At age 17, Lady Gaga achieved early admission to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Her music videos show her love of costume artifice and theatricality – and play.
She admires photographer Cindy Sherman, another artist who intrigues me for creating so many personas as a performance artist.
Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) identifies herself as a feminist, and says, “I find that men get away with saying a lot in this business, and that women get away with saying very little.
“In my opinion, women need and want someone to look up to that they feel have the full sense of who they are, and says, ‘I’m great.’ ”
She also sees herself as unique: “I don’t see myself as ever being like anybody else. I don’t see myself as an heir.”
In her article Frank talk with Lady Gaga (latimes.com Dec 13, 2009), Ann Powers writes that she is ‘a top sensation, and many people’s vote for the most exciting artist of 2009. … She’s made friends with Madonna, been interviewed by Barbara Walters and met the Queen of England…This is all happening not because Gaga is cute or takes off her clothes but because (to use one of her favorite words) she is a monster — a monster talent, that is, with a serious brain.
‘Her commitment to confront the changing notion of what’s “natural” puts Gaga on the same road traveled by artists she admires, such as the photographer Cindy Sherman. Her frank talk about how female artists aren’t expected to write their own songs or about how young women are afraid to ask for what they need from their sexual partners inches her toward a new articulation of feminism.
“If you ask somebody where you see sexism in your life, all they think of is the old stuff,” said Nona Willis Aronowitz, co-author of the new book “Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism,” by phone.
“Equal pay, that’s not really on their radar. Domestic violence and rape aren’t necessarily in the forefront. But you ask about double standards or restrictive gender roles, they don’t think of that as sexism; they think of that as the way it is. That’s kind of like what Lady Gaga is talking about.”
Creating an individual identity
“When I say to you, there is nobody like me, and there never was, that is a statement I want every woman to feel and make about themselves,” Lady Gaga said.
“I don’t make it as a defense. I make it as, OK, guys, it’s been two years, and I’ve made a lot of music, and I know my greatness is individual. And I want every woman to be able to say that.”
The article continues, ‘Having gotten her start in the bohemian enclaves of downtown New York City, Gaga is deeply indebted to Warhol’s “Superstar”-oriented Factory scene and its aftermath, which produced drag performers like Candy Darling, artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe and streetwise rock stars including Lou Reed and Patti Smith, who declared glamour accessible to anyone with a Polaroid camera, a glue gun or a cheap guitar.
“The idea is, you are your image, you are who you see yourself to be,” she said. It’s iconography. Warhol and I both went to church when we were younger. That’s how I see things.
“I don’t want anyone to feel trapped by their own lives. That to me is more dangerous than anything.”
She says she wants her fans to feel safe in expressing their imperfections. “I want women — and men — to feel empowered by a deeper and more psychotic part of themselves. The part they’re always trying desperately to hide. I want that to become something that they cherish.”
Risking drug addiction
Another article notes she used to lock herself in her room snorting “bags and bags” of cocaine to “get inspiration” for her music, and got high on LSD to emulate pop stars.
“I thought I was gonna die,” she says in the new biography Lady Gaga: Just Dance by Helia Phoenix.
“I wanted to BE the artists I loved, like Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol – and I thought the only way to do it was to live the lifestyle.
“But then I realised my father’s sister Joanne, who’d died at 19, had instilled her spirit in me. She was a painter and a poet – and I had a spiritual vision I had to finish her business.”
From article Lady GaGa: LSD and coke drove me Gaga.. but I was saved by ghost of my dead auntie, By Douglas Wight, News of the World, 07/02/2010.
Many artists throughout history have used drugs and alcohol as self-medication to ease the pain of their high sensitivity, or as a way to enhance thinking and creativity. See my article Gifted, Talented, Addicted.
More quotes by Lady Gaga :
“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”
“If you dont have any shadows you’re not in the light”
“I’m obsessively opposed to the typical.”
“All that ever holds somebody back, I think, is fear. For a minute I had fear. [Then] I went into the [dressing] room and shot my fear in the face…”
“I am focused on the work. I am constantly creating. I am a busy girl. I live and breathe my work. I love what I do. I believe in the message. There’s no stopping. I didn’t create the fame, the fame created me.”
From Goodreads page: Lady Gaga > Quotes