Orlan Sues Lady Gaga for Plagiarism, Fun Begins!

June 17, 2013 | Marina Galperina

Transgressive art-stalwart Orlan is suing Lady Gaga and Universal in Paris. According to Le Quotidien de l’Art via ARTinfo, Orlan wants $31.7 million or 7.5% of “Born This Way” album and video profits, citing three specific art works which the artist aggressively homaged including Femme Avec Tête (“Women With Head”), 1996.

Since it’s a decapitated head on a table and those are decapitated heads on tables and those decapitated heads look very, very similar to this decapitated head… It’s an influence.

Gaga’s angular faux-face implants and surrounding fashions ouvre de jour looked very similar to Orlan’s own, only Orlan actually had her face surgically carved and implanted with silicone ornamentations. Her seventh facial modification surgery — Omnipresence, 1993 — was “a performance of visual cannibalism filtered through a digital screen.” Looked like this [NSFW]. Looked like it hurt.

Well, la-di-DUH.

I’ve mentioned some of these before, but seems rather topical. Here are a few other aggressive hommages:

“Born This Way,” 2011 vs. Marco Brambilla’s Civilization, 2008.

“Born This Way,” 2011 vs. Marco Brambilla’s Cathedral, 2007

“Born This Way,” 2011 vs. Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising, 1972/1980.


“Bad Romance,” 2009 vs. Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 3, 2002.

Lady Gaga’s meat dress, 2010 vs. Zhang Huan’s Homeland, 2001.

I’m not saying anything else about this… Except for SHOUT OUT YEEZUS for actually hiring Marco Brambilla to do his video. Really curious to see this one play out. Meanwhile, here’s an expert from a 2011 interview with Gaga. Enjoy your can of worms!

NME wonders – thinking of the other homages she says she signposts so clearly, like the Ziggy-esque flash across her face when she first appeared in 2008 – if Gaga has heard of Orlan, the French artist whose permanent, surgically implanted facial modifications are very similar to Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ look. “Who’s Orlan?” Gaga asks, grabbing her MacBook. “Do people think that’s where I got it from?”

After the debacle earlier, NME decides to let Google do the talking. Gaga hits the search button. “Oh my gosh. (Gasps) What is that? It’s quite beautiful. That’s weird! (Thinks) It’s very fabulous. Well, I’m going to be inspired by her now, thank you!”

(Emoticon: GagaDaily)