Gaga’s four V Magazine covers in her own words. (x)
The New Artist, Gaga wears custom Saint Laurent Paris:
This is the me I was most afraid to ever be again. The me I’d left behind. Through the work, each time over and over with Inez and Vinoodh, there is a challenge I am facing with myself. The person they want to see is dead, I think. I have an ability to endure physical and mental pain for long durations, months or years of time. But I’ve learned that eventually the brunt of that anguish finds its point of impact, and although I was able to withstand a challenge for that period of time in my youth, the results were destructive. I was left a shell. Why would I ever want to feel that again? And then a bigger question: Does anyone really know what I went through to get here?
Then somehow, with Inez’s seductive artistic way and Vinoodh’s calm sense of confidence, in the process I am inspired to allow the emotions to pass through me as they photograph me. And then I hear “Beautiful, Gaga! Yes! Yes! Look at that girl!” And I’m reminded that my sense of self within the world I create provides an element of honesty and gravity to the work. And it’s okay that I’m broken. I can be broken in the Cubist or Surrealist sense. Like a Picasso nose, or a Dalí clock—ahead of its time, not pathetic or shameful. Plus I’m wearing a custom Saint Laurent sequined jacket from Hedi Slimane. Impossible to be sad!
Phase One, Gaga wears custom Giorgio Armani:
I see this girl as the first incarnation of me. Of Gaga. The Bowie superfan, playing with glitter and reflective materials, like doing a jigsaw puzzle. How can I paint with this palette in a way they’ve never seen? How can I remain loyal to my glam roots and soar with an artistry that is still forming? I have always felt comforted in my ability to learn as a performer. When I care to no longer learn or research, I am then an occupant of my own ego. Bowie is a scholar, and it is this part of him that I’ve kept with me. If I allow myself to really delve into and analyze the thing I’m making, I feel a sense of control. A sense of belonging. I belong because I must create. I must transform. And I must believe that my ability to evolve is infinite.
Donatella, Gaga wears custom Versace:
There are very few people I’ve met since my debut that have truly become friends. Donatella Versace and her daughter, Allegra, occupy a space in my heart so wide, with their ability to love and give. Donatella was there for me in difficult times, and for that I will never forget her. She took the girl sobbing with tissues into Gianni’s apartment. Tears falling on the floor, champagne pouring, she escorted me to his room, where she left me to play with his books and sketches. I studied the notes and drank and smoked until I could barely see. Running around the house with her and Allegra as she said, “Never cry, Gaga! You are a star, a REAL star!” And this cover commences the newest transformation in my long love affair with Versace. Donatella opening the Gianni archives for me during the campaign for my album Born This Way was just the beginning of a dream that seems to never end. And today it’s c-thru plastic, with my custom shoulder, Medusa pins, and a wrong blonde. Donatella approved.
This Is ARTPOP, Gaga wears custom Balenciaga:
In this custom Balenciaga, I felt full passion, and fearless, like my hair and body were on fire. I am preparing for my workshop with Marina. I am so excited. She will starve me in the woods for days, with no clocks, no speaking. Cleansing me before my first performance on stage and beginning my training for a performance piece in Paris we are doing with Robert Wilson. I told her I wanted to reveal my total creative self to her. With complete trust, openness, and freedom to be an artist, instead of “making” or “designing” for the public to love. What I am is enough. My talent is enough. But the wigs and the makeup, I need them, I tell her—and she understands that. Marina understands my art, and in my understanding of her art we have made an exchange. When an exchange occurs between two auras, there is a formation of trust and an impulse of love—perhaps…we could belong together. ARTPOP!
But this is not my “look” or “reinvention” for this album. I will be all of these women forever. I am a shape-shifter, a pop-cultural magician. I am not just one ICON. I am every icon.
You can pre-order Gaga’s four V Magazine covers here.