On Sunday, Lady Gaga unveiled the cover art for her upcoming single, "Applause," via Women's Wear Daily, a calculated move that indicates the importance fashion will play in ARTPOP's roll out.
And... it's intense.
Gaga has her Playboy mouth open once again in the close-up shot, which has her smattered with colorful makeup under a head wrap, poking out between sheets. Given the song's title, it clearly has something to do with her role as the performer — this is who she becomes for the sake of her art.
And she kind of looks like a sad, mute clown tangled in a web of stage props.
Gaga explained to WWD that the cover was chosen from her recent music video shoot with Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. “It’s the end of the night after the show," she revealed. "When I look at it I see that there is a longing for the applause. I see that there is a void that is leaking onstage, that the performer is leaking, that the art is sort of becoming something else in front of your eyes. Something more human, something more honest.”
But don't worry, the song is not a total downer.
"I’ll tell you that it is very fun," Gaga promised of the new song. "And that it’s full of happiness, because what I’m saying in the song essentially is that I live for the applause. I live for the way you cheer and scream for me. Give me that thing that I love. Put your hands up, make them touch.”
We'll do that, Gaga — but in the meantime, we'll weigh in on this new cover art. What does it make you think of? Is it as meme-ready as the GagaCycle from the Born This Way cover? Let us know in the comments.
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