Lady Gaga's 'Applause' is pop art must-see

Lady Gaga's new video is a mesmerising compilation of artistic stills. (Screengrab)

Lady Gaga's new video is a mesmerising compilation of artistic stills. (Screengrab)

"Pop culture was in art, now art is in pop culture ... in me," Gaga proclaims in her long-awaited new single Applause.

It is a mesmerising compilation of artistic stills directed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, known for their work on fashion spreads for Vogue and Vanity Fair.

She rises out of a magician’s hat, splendid in a green waistcoat and digital fox tail, she is a corpse version of Marilyn Monroe, she is Neptune’s bride clad only in strategically placed sea shells.

If it all seems ridiculous, it’s because it’s meant to be. Pop is about the ludicrous and plastic and material.
Pop art is about giving those things meaning.

Lady Gaga isn't everyone's cup of tea. She inspires stunning vitriol from her critics – some go as far as calling her the Antichrist. No doubt her apparent urge to become the new Andy Warhol will be met with smirks and sneers by the high-browed. 

But the so-called real art in musems will not be seen by the 15-million people that have seen Gaga's video since its release a few days ago. That may be an indictment on the supposedly uncultured state of the world, or it may be a triumph to Gaga's ability to appeal, inspire and grasp the idea of pop culture.

Grethe Koen

Grethe Koen

Grethe Koen has an Honours degree in political science and worked at an organisation for prisoners’ human rights before joining the Mail & Guardian online team as a sub-editor. When she’s not replacing commas with full-stops and taking out pesky html coding she likes writing about music, gender issues and whatever is trending on Twitter. Read more from Grethe Koen

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