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French avant garde performance artist, Orlan, claims that Lady Gaga stole key concepts from her 1996 sculpture titled “Woman with Head” and used them in the music video “Born This Way.”
Gaga’s “Born This Way” video is a mind-bending, kaleidoscopic sequence where Gaga – as Mother Monster – gives birth to an alien creature and tells a story of a new race of people who aren’t prejudiced or judgmental.
Per usual, Gaga is dressed in a number of disturbing yet riveting costumes, including one transparent bodysuit with a few well-placed black strips to censor.
The contested features of this particular get-up are the blonde geometric wig and the special effects makeup giving Gaga two prominent, vertical ridges along her cheekbones.
Orlan claimed that Gaga plagiarized this otherworldly look from her own avant garde sculpture titled “Femme Avec Tête” (Woman with Head) which was made in 1996, reports the Huffington Post.
What’s more, Orlan pointed to the 4:45 minute mark of the music video and alleged that Gaga also stole the setup of her sculpture which is a decapitated head sitting atop a Plexiglas table.
Orlan is seeking $31.7 million in compensation for the wrongful use of her intellectual property. She also hopes to stop the sale of Gaga’s Born This Way album.
This isn’t the first time Gaga has been accused of plagiarizing an artist’s work.
In 2010, Gaga shocked the world by wearing a dress made entirely of raw meat at the Video Music Awards.
This concept, however, was already done by Canadian artist Jana Sterbak in 1991, reported the LA Times.
Sterbak sewed together 50 pounds of raw flank steak, displayed it on a dress form, and let the meat slowly rot away in Canada’s National Art Gallery.
Sterbak didn't pursue Gaga legally, but Orlan is not so forgiving.
As for this most recent allegation, Gaga claims that she’s never heard of Orlan or seen her previous work.
There are no further details yet, though it is believed the issue can be settled out of court.