Pop singer and songwriter Lady Gaga tapped internationally acclaimed artist Jeff Koons ’76 (general fine arts) to design the ARTPOP album cover.
The vivid design features a nude sculpture of Gaga arching over a metallic blue circular object, similar in hue to Koons’ stainless steel balloon animals. Gaga shared online that “The foiling represents the true design of the cover as imagined by the artist Jeff Koons, who hand collaged the typography himself.”
Koons is known for his pop culture-inspired art, specifically the creation of large-scale icons from banal objects.
With a career spanning nearly four decades, the MICA alumnus is considered by many as one of the most successful American artists in recent times, including New York Magazine and Vulture, and he has broken a world record for the highest price paid for a single artwork by a living artist at $58.4 million.
Forbes ranked Gaga as the second highest-paid musician in the world in 2013. As of November 2013, the singer had sold an estimated 25 million albums, in addition to 125 million singles worldwide. Gaga has more than 100 million followers combined on Twitter and Facebook. She used the social media services to unveil the album cover design in October 2013. The original announcement has been shared hundreds of thousands of times online, with the hashtag, which is a form of a metadata tag, #ApplauseJeffKoons trending worldwide.
Koons’ album design was shown on hundreds of Clear Channel billboards across the world, including Europe, Latin America, and the United States. The artist is also featured in Gaga’s lyrics for her chart topping single Applause, which say, “One second I’m a Koons, then suddenly the Koons is me.”
Koons’ large sculpture of Gaga was celebrated during the November artRAVE release party for the ARTPOP album at the Brooklyn Naval Yard.
During the promotional tour for the album, the artists’ collaboration extended with the creation of a one-time logo for the Life section of USA Today, and the design was displayed in Gaga’s pop-up gallery in New York’s Meat Packing District, among other special promotions.
Gaga is quoted as saying Koons is “a pure and genuine collaborator.”