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Lady Gaga's $25 Million Art Machine Can't Buy a Real Hit

Artist Jeff Koons's Lady Gaga sculpture on display at ARTPOP's album release at New York's Brooklyn Navy Yard
Artist Jeff Koons's Lady Gaga sculpture on display at ARTPOP's album release at New York's Brooklyn Navy YardPhotograph by Nancy Kaszerman/Corbis

Lady Gaga wants people to take pop music seriously.

Her new album, ARTPOP, was conceived as an exploration of what happens when high-brow art meets low-brow pop and if there’s really any difference between the two. It’s a theme broached in her previous albums—and touched on by Kanye West in his oil-painting-turned-music-video for Power—but with ARTPOP, Gaga is trying to position herself as the second coming of Andy Warhol. Pop artist Jeff Koons designed the album’s cover, which features a naked sculpture of Gaga cupping her breasts while giving birth to a shiny blue ball. It’s art that could be easily mistaken for a slapdash Photoshop job.