POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Back in 2008 the New York Post ran a profile on Lady Gaga, a pop star set out to prove she’s the next Britney Spears. Nobody knows what will come of these ambitions, but whatever it is will look very different than the chameleon qualities of Ms. Spears who like photographer Richard Kern’s model Jade (NSFW), is literally transformed by the camera. Gaga’s productions are of a different ilk, her stated objectives at the time, published in the Post,
“The way that Andy Warhol attempted to make commercial art that was taken seriously as fine art, is the way I want to make pop music, pop art performance and pop fashion that’s taken seriously as high fashion and highbrow.”
Given the amount of schlock out there produced by super star artist Damien Hirst, this doesn’t seem like such an unattainable goal. Certainly her performance at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art suggests she’s making strides towards achieving this end. But is this significant?
From my perspective, no. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as happy as the next person to listen to a catchy Gaga tune, but let’s not get confused: she’s not doing anything particularly innovative. As FourFour wisely put it last year, the star’s “entire existence [can] be summed up as reminiscent” (think Gwen Stefani, Miss Kittin and RÃ³isÃn Murphy). Ditto for any fashion she’s worn, or video direction she’s taken. The whole package feels like an expensive Pulse Art Fair production.
Assuming Ms. Gaga more regularly collaborates with art world stars, Deitch Projects undoubtedly offers the closest gallery match for the musician, already hosting pre-existing stable of artists reaching a variety of commercial markets. We’re talking Vanessa Beecroft/Kanye West collaborations, Stephen Sprouse, and Kehinde Wiley to name a few. Notably this genre of art — if that’s what it can be called — is defined by its hopelessly mindless production.