Lady Gaga unveils her Jeff Koons-designed ‘Artpop’ album cover

In “Applause,” her chart-topping dance single released in August, Lady Gaga left fans a cryptic message singing: “One second I’m a Koons/then suddenly the Koons is me.”

The lyric’s import became clear Monday when the transgressive chanteuse unveiled new sleeve artwork for her November album “Artpop” on Facebook and Twitter (with plans to roll the image out via digital billboards in 12 cities around the world beginning Tuesday).

Designed by Pop art provocateur Jeff Koons, the album cover features a nude sculpture of Gaga, legs akimbo and breasts kept out of NSFW territory by a blond wig, hunched over a metallic blue beach ball – a nod to the stainless steel balloon animals for which kitsch-y New Yorker Koons commands tens of millions of dollars. In November, his work “Tulips” sold for $33 million, setting the record for highest auction price for work by a living artist.

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“I’m nervous&excited to share something that’s such a piece of my heart,” Gaga tweeted. “Something I cherish deeply. A real depiction of my mind through his.”


The singer added: “The center image of me is a new Jeff Koons sculpture to be exhibited Nov. 10 at the artRave ARTPOP’S release party!”

“Artpop” is set to drop Nov. 11 and in the lead-up to its release, the artist formerly known as Stephani Germanotta has been making hay of the distinction between being simply famous and the more sublime realm of creative output she claims to inhabit.

“‘Applause’ is a very meaningful song to me, because it addresses what many think of as ‘celebrities’ today, that we ‘do it’ for the attention,” Gaga posted on Twitter recently. “But some of us are ‘artists’ in this group called ‘celebrity,’ & what we create doesn’t live on unless there’s an audience to remember it.”

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Toward that end, the cover image also features interspliced images of what appears to be a Greecian sculpture with Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” – a nod to the strategically placed, Botticelli-inspired clam shells in her “Applause” video shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matandin.


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Twitter: @__chrislee