus) (2013) by Jeff Koons

There are details of ancient sculptures spliced into the background of this picture too. These are interspersed with snippets of Sandro Botticelli's 1490 painting, The Birth of Venus.

The Birth of Venus (c. 1490) by Sandro Botticelli
The Birth of Venus (c. 1490) by Sandro Botticelli

As we note in our Colour Library volume, Italian Renaissance Painting, this work was executed for the Tuscan Villa Castello of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de'Medici, and, as art historian Sara Elliot explains, at the time "Venus could represent both pagan love and the humanist ideal of spiritual love."

It's a worthy reference for Gaga, being an ex-Convent schoolgirl of Italian descent, who studied art briefly, before working as a go-go dancer prior to finding fame. We like it. Find out more about the image via Gaga's twitter feed, here. Gather a greater understanding of Italian Renaissance painting here, by buying a copy of our competitively priced Colour Library book.


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