Lady Gaga Makeovers by Jim Lee, Molly Crabapple and More [Art]
In anticipation of Born This Way, the new album from American pop star Lady Gaga, New York Magazine cleverly solicited a series of outrageous dress designs meant to outshine (or outstink) the singer’s now infamous meat-dress. Among the fashion designers and cartoonists who contributed new Lady Gaga looks was Jim Lee, arguably mainstream comics’ most successful artist and the Co-Publisher of DC Comics. Also turning in memorably bizarre designs were Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Mike Keefe, Eisner-nominated autobiocomics author Ariel Schrag and Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School founder Molly Crabapple.
You can check out their contributions and more after the jump.Dropping on May 23, Born This Way will be “the greatest album of the decade” according to Lady Gaga, who added that the endeavor will be “something so much deeper… than a f*cking meat dress.” As unlikely as that may seem given the many categories of “bottomless depths” one can associate with Gaga’s meat dress, the remark was enough to inspire New York Magazine to assemble Jim Lee and 17 other artists to eclipse the famously weird garment.
Ariel Schrag is a widely acclaimed and Eisner-nominated cartoonist for her work on Potential, an account of her 11th grade year of high school, and its companion books Awkward and Definition and Likewise. She was also a writer of Showtime’s The L Word and HBO’s How to Make It in America.
“The dress is composed of live, squirming infants. By using naked bodies to cover her own naked body, she examines the human dichotomy of pure and obscene. The babies also represent the fluidity of identity-they’re always in motion-and the neediness of the consuming public. They’re clingy!”
Suzuki Ingerslev is a production designer best known for her Emmy-nominated work on HBO’s True Blood, among other series.
“I was influenced by the Chinese opera, where the performers wear elaborate costumes and paint their faces white. I also loved the idea of blood tears that are made out of rhinestones. The vampires on True Blood cry blood tears, and it felt dramatic and appropriate for this look.”
The Denver Post’s Mike Keefe won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for cartooning. He described his Lady Gaga dress as “Sexy, dangerous, and a little bit creepy.”
Beloved by audiences and design nerds everywhere, Katherine Jane Bryant is the Emmy-winning costumer of AMC’s Mad Men and Deadwood.
“My outfit was inspired by Gaga’s own words: The album is ‘much more vocally up to par with what I’ve always been capable of. It’s more electronic, but I have married a very theatrical vocal to it. It’s like a giant musical-opus theater piece.’”
Commercial illustrator and comic book author Vanessa Davis just released her new graphic novel, Make Me a Woman, from Drawn & Quarterly. She’s also the author of Spaniel Rage.
“More than just a new look for Gaga, I think we just want to see more of Gaga. How can we get more Gaga?”
The world-famous creator of Get Your War On, David Rees took time off from his new projects, My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable and Relationshapes to call Lady Gaga out on her liberal borrowing of other stars’ looks and suggest a whole new direction.
“Now that she’s exhausted the wellsprings of Madonna and Björk, Lady Gaga should turn to another pop provocateur for inspiration: infamous nineties “scum rocker” G.G. Allin. After shortening her name to “Lady G.G.,” Ms. Germanotta should appropriate some of the late Mr. Allin’s signature moves: onstage self-mutilation, picking fights with people in the audience, and flinging excrement at the crowd. (Yes, I realize that every time Lady Gaga opens her mouth to sing, she is metaphorically flinging excrement at the crowd-I mean she should literally fling excrement at the crowd. It’s not like they wouldn’t love her for it.)”
Critical darling Tim Hensley of MOME and the popular Wally Gropious graphic novel suggests a radical way for Lady Gaga to change her look.
“Lady Gaga obtains a cleft lip from a cosmetic surgeon to spread her message of universal tolerance. What if you could change the life of a diva?”
Tim Chappel is the Academy Award-winning costume designer of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and turned in a characteristically rich reimagining of Lady Gaga’s appearance, complete with body modifications.
“She wears her own personalized lighting. A pair of stereoscopic webcams offer fans streaming Lady G 3-D. As a responsible 21st-century citizen, Lady G recycles some of the thousands of kilometers of film bearing her image into another camera-hungry gown. And who needs toes when you can enjoy a pair of Permanent Barbie feet?”
Superstar comics artist Jim Lee channels Top Cow’s Witchblade with his demonic Gaga look.
“My goal was to showcase what made Lady Gaga so creatively dynamic-from her music to her costumes to her hair to her flair for theatrical performances-and interpret her as a thoroughly modern and contemporary superhero. Part otherworldly, part vixen, part Lady Darque, my take on Lady Gaga showcases the eclectic elements which define her talent and style.”
A contributor to Marvel’s Girl Comics and Strange Tales anthologies and the illustrator of DC Comics’ Puppet Makers graphic novel, Molly Crabapple is an artist and commercial illustrator probably best known as the founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a raucous mix of cabaret and art class.
After embodying every archetype of artifice and glam, Gaga decides to return to nature. Spurning mobility for a portable mountaintop, a thousand headed Gaga creates and destroys herself. Note tiny Haus of Gaga workers fixing her lipstick.
You can find more Lady Gaga redesigns at New York Magazine.