Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hello, People, it's Lady Gaga!

What is it with the media and nudity? A recent style news article in People Magazine began:

We thought there was nothing else Lady Gaga could do to shock us, but leave it to the envelope-pushing singer to make jaws drop yet again. And this time it’s not about what she wore, it’s about what she didn’t wear.

So what’s she done now that shocked People mag? She Tweeted a picture of the ad campaign for her new perfume where she’s naked except for strategically placed little men and a black mask.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that the men were Photoshopped onto her body and, really, folks, this is a young woman who calls herself Lady Gaga. But I won’t leave you in the dark. Here’s the ad.

Whether or not you like her music (for the most part I do), she’s a twenty six year old eccentric pop star known for being outrageous. And yet the advert reminded me of the work of several prominent surrealist artists and sculptors. There’s an artistic originality to the concept as well as Lady Gaga’s signature style. I’ll reserve judgment on the fragrance itself which People describes as:  “the first-ever black perfume” (it turns clear once spritzed) the aroma is described as dark, sensual and light according to WWD. The fragrance features notes of belladonna, incense, saffron, honey, apricot nectar, crushed tiger orchid, and jasmine sambac (not blood and bodily fluids as rumored). Hmmmmm. It sounds interesting to me.

I’ll admit I’m all for young artists pushing boundaries, working outside the box, doing new things or old things in a new way. The rock stars of the sixties and seventies shocked parents while thrilling and inspiring young people. The Rolling Stones and Beatles were revolutionary. Eric Clapton was a brilliant junkie musician. Sting, Elton John, David Bowie outraged plenty of “adults” in their youth. And now that these artists are in their 50’s, 60’s and, yes, even their 70’s, we tend to forget the uproar they once caused.

I’m delighted that young artists can still find recognition in being themselves in a world where beauty and celebrity often trumps talent. Lady Gaga, Adele, Katy Perry, BeyoncĂ© and the rest—I hope they mature into their talent and last beyond the sizzle and flash. Youthful outrageousness will be forgiven if these talented women continue to grow.


(Note to Madonna—You, dear, are WAY past being young. Time to wear clothes and behave yourself.)

So what do you think of the the ad? Of Lady Gaga? Of Madonna? Is anything else on your mind today?


Sarah Andre said...

I'm afraid I'm very jaded! The second I heard and saw Lady Gaga and her antics I thought: Wow, she's the next generation's Madonna.

Take the 80's and Now: both women are passable singers with constant radio hits. Both continue to reinvent themselves--which often means upping the shock-value. Both exude a sexuality so different from any other female singer that they vaulted to fame and uniqueness probably on that alone.

I find it interesting that the press insinuates there's a cat-fight between the two. To me they're the same icon, only a generation apart.

The ad reminds me of a sexy Gulliver's Travels. :)

Looking forward to smelling the unique perfume you described!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Sarah's "sexy Gulliver's Travels" is spot on. I don't consider the photo shocking. Then again, it's destined for Vogue rather than Seventeen. Know what I find distinctly unsexy? The perfume's name.

Lark Howard said...

I see the Gulliver's Travels image, Sarah. And agree she's the new Madonna although more of a performance artist than a raunchy singer. Time will tell if she lasts.

Lark Howard said...

Fame is the name of her last album, Pat. And yes, the ad is aimed at an artsier audience than Teen or Us magazines. The media likes to call things shocking to make people read the story. I doubt many people we know would be offended.