Lady Gaga Is Sued for Plagiarism

The French artist known simply as Orlan is suing Lady Gaga and the French subsidiary of Universal Music for plagiarism. In the complaint, Orlan accuses the singer of using her ideas to create the visuals for the Born This Way album. 

The lawsuit, which seeks $31 million in damages, makes reference to Lady Gaga’s decapitated head in the beginning of the Born This Way video. Orlan claims it’s taken directly from her sculpture Femme Avec Tête (Woman With Head) from 1996.

Orlan is widely known for her work in Carnal Art, a term she coined and describes in a manifesto. Orlan’s Reincarnation of Saint-Orlan project, started in 1990, involved plastic surgery to achieve a resemblance to women from famous paintings and sculptures. She has also had face implants since the mid-90s.

This isn’t the first time Lady Gaga has been accused of cribbing inspiration from the art world (whole websites are devoted to it, like this one). Most notably, the idea for the meat dress she wore at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards is alleged to have originated from Canadian artist Jana Sterbak, whose Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic dates from 1987.

Orlan’s Femme Avec Tête (1996)…

Jana Sterbak’s Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic (1987)…

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