Performance art theorists will have a field day with Lady Gaga's lasted getup, in which she appears as a hybrid of Michael Jackson/Bob Dylan and something out of Tim Burton's masterclass on "otherness," complete with the George Washington wooden teeth.
Either that or she's is trying to get in on "BeetleJuice" part 2.
I, however, sense that Gaga is actually getting closer to what she really wants to say about her struggling, bulimic self, though I hope I'm wrong, or shown that my interpretation of her latest "ugly" presentation is more about my own prejudices about what beauty should look like.
The crux? That Gaga feels she is unattractive and therefor all her costumery throughout her so-far powerful career has been an outsized attempt to masquerade and camouflage. In this latest get-up, she has just gone right at the heart of the matter, which is to unabashedly demonstrate her ESSENTIAL sense of self to her audience.
There's a paradox here, because that is both brave and devastating. Which may also be the point, since contradiction and all its anxiety are central to the task of how to present one's self. The question here, though, is whether Gaga is asking us to confront ugly, or whether she is trying to confront it herself. That's what I want to know from this Andy Warhol impersonator who has plenty of talent and understanding of the self-consciousness of performance, not just for entertainers like herself, but for all the voiceless, talentless little monsters in the world.
Quick, someone call in the performance art theorists. Or the makeup artist who helped her achieve this latest, somehow most startling look. And I thought the meat dress was her piece de resistance on messaging.
Is a former political and sports columnist who worked great cities like Albany NY, Seattle, Baltimore and Harrisburg PA. She lives New York.