Release date: Nov. 11, 2013
Art direction: Jeff Koons, Lady Gaga
Labels: Streamline, Interscope
Though the actual album may have been a flop in a mainstream sense, ARTPOP's cover art remains anything but. Framing herself as a new Venus, Gaga presents a remixed take on Boticelli's The Birth of Venus with the help of contemporary visual artist-superstar, Jeff Koons.
While Boticelli's work presents a certain seductive shyness in its central figure, Gaga's take is a decidedly more modern version of the ideal woman, with looks and gestures that cut more assertively toward the viewer. While looking to the past for influence, Gaga also recognizes her willingness to break away from those ideas, and to reshape and reinvent them in her own image.
On the presence of the blue gazing ball, Koons noted the "aspect of reflection that when you come across something like a gazing ball, it affirms you, it affirms your existence and then from that affirmation, you start to want more. There's a transcendence that takes place." With the gazing ball and the Boticelli combined, Koons provides visual support for Gaga's place in society, not just as a pop culture figure but as a living, breathing work of art.